I hate to say this but McDonald's has earned a place on my iPhone, albeit buried within a folder so nobody catches a glimpse of it. And at a time when money is tight and contact-free interactions are more important than ever, you’re gonna want this app before your next Big Mac craving hits.
I normally use a middleman app like Uber Eats or DoorDash for my delivery orders. But it turns out that McDonalds’ first-party app actually has some great deals — and you're going to need them because of McDonalds' surprisingly high prices. I don’t exactly remember when I downloaded the McDonald's app, or why, but I have to assume that it was in some kind hangry fast-food fugue state. We may never know.
Anyway, the app offers coupons that you can’t even get in the store, like BOGO McChickens and free fries with any order. There’s also “McCafe Rewards” that earns you a free coffee of any size or type after you’ve purchased five. As a coffee addict myself it seems like every time I open the McDonald’s app I have another free coffee, which just leads to me ordering more McChickens. I see what’s happening here, but will I stop this virtuous cycle? Unlikely.
You can also order ahead from wherever you are and pay inside the app using a linked credit card or mobile wallet. If you drive you can choose curbside pickup. You can even use Siri Shortcuts to reorder the same things with one press, but that’s a bridge too far for me. Orders appear on the same terminal that workers view for in-store purchases so I’ve never had any issues with them missing it and not preparing my order.
Is McDonald’s offering better deals in its app because it wants to collect data about you and your purchasing habits? Probably; that data-for-deals exchange is typical with loyalty programs. But the deals here are oftentimes great, and even more importantly, I can discreetly order a disgusting amount of food without my insecurities flaring up and feeling like the cashier is judging me.
That frankly may be why I don’t buy much junk food in the first place — it’s been shown that millennials go to McDonald’s in droves but don’t like to admit it. At least I can order through the app and interact with no-one. And wasn’t that really the idea all along?