The Best Time To Go To McDonald's Is Actually Pretty Convenient

Hitting up your favorite drive-thru is a quick and convenient way to quell the pangs of hunger. However, the ease of getting a meal is entirely moot if your grub ends up tasting like it's been sitting around for a few hours.

The realization that you've bitten into an old burger, or a stale batch of nuggets or fries is something we've all probably experienced at least once. And though it may seem like it's just "one of those things" that you just have to deal with in life from time to time, we now have some insight on how to avoid getting this proverbial short end of the fast food stick from at least one popular chain.

In a TikTok video shared by Dre Pao in 2020, the food content creator revealed the best strategy for getting a fresh burger from McDonald's. Per the TikToker, the first step is to head to the Golden Arches either between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. or 5 and 7 p.m., which is pretty convenient considering those are typical lunch and dinner hours.

"This is when McDonald's employees are told that they may get random spot checks checking for freshness," Pao explained in the clip. Additionally, the TikToker also advised customers to ask for a receipt after ordering, as this is also a signal to employees that the customer they are serving could potentially be a mystery shopper.

Is there any truth to this McDonald's 'hack'?

It may seem like Pao is setting us up for failure with his "hack" for getting fresh burgers from McDonald's. After all, the hours mentioned in his TikTok video are peak times for lunch and dinner service, respectively, so you may end up having to wait longer than usual for your food. However, McDonald's actually lent some credibility to the TikToker's strategy, as the company has not only confirmed that it employs mystery shoppers, but also sends them into restaurants during some of its busiest hours.

"We believe that every customer should receive the same standards of service, food quality, and cleanliness, no matter who or where they are," reads a page regarding mystery shoppers on the McDonald's website. "To make sure of this, we send in mystery shoppers at peak periods to see how well each restaurant handles the demand of a busy service."

Customer Impact Info also confirms the second half of Pao's advice about asking for a receipt with your order, noting that most mystery shoppers do so for a number of reasons including as a record of what they are to be reimbursed for.

Of course, you won't always be able to get to the McDonald's drive-thru during the aforementioned times. However, according to one McDonald's employee on Reddit, all you have to do is ask (nicely!) for fresh food, and the workers are taught during training that they must adhere to the request.