The Fine Print on a McDonald’s Menu Board

We all know that contracts of any type come with fine print. The small words with big meaning that are not intended to be read. Well, McDonald’s menu boards have it, too. I’ve been told this several times in the past, but did not believe it. Today, I stand before you to declare it is true, I was wrong, McDonald’s menu boards do indeed have fine print.

The McDonald's Restaurant Store Museum is seen in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines

It is so fine in fact, that I was unable to read all of it, but I was able to decipher the first 10 bullet points while placing an order that came out as an amalgamation of several orders.

We all know the menu contains their sandwich selections complemented by their ever-increasing prices. It also contains perfectly cropped photographs intended to instigate salivation and stomach growls. But around the edges of the board, in print so tiny Ronald needs glasses to see it, it states the following:

  1. The customer is always right. Except when the establishment is.
  2. You are welcome to order your sandwich whatever way you want to. But we will serve it whatever way we want to.
  3. We messed up your order and in doing so you claim your apple pies got cold while you waited for us to remake your sandwiches. This may very well be true, but irrelevant to your complaint. We can assure you, they were hot when you got them. Next time, consider eating dessert first.
  4. We don’t know how you knew that buying two apple pies at the same time is less expensive than buying two apple pies separately because we don’t advertise that shit. But now that you know, you also need to know this: If our cashier doesn’t get it right and charges you full price when purchasing two pies at the same time, we cannot be held liable. When we hire a cashier, we assume he/she knows which button to select on the register by its corresponding food picture on the register button. *Hamburger order – button with picture of hamburger on it. One apple pie – button with picture of ONE apple pie on it. Two apple pies – button with picture of TWO apple pies on it, etc. Minimum wage mentality: the struggle is real.
  5. Our coffee is HOT, duh. Unless WE pour it into YOUR lap, we will not apologize or pay your frivolous lawsuit.
  6. Our hamburger patties are cooked fresh. Except when they’re not. Surprised? Get real, we’re not Wendy’s so we don’t dispose of our day-old burgers in the chili. And we never throw them out. You do the math.
  7. And to that, we add: we don’t like when you order your cheeseburger without onion. It’s the only thing between the buns strong enough to disguise the age of the burger. This explains why you get onion on your cheeseburger even when you specify no onion.
  8. Trivia fun fact: If you cheat every single Drive-Thru customer out of one dime of their change for an entire month, store profit will increase 8% to 11% for that month. Not that we’ve done it or anything.
  9. When you see the fry girl pop a French fry into her mouth while on the clock and wearing her gloves, don’t be alarmed. We can assure you, she washed her hands before she put them on.
  10. Although we supply different uniforms for different job titles, there is an easier way to tell an employee’s position, and therefore, their level of engagement and helpfulness. Anyone, regardless of uniform color, who looks: lost, confused, scared, or near tears is a new employee who was probably tossed onto a register within seconds of punching in for the first time. They cannot help themselves, let alone you. Anyone who looks like they know what they are doing and seems genuinely eager to help is a recently promoted shift manager. Take advantage of them during this phase. It will not last. The person you see roaming aimlessly through the employee areas of the restaurant wearing a vacant stare and the least amount of grease is most likely the general manager. We don’t encourage them to interact with the public. They are usually short on rest, high on stress, and have little to no background in crisis management. Their primary function is to remember the alarm code and not lose the keys.

Now that you have read the fine print, we hope you enjoy your stay and your food.

Okay, how many of you can relate to a bad fast-food experience? Show of hands!

“McDonalds believes in getting food to your kids before they get to each other.”

1967 McDonald’s Commercial

*Disclaimer: This post was meant in good humor, although it was brought on by a horrible experience at a local McDonald’s earlier this afternoon. (It also reminded me of one of the many reasons I rarely frequent fast-food restaurants.) When my legitimate complaint was met with “What can I say, you tell’em and these kids gonna do what they want to do anyway,” I decided to work out my frustration by way of word play.

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