Many of us have memories of long car rides where our appetites were raging but there were no restaurants in sight. Then suddenly, from over the horizon peek those famous golden arches: McDonald’s! Finally, we can dive headfirst into a Big Mac and silence our tummies’ cries!
McDonald’s may be the most popular fast-food chain of all time. It doesn’t break the bank, and frankly, their food just hits the spot. However, even frequent customers probably don’t know these secret tips to help you get the best Mickey D’s experience of your life!
1. If you’re traveling out of the country, go to a local McDonald’s to see if it has anything on the menu not offered in the United States. Many places have special items unique to the country, like Taro Pie in Hawaii or fried chicken with pasta in the Philippines.
2. There are two kinds of eggs McDonald’s uses for their breakfast items: fresh eggs and a yellow liquid egg substitute. In order to ensure you always get the fresh kind, ask for your breakfast with a “round” egg.
3. What happens if you’re standing in line and suddenly crave a grilled cheese? It’s not on the menu, right? Actually, you can ask the workers to just put cheese between breakfast sandwich buns and viola!
4. Even though you have a hankering for chicken nuggets, you might not always want to get the 20-piece box; that’s a lot of nugget. However, if you’re looking for the smartest financial decision, 20 is the way to go. Each nugget costs about 25 cents, whereas a 10-piece box is 36 cents per piece.
5. Many people were crushed to learn their favorite McDonald’s salads were nowhere near as healthy as they thought. However, the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad is only 220 calories, and at five dollars, it’s a healthy affordable alternative to a greasy burger.
6. If you frequent McDonald’s, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t download the app. You’ll be the first one to know about sales, coupons, and special promotions. You’re on your phone anyways, so download it!
7. Unless you actually watch an employee make a new batch of fries, you never know how long they’ve been sitting under those heat lamps. In order to ensure fresh fries, ask for them without salt. They’ll fry a new batch on the spot, and then you get to control your sodium intake.
8. If you do the math, to truly get the most bang for your buck, ordering the Sausage Biscuit is essential. Each individual calorie breaks down to a measly three ten-thousandths of a cent. Order up and dig in!
9. Don’t throw away your receipts! On the back of every McDonald’s receipt is a code that will get you 50 percent off your meal if you go to the company’s website and fill out a survey using the code. For half the money that McDouble will taste twice as good!
10. When you see a long line of cars at the drive-thru window, it’s easy to assume going inside to the counter is quicker. However, like most fast-food places, McDonald’s prioritizes the drive-thru, so unless there’s no one inside, waiting in your car is likely your best bet.
11. At McDonald’s, the Big Mac reigns supreme. But, they can be a little pricey if you’re on a tight budget. Don’t worry though; if you’re craving the taste of a Big Mac just order the McDouble and ask for it “dressed like a Mac.” Sure, it’s smaller, but it tastes just the same.
12. Most of us don’t ask for a receipt after we order, but having a worker print one out for you can actually work in your favor. Sometimes employees might suspect you to be a secret shopper and give above-average service.
13. While ketchup is probably the condiment used most often to dunk French fries, some people prefer mayonnaise. McDonald’s might not offer mayo in their condiment dispensers, but you can always ask for some on the side.
14. As with any food establishment, there are good times to go and bad. You always want the food as fresh as possible, so go from 7-9 a.m. for breakfast, 11-2 p.m. for lunch, and 4-6 p.m. for dinner.
15. Of all the items on the menu, many McDonald’s employees agree the McFlurries are way overpriced for what you’re getting. Instead, order a regular sundae and then ask for the McFlurry topping on the side.
16. If you’ve ever looked at the bun on a Filet-o-Fish and thought it looked different from other buns, you’re right! The sandwich uses a steamed bun as opposed to a grilled one, and you can ask to have any sandwich made using it.
17. Is there a promotional drink you want to try but don’t feel like paying for? Order a cheap drink and then ask for the special drink when you get your refill. The free refills are one of the best aspects of McDonald’s.
18. McDonald’s has a “buy five get one free” deal on their McCafe coffees, but what happens if you lose the piece of paper proving you’ve bought enough to warrant a free one? The phone app can scan barcodes and track the amount of coffee you drink, so you’ll never miss your free cup of joe.
19. What happens if you can’t decide what flavor shake to order? Instead of settling on just one, tell the cashier you’d like a “Neapolitan milkshake.” They’ll combine vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry for one flavor-packed drink.
20. No one should condone dishonest behavior, but one way to get free stuff is to straight up lie. There have been customers who claimed the drive-thru window shorted them an item, and with enough complaining inside, they’ll usually get that item for free.