When I was living in New York City I was introduced to UberEats and it quickly became my obsession of convenience… and sometimes laziness. If it was raining, I ordered UberEats, if I was out late the night before, UberEats came to my hungover rescue. If I just didn’t want to cook… another delivery from Uber!
In New York City, I often found myself ordering from relatively expensive restaurants, so when I accepted my current job in San Diego, I worried about falling back into that same expensive habit. Instead, I booted up the app and noticed McDonald’s delivered in the area. Admittedly, I’m not a regular McDonald’s customer but with nearly 100 San Diego locations offering quick and effortless access to the golden arches, I was intrigued.
I set out with one of my co-workers to test the service to see if McDonald’s could deliver a consistent experience with help from Uber’s faithful drivers.
Our experiment went exactly as expected and we quickly learned where the “McDelivery” program is facing an uphill battle.
The Order And Delivery Process
If you’ve ever ordered from UberEats you already know how simple the process is. Simply choose a meal, beverages, and any sides. Anything available at our local McDonald’s was available for purchase, including the option to order medium and large sized meals on-demand.
Honestly, we probably wouldn’t order McDonald’s for just two people from UberEats if it wasn’t for our test, mainly because the $4.99 (before tipping) booking fee is nearly the cost of a single meal. After tipping our driver $5.00 we paid $9.99 for our food to be delivered and $15.93 for the actual food. Ouch!
Our order was placed at 4:00 p.m. and at 4:05 p.m. we received a notification that the food was being prepared. Ten minutes after receiving our “preparing your order” message, we received a notification that our UberEats driver was on their way.
Keeping in mind that it only takes about one to two minutes to grab our food at a local store, that 10-minute gap seemed a bit extreme.
Reginal arrived at our location at 4:25 p.m. as promised by the UberEats app.
When McDonald’s was first launching in San Diego a spokeswoman said the food was prepared right before the driver arrived, ensuring “crispy fries” and a consistent experience. However, from the time we received our notifications, it took 20 minutes for our food to arrive and the “crispy fries” promise was not exactly what we were expecting. Let’s find out why!
A Drive For Consistency With Error-Free Ordering
McDonald’s took a lot of care when delivering our food, something we wish would happen more often when going through the company’s many drive-thru windows.
Our order arrived in a large delivery bag that was sealed with a “double checked” sticker. That simple sticker gave us a bit more confidence that the order would be correct. Although shouldn’t McDonald’s be making this promise to all of its customers all of the time?
We ordered a 10-piece chicken nugget meal and a Big Mac meal. The food was segmented so our main entrees were in another bag inside the delivery bag and our fries shared a separate bag. Napkins, ketchup, and side sauces were in their own container.
You’ll notice that not only was our large delivery bag sealed with a “double checked” sticker but so was every bag inside of the larger package. At this point, we were fairly confident our order was going to be correct.
The Taste Test
The biggest problem with McDonald’s is the quickness at which its french fries get cold. It was not a surprise when we bit into the recently-delivered fries and they were lukewarm. Our McDonald’s location is only 2.1 miles from our office and it took just six minutes to deliver our food. Customers located further from one of the company’s stores are likely to be greeted with outright cold fries.
I moved onto the Big Mac and my co-worker Kayla dug into some chicken nuggets. My burger was adequately warm but definitely not hot and tasted acceptable at best. Kayla said her chicken nuggets were decently hot, not a surprise given that they tend to hold heat better than most of the restaurant’s other foods.
Our Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper orders were not watered down by the time they arrived, which may be due to the fact that it was 70 degrees when we ordered our food. Either way, they were delivered exactly as expected.
Kayla admitted that she would order the Chicken McNuggets again but would skip the fries because they lost their heat way too quickly. I have to agree, while my Big Mac was sufficient, it wasn’t up-to-par with a quick drive-thru or in-house dining experience.
Kayla said she could see herself ordering McDonald’s from UberEats if she was in a rush and needed food on the fly. I have to agree, I’m not a huge McDonald’s patron in the first place and this process didn’t instill any newfound interest in the fast food chain on my behalf.
We both agree that McDelivery is best served when time is of the essence or a hangover needs to be cured with very little effort.