Some McDonald’s customers hoping for a Big Mac after weeks of lockdown have been left disappointed after huge demand left orders unable to be fulfilled.
The burger chain has opened 15 branches for business after shutting down during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but social distancing rules mean food can only be delivered.
However, just minutes after the fryers went on in McDonald’s branches in Chelmsford, Essex, on Wednesday morning, customers were faced with technical hitches and a lack of food at their doors.
Many vented their frustrations on Twitter, with some even admitting to “literally crying”.
@McDonalds why is your delivery service showing as too far away when I live in Chelmsford and there are 3 restaurants open in this area?— Sarah Bishop (@spursarah) May 13, 2020
Unable to order McDonald's from uber eats in Chelmsford so I've been forced to go into the kitchen and cook lunch instead🙁— SKB (@skboonserm1) May 13, 2020
So I live right by the McDonald’s that’s opened in Chelmsford, and it says I’m too far away for delivery... HELLO?!— Landie ♿️ (@LandieHD) May 13, 2020
@McDonaldsUK @ubereats_uk what’s the point in opening 3 McDonalds branches in Chelmsford for delivery then refusing to deliver cos it’s ‘too far away’, bearing in mind this is never an issue? So so so so so so upset literally crying x— Rhiannon, not Rianna (@rhiannondoll) May 13, 2020
We live under a mile away from the 2 open mcdonalds in Chelmsford and apparently we live too far away for delivery, this is actually criminal😭— Gr🥚 (@Gregward182) May 13, 2020
A spokesperson from McDonald's tweeted: "Some of our restaurants are currently experiencing very high levels of orders and may not be able to facilitate all delivery requests and deliveries may become temporarily unavailable.
Delivery drivers were pictured in large queues waiting to pick up orders due to the massive demand from people starved of fast food for several weeks.
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Following the opening of 15 McDonald’s branches, the chain is to reopen its first 30 drive-through restaurants as early as next week.
McDonald’s said it intends to begin the next phase of its reopening plans next week by opening 30 sites in the UK and Ireland for drive-through customers only on Wednesday, 20 May.
It said it plans to reopen all of its drive-through sites by early June, in line with government guidelines.
McDonald's said it will cap the amount customers can spend to £25 per car and will ask customers to use contactless payment.
This will take place alongside safety measures the chain already announced, such as contactless thermometers for staff, Perspex screens and protective equipment.
The company called for customers to be "patient and supportive" of staff as sites reopen, warning that service "will not be as quick as you might be used to" as workers adjust to the changes.
Paul Pomroy, McDonald's chief executive officer for UK and Ireland, said: "The wellbeing of our employees, suppliers and delivery partners' couriers is my top priority and we will only extend our plans at a pace that enables us to create a safe working environment for our teams.
"As we get accustomed to the new processes and procedures, we will look to reopen more restaurants, for longer hours and reintroduce more menu items.
"But only when I am confident we can do so whilst maintaining the new procedures we have introduced for the protection of our people.”