McDonald's Apologizes After Tech Outage Shuts Down Apps And Kiosks

McDonald's burger rand hashtag fries
McDonald's burger rand hashtag fries - Pavlovska Yevheniia/Shutterstock

Customers at many McDonald's locations around the world were not lovin' it due to a global tech outage that kept ordering systems offline for hours. Because the outage impacted point-of-sale systems, app- and kiosk-based transactions ceased. Stores in some affected countries shut down entirely, frustrating customers who might have just dropped by for a pie and discovered that ordering one wasn't as easy as pie. Other locations reverted to cash payments when possible, according to news reports. McDonald's issued a statement apologizing to customers and franchisees, saying the outage was not due to a cyber attack but rather an error during a "configuration change" at 1 a.m. ET on March 15. The first reports of the problem surfaced in Australia, according to the site Downdetector, which keeps tabs on web outages.

Reports indicate McDonald's operations were affected in London, Hong Kong, various parts of Japan, Australia, and some U.S. cities, among other places. The problem lasted roughly 12 hours. But not all locations experienced it equally. For instance, the Associated Press reports that a worker in Milan described a two-hour outage while one in Bangcock said theirs lasted an hour. A post on X from McDonald's Australia confirms that all its ores are and back to normal. McDonald's Chief Information Officer Brian Rice said the company was "working with absolute urgency to resolve" the technology meltdown.

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Customers And Employees React On Social Media

McDonald's kiosk system
McDonald's kiosk system - Hapabapa/Getty Images

The widespread nature of the outage caught the attention of customers around the world, and some speculated on social media about the cause. Redditors peppered comments throughout several threads mentioning what they dubbed the "McMeltdown" or the "MacTastrophe." Some employees talked about missed shifts and technical problems caused by the glitch or suggested a cyber attack was to blame. Many Instagram commenters used the situation as an opportunity to poke fun at the chain's chronically out-of-service ice cream machines, wondering if this was finally the day the machines would ironically work again with no way to place an order.

The tech glitch affected a huge swath of territory, impacting untold numbers of customers and employees and potentially damaging each restaurant's bottom line. McDonald's has over 40,000 fast-food outlets worldwide. They collectively made over $20 billion in sales in 2023. Over 1,000 McDonald's are located in Australia, and in Japan, McDonald's has a 20% fast-food market share, encompassing nearly 3000 stores.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.