- McDonald’s‘ menu isn’t expansive enough for some customers, who prefer to customise their orders.
- As a result, McDonald’s crew members sometimes get pretty strange requests from these pickier customers.
- From cups of pickles to empty boxes, here’s a look at some of the most unusual orders McDonald’s employees say they have gotten over the years.
The McDonald’s menu offers a pretty extensive overview of what the fast food giant has to offer.
But it’s not the whole story. You could always try a selection from the chain’s secret menu.
Or you could go completely off-script and customise your order.
Some McDonald’s crew members seem to have mixed feelings about complicated custom orders. In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread last year, a McDonald’s employee said they hated making “special request” orders that are too “weirdly specific.”
A number of McDonald’s employees have taken to Reddit and Quora to discuss some of the most unusual items that they have ever prepared – or refused to prepare – for customers. The orders ranged from a cup of pickles to bags of uncooked chicken nuggets.
Here are a number of strange orders that McDonald’s employees have encountered on the job:
Poached egg whites
Some McDonald’s customers come up with pretty fancy orders.
Quora user and former McDonald’s employee Chelle Gordon wrote that one man insisted upon being served poached egg whites.
“The order taker had no idea how to answer that, so they called me as the manager on duty,” she wrote.
She told the man that poached egg whites were off the table as “it is not on the menu, we have no one trained to separate eggs, and we have no way to time it so we wouldn’t know when it was done.”
The man ended up lingering in the drive-thru and arguing with Gordon, until he left empty-handed.
“Ultimately, if I had an hour to test it out, I might have been able to come up with something edible,” she wrote. “That is, if I had stopped managing for an hour to work on his order. But it’s fast food, not a gourmet restaurant.”
A Reddit user who said they worked at McDonald’s described encountering a customer who ordered a McChicken sandwich “with the bun and the chicken separate.”
The woman then asked for her fries to be “half-cut.”
“As in, take a knife and cut them in half,” the Reddit user wrote. “It was lucky she only wanted a small, but still. I ended up leaving one fry uncut just to f— with her, but she didn’t come complaining.”
An empty box
Quora user and former McDonald’s employee Ryan Turner wrote that a customer once asked for a rather light order.
“While it wasn’t very busy, I got a new order for a triple cheeseburger,” Turner wrote. “Except, this triple cheeseburger had no patties, no cheese, no pickles, no onion, no ketchup, and no mustard. And no bun.”
He realised that the order was for nothing.
“So I called out to the front counter and asked what the hell this order was supposed to be,” he wrote. “They frowned as well, and just said: ‘Just send down an empty triple cheeseburger box.'”
A whole potato
“I’ve had a customer ask for a whole potato,” Quora user and McDonald’s crew trainer Ben Krewson wrote. “At first I thought she was joking because I’ve had similar orders followed by ‘just kidding.'”
The woman was serious, and Krewson said he had to let her know that the chain doesn’t sell whole potatoes. He noted that the restaurant’s fries are pre-sliced. The customer was not happy with this response, and yelled at the McDonald’s employee before declaring that she was going to Burger King.
“I’ve had a lot of strange requests, but the one that stuck out to me was this situation, mostly because I was called so many names in such little time for such a dumb reason,” Krewson wrote.
A pickle sandwich
Quora user and former McDonald’s crew trainer Ganesh Satyanarayana said that a visibly pregnant customer once ordered pickles on a toasted bun.
“I made her the sandwich according to her request and watched her wolf it down,” Satyanarayana wrote. “She finished eating, thanked me, and left. I’ve served a lot of customers before her and a lot after, but to this day I would never forget her or her weird sandwich order.”
A cup of pickles
“I got what looked like a normal order on my screen, and it said just a hamburger,” Turner wrote on Quora. “However, front counter called out and said to make a cup of pickles instead of the hamburger. Because they didn’t have a button for cups of pickles. Weird, eh? Doesn’t everyone want a cup of pickles?”
A longtime McDonald’s customer and a McDonald’s crew member based in Minnesota also reached out to tell Business Insider that they didn’t find a cup of pickles to be a particularly unusual order. The crew member noted that pickles are sold for 30 cents, before tax.
Three overly-toasted hamburgers
Some people like their buns toasted. Others like them scorched.
Quora user and former McDonald’s employee Jonah Bornilla wrote that buns are traditionally run through a conveyor-belt like toaster.
“You pop ’em in from one side and they come out toasted on the other,” he wrote.
On one occasion, he encountered a customer who wanted the buns for her three hamburgers run through the belt seven times.
“I asked her if I heard that correctly, and she was adamant that she wanted them ran through the toaster seven times,” Bornilla wrote. “Those buns came out darker than the eyes of Lucifer.”
A double quarter pounder with no meat
Quora user and former McDonald’s employee Sara Pretzel said she was surprised when a customer ordered a double quarter pounder with no meat.
“I was so confused because that’s basically a sesame seed bun with condiments and two pieces of cheese,” Pretzel wrote. “I could have rung her up for a number of other things that would have given her the same thing but for far less money.”
But she said the woman was adamant and insisted upon the order.
A McChicken sandwich smothered in strawberry jam
“I have a customer who comes in and orders a McChicken with two strawberry jam packets on it,” a Reddit user who said they worked at McDonald’s wrote. “Some of my crew have tried it on their breaks, and some really like it.”
Quora user and former McDonald’s grill cook Ben Bozeman said he once got an order for six raw quarter pound patties. The customer wanted to give the patties to his dog, but Bozeman said, “We couldn’t give him the meat due to liability issues.”
Quora user and former McDonald’s crew trainer Norma Parson said she once met a customer who insisted that the chain sell her an order onion rings.
“She kept repeating she wanted onion rings and finally gave up trying to convince me over the headset and drove around to the window,” Parson wrote. “When I repeated that we didn’t have onion rings, she got huffy, insisted that she’d never been to a McDonald’s before that didn’t sell onion rings, we should be ashamed of ourselves for not selling onion rings, and drove off to the Sonic across the street.”
Parson added that no McDonald’s in her region had ever sold onion rings. Onion rings have been an option at McDonald’s in the UK, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
A customised nugget sandwich
One customer came in and ordered a 10 piece nugget sandwich loaded with cheese, Big Mac sauce, pickles, and mayo, according to a Reddit user who said they were a former McDonald’s employee.
Bags and bags of uncooked chicken nuggets
A Reddit user who said they used to work at McDonald’s described one woman who ordered three bags of uncooked chicken nuggets. Before the employee could say no, their manager stepped in and approved the order.
“I chatted with her and my manager about it,” the employee wrote. “Apparently she had an extremely picky son, and chicken nuggets were basically the only thing he’d willingly eat. This was apparently a regular thing.”
The employee added that they were surprised their manager approved the transaction, given the “potential liability.”
A McDonald’s hat
Not all of the unusual orders that employees at McDonald’s receive involve food.
Arthur Adams, who says he worked at a McDonald’s in the 1980s,wrote on Quora that a customer once asked to buy his McDonald’s hat. It was 1984, and the fast food chain was in the middle of promoting the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
“I was working in the lobby, and a lady came up and asked if the hat I was wearing was for sale – she was a collector of either McDonald’s or Olympic memorabilia,” he wrote. “I told her that I didn’t think they were sold to the general public, but we were supposed to switch to the standard disposable paper hats the next day, and I’d sell her mine, since we had to buy them ourselves once I could. She said she’d stop by the next day, but never did.”
Are you a current or former McDonald’s employee with a story to share? Email [email protected] Anonymity guaranteed.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.