"Open 23 Hours, 39 Minutes" Doesn't Make A Very Catchy McDonald's Sign

Gregory writes that he made a trip to a 24-hour McDonald’s after 4 AM because, well, it was a 24-hour McDonald’s and would ostensibly be open. This particular McDonald’s apparently shut down between 4:00 and 4:30, simultaneously ignoring the concepts of “open 24 hours” and “fast food.”

He e-mailed the company:

I specifically made a trip to this location, 2 miles from my home, because it is open 24 hours. I pulled up to the menu board at 4:10 am and was greeted with “sorry, we aren’t taking orders until 4:30.”

This was surprising to me as I exited the restaurant and noticed seven mentions of this specific location being open 24 hours. One at the menu board I attempted to order at, one at each of the windows I passed, one at the back entrance, a large neon sign, a large painted corner window display, and a large window cling. It was as if the ONLY thing that this location was telling it’s customer was the fact that it is open 24 hours.

I also witnessed the girl that ‘greeted’ me look out from the second drive thru window after about a minute, I assume, wondering why I would still be sitting at the menu board as I debated where else to go get something to eat. She never offered an explanation or excuse for this refusal of service- just an annoyed look out the window.

Waiting 20 minutes to order was not something that I had in mind after a long night at work. I would never have wasted the 25 minutes to drive there and back had I known that when a McDonald’s is “open 24 hours” it has a footnote of “when it is convenient for us.”

Seems like a lot of false advertising to me…


For what it’s worth, here is the highly personalized and sensitive e-mail that McDonald’s sent back.

Hello Gregory:

I want to thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the McDonald’s in [redacted], MN with me. Your feedback is very important to us as it allows us to better understand how we can improve our service to you.

I am sorry (…describe specific complaint) and (second issue). Please be assured that we want to provide you with an exceptional experience every time you visit us. From your email, it is clear we did not meet your expectations. Again, I am truly sorry we disappointed you.

I want you to know that I have already taken action on your feedback. After reading your email, I immediately shared the information you brought to our attention with the local franchise owner of the restaurant you visited. Additionally, I notified our regional McDonald’s consultant who works with this owner for follow-up in the restaurant and appropriate corrective action.

Again, Gregory, thank you for sharing your feedback. We appreciate your business and we hope to have the pleasure of serving you soon.

McDonald’s Customer Response Center

Now, as Consumerist’s Tipline Empress, I can’t criticize people for the occasional form letter slip-up. At least they managed to get the customer’s name in there.

Next time, it would be more effective to try calling the restaurant during the business day and asking for the restaurant’s manager.

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