Why the McDonald’s App is Actually Awesome

The other night, my wife excitedly turned to me and declared that the Shamrock Shake had returned to McDonald’s. Truth be told, I’d never actually had one of these famous March treats but it sounded fairly enticing. As we arranged plans to make our shake dreams reality, I decided to consult the McDonald’s app I have downloaded on my phone. While placing my order for dessert — and some fries for good measure — I realized something: I really like the McDonald’s app! In fact, I suspect it may just be able to save you some money too.

First of all, mobile ordering is one of my favorite developments over the past few years. Not only does it often allow me to avoid long lines but, on occasion, introduces me to customization options I didn’t even realize were possible. More importantly, as a picky and plain eater, I appreciate that my specifications are written out for the kitchen to read rather they relying on someone else to relay them. This feature gets a thumbs up from me.

That said, I do want to mention that that app doesn’t have my favorite mobile ordering system. That’s because, instead of being able to place your order and get an estimated pick-up time, you’ll need to arrive at the restaurant first and then hit the button in the app alerting them to your arrival. At that point, they’ll start preparing your food. Obviously this isn’t the end of the world but it’s worth noting.

So what’s the best part of the McDonald’s app, you ask? The coupons. On every occasion that I’ve used the platform to place my order, I’ve been able to save at least a couple of dollars. $1 Large Fries, $2 off an order of $10 or more, and even free Happy Meals have been offered me in the past. And, since you can use these coupons while checking out on your phone (with the exception of that lattermost offer), you get to avoid that whole “I have a coupon for…” conversation at the counter/drive-thru.

Even if you don’t visit McDonald’s all that often (admittedly, I don’t), if you dine there at all, it’s probably worth having the app installed. In particular, I’ve enjoyed using it while on road trips since the Golden Arches are plentiful along highways and because burgers are easy to consume while driving. In these instances, we’ve been able to make a cheap road meal even cheaper. So whether you too are known to feel sudden Shamrock Shake cravings, are already planning a good old-fashioned road trip post-vaccination, or just want to treat/quell the kids, I’d recommend giving the McDonald’s app a try and seeing if it could save you a few bucks.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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