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McDonald's software glitch halts orders in several countries

March 15, 2024

McDonald's customers in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and the UK all reported issues ordering at the fast food chain's restaurants. In Japan, the company temporarily suspended operations at several branches.

Interior view of a McDonald's digital ordering screens in a UK restaurant. Issue date: May 16, 2022.
Problems with the automated ordering systems caused disruptions at McDonald's branches in several different countries on FridayImage: David Parry/empics/picture alliance

McDonald's restaurants in several countries appeared to be suffering from some kind of software or system problems on Friday, hampering staff's ability to take and process orders.

Disruptions to service were reported in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and later in the UK. McDonald's told DW that there were also "occasional" technical issues at German branches.

Later on Friday, the company said that some of its branches were back online and that work was ongoing to eradicate the remaining issues. 

"Many markets are back online, and the rest are in the process of coming back online. We are closely working with those markets that are still expereiencing issues," McDonald's Global Chief Information Officer Brian Rice said in a statement. 

The company said on Friday that it did not suspect a cybersecurity incident, saying it believed the outage was caused by a third-party provider during a "configuration change."

It did not comment on the total number of restaurants affected. The chain has roughly 40,000 worldwide, around 14,000 of them in the US.

Japan among the first to sound alarm, Germany also affected

The problems appeared technical in nature, related to the mobile ordering system and the self-ordering kiosks. 

"Occasional technical disruptions took place in our restaurants," a spokesman for McDonald's Germany told DW on Friday. "The problem has since been rectified. However it could still lead to effects on service or altered opening hours. We are working flat out to restore normal service and greatly regret any inconvenience caused." 

McDonald's Japan first reported a "system failure" and apologized to customers for any inconvenience. A few hours later, it said that many restaurants had temporarily shut. 

"Many restaurants across the country have temporarily suspended operations. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers," the company said online. 

msh/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)