Fast food isn’t so fast anymore

Everyday problems Big Rapid's McDonald's faces

Emily Hernandez has recently had a poor experience at McDonald’s; she paid for a meal that she did not receive.

Low staff, technical difficulties with food apps, systems shutting down, longer than 20-minute drive-through lines and lack of communication have been common occurrences at McDonald’s this semester. 

“We were in line for 45 minutes and we placed mobile orders,” Ferris sophomore Hernandez said. “And as soon as we got up there, they said they were only accepting cash and couldn’t give us our food, even though we already paid.” 

When she ordered on the app, the order and the payment went through. The worker at the window could not give Hernandez her meal because their system was down. 

Hernandez said they were told there was an authorization hold on our orders and they’d get refunded in two hours. She checked after a few days and neither of them got their money back.

To avoid this recurring problem, McDonald’s can take the extra step of double-checking its system to ensure it will be able to take on more orders.  

“Maybe making sure the systems are okay before opening,” Hernandez said. “Not many people carry cash on them, so they should make sure that cards will go through.” 

With McDonald’s being only one of the fast-food restaurants that stays open so late, they get a lot of customers and orders. 

Most students only go to fast food places around here late at night, so maybe their system fails because there are just so many orders all at once Hernandez said.  

Curbside pickup, dine-in and the second drive-through all close earlier than the restaurant itself, which makes all the orders go through one place. 

“They should really figure out a better system for late at night, like keeping curbside pickup or the second drive-through open until later,” Hernandez said. “I think the main reason [for long lines] is low staff. [Big Rapids] is a college town with mostly students, so they aren’t going to have enough people on night shifts because we have classes the next day.” 

McDonald’s has been promoting that they are hiring and has had a lot of interviews, but still are experiencing low staff. 

Hernandez said she knows someone that works at McDonald’s, and they are having interviews left and right, but they just aren’t hiring anyone.

Demarco McKinney, a graphic design student, has had similar experiences at McDonald’s. 

“I waited [in line at McDonald’s] for a good 15 to 20 minutes,” McKinney said. “Then right when I got to the window, they said they were only accepting cash.” 

This frequently happens at McDonald’s, and each time it wastes a lot of students’ time.  

“I wish they could have told me that before I entered,” McKinney said. “At least flag someone down and [tell them] that they’re only accepting cash. It could have saved me time to make some food at home.” 

Getting rid of other ordering options is part of the problem and can easily be fixed. 

In McKinney’s opinion McDonald’s needs to extend the curbside pickup hours because it saves a lot of time. She’ll be waiting in line for sometimes 30 minutes just to order her food.

Taco Bell and Wendys have also had to deal with long lines, closing early and low staff, but nothing compared to the difficulties McDonald’s currently faces.