McDonald's Down? Restaurants Suffer Global Outages

Globally, McDonald's computer systems were affected by the disruption.

McDonald's experienced a widespread system failure on Friday, leading to the closure of restaurants and disruption of online and app orders globally, affecting locations in the United States, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.

Around 1 a.m. ET, McDonald's "experienced a global technology system outage," as stated by global chief information officer Brian Rice in a statement posted on the company's website. The issue was "quickly identified and corrected."

"Many markets are back online, and the rest are in the process of coming back online," he said. "This issue was not directly caused by a cybersecurity event; rather, it was caused by a third-party provider during a configuration change." McDonald's did not specify at the time how or when the outage would be fixed, nor did it identify the extent of the problem.

Also, the outage was not related to Google Cloud, the company said. McDonald's announced in December a multi-year partnership with Google that would move restaurant computations into the cloud. By partnering with Google, managers can optimize staffing and speed up tasks like ordering at kiosks.

In a post on X on Friday afternoon local time, McDonald's Japan reported that they were experiencing a "system failure," adding in another message, "Many stores nationwide are temporarily closed."

It has been reported that self-ordering kiosks and order terminals used by employees in McDonald's restaurants in Singapore and Australia have either been black or displaying messages that indicate that they are out of service. Customers have also complained about being unable to order through McDonald's mobile app, as well.

According to Australian media, some McDonald's stores have shut down completely, while others will only take cash orders. Furthermore, McDonald's employees have also been seen accepting cash from customers and processing orders on paper in Singapore and Japan.

"We are aware of a technology outage currently impacting our restaurants nationwide and are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible," a McDonald's Australia spokesperson said in a statement to media outlets. "We apologize for the inconvenience and thank customers for their patience."

Stores in New Zealand are also experiencing problems, with a spokesperson telling local media they were "experiencing an IT issue that's impacting their ability to process orders." The McDonald's Hong Kong Facebook page reported that mobile orders and self-order kiosks were not working due to a "computer system failure," so customers should order directly from staff. 

There is a notice on the McDonald's Taiwan website stating that delivery service has been suspended for "system maintenance." The outage also affected restaurants in China, according to reports. Among the top trending topics on Weibo is "McDonald's crashed", which has received over 48 million views.

Similar technical problems were reported by people in Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States via social media and Downdetector, a real-time outage reporting platform.

McDonald's opened its doors in California in 1940, and today, it's one of the most popular fast food chains in the world, with 40,000 stores worldwide, including 12,000 across Asia and 1,000 in Australia.

"Reliability and stability of our technology are a priority, and I know how frustrating it can be when there are outages," said Rice, McDonald's chief information officer. "What happened today has been an exception to the norm, and we are working with absolute urgency to resolve it."