HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


Haven't been to a McDonald's in awhile and I won't ever again.

  • e

It's been over a year since I've been to a McDonald's I was pressed for time, didn't have breakfast or lunch and it's 3pm. Never again. The Big Mac couldn't have been more than 3'' across, stone cold, wilted lettuce and no special sauce, the patties were so thin it was as if they took a teaspoon of beef and used a rolling pin several times but contained it within a 3'' circle. I've never like those big honkin' 1/2 behemoths but man this was a joke. Things have changed a lot in a year I guess. Next time I will wait the hour and go home and have a peanut butter sandwich instead. When one uses the drive thru it's kind of hard to go back and try to get something fresher. I used to say that McDonald's was better than the competition not anymore.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Dude, you never order a Big Mac. Go for the Double Quarter Pounder, which has actual burger heft to it.

    1. Better you should get a flame-broiled Whopper from Burger King.

      1. The Big Mac was developed in the 70's I believe when 1/4 lb of beef was considered a sizable sandwich. It divides the 1/4 lb into 2 1/8 lb burgers. This is no secret. This is the way it aways has been. Just because you didn't know.....
        Remember that it was bigger than it's only competition at the time, the original hamburger/cheeseburger in the paper wrappers for 15 cents, which only had the 1/8 lb patty.
        Of course the Big mac pales by comparison to todays burgers. It hails from a different era with smaller portions.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rochfood

          I think they may have read somewhere they reduced patty size in the last year (price of beef went up --> patty got smaller), but I'm not 100% certain.

          1. re: rochfood

            Standard McDonald patties are 1.6 oz (10 to a pound) uncooked weight, or at least were when I was working there many moons ago. It wouldn't suprise me if they've shaved a couple tenths off the patty since then -- even a can of tuna's gone from 6.5 oz to 5 ozs.
            I just can't bring myself to order a burger there anymore, since they got rid of the grills and put in microwaves. If I want a microwaved burger, I'll get some White Castles from the frozen foods section.
            added: went to look at the McDonald's nutritional website. A Big Mac contains 2.3 oz of beef patty, so it's a little more than 1/8th of a pound total, or 13 patties/pound. For what they charge, that's inexcusable.

            1. re: rochfood

              Actually - at least up here in Canada - when I worked at McDonald's 13 years ago, the patties were 1/10th of a pound.

            2. I hadn't been to McDonald's in ages but a sign in the window lured me in. I had a craving for two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches, and the sign in the window said they were only $3 for the two. Whoa, three dollars for fish ?!? .... Step aside please, I'm going in.

              I have to say that for three dollars, they were hot, fresh, and surprisingly good. They even had cheese in them, or what looked to be cheese. I'd get them again for a quick bite for sure. The tartar sauce was good too.

              Can anyone comment as to why McDonald's has gone to a more expensive packaging for their sandwiches ? In the past, most of their sandwiches were wrapped in simple paper. Nowadays, my sandwich was practically gift-wrapped in a colorful sturdy cardboard box. What gives? Isn't paper more environmentally friendly, and more cost effective? The box was nice and all, but I tossed it into the trash immediately after I was done -- no recycling can there, nuttin'.
              Seems a little unusual to me, especially since everybody is going green these days. Any ideas on the reasoning?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cheese Boy

                The same ad lured me in too. I'm a sucker for their FOF in the first place--2/$3?--I'm in!

                Good question about the packaging. Do you think it might have anything to do with printing the "nutrition" info--that it's easier to do so on cardboard than on paper?

                1. re: gloriousfood

                  I don't have an answer as to the packaging change but I did notice the nutrition label since you've brought attention to it. Can't say I read it very closely though, because afterall, it is fast food we're talking about here.

              2. If you didn't get the Big Mac in a drive through, i.e. you were still in the restaurant, you should have gotten it replaced. Next time, try a double cheeseburger (NOT the McDouble) Better than a Big Mac. And their fries still rule. OTOH, if a Whataburger is around, then go there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: steakman55

                  O. What's the difference between the McDouble and Double Cheeseburger?

                  1. re: Woof Woof Woof

                    The mcDouble has one slice of cheese..vs two slices in the double cheeseburger. haven't had one though.

                2. I haven't been to McD's since 1994 and I will NEVER go back.

                  Funny story: went one day with my dad. he ordered a hamburger with nothing on it...meaning no onions, catsup, etc. well when we got home and he opened the bag, all they had given him was the bun...no burger, no nothing LOL

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: rizzo0904

                    I hate to say it cause I would be ticked off if it were me, but lol!

                    1. re: libgirl2

                      i just had a filet of fish- seemed like a good friday thing- and it was really good. really hot and tasty, just right size for me. but didn't they have lettuce on them? i think i hate them every day in high school in the late 70s and i was sure there was lettuce. i even splurged and had fries and they were really good too. not as good as they used to be tho....

                      1. re: toncasmo

                        The Filet-o-Fish has never had lettuce, but the Filet Deluxe (or whatever it was called when they rolled out the Arch Deluxe and Chicken Deluxe sandwiches back in the 80's) DID have lettuce as well as a dill pickle remoulade sauce (what most would call tartar sauce). I still miss the dijonaise sauce on the Arch Deluxe.
                        later: wikipedia is my friend
                        "The Fish Filet Deluxe replaced the Filet-O-Fish sandwich and had tartar sauce, American cheese and lettuce. The fish patty was 50% larger than the original fish fillet used in the Filet-O-Fish. After the Fish Filet Deluxe was dropped, the larger fish patty was used in the current Filet-O-Fish."
                        So I guess that explains why the FoF sandwich went up in price when they got rid of the Deluxe -- it gained the larger fish patty.

                        1. re: podunkboy

                          Hear, hear. The Arch Deluxe sauce was my reason for going to McDonald's. When they got rid of that, I think I scarcely went back.

                    2. re: rizzo0904

                      Try and order a quarter pounder without cheese. Before I gave up on McDonald's, the chances of getting one without cheese was no more than 25 percent, even after repeated requests to the order taker and server. It seemed to blow their little minds that someone would actually want a hamburger without cheese.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        Anytime I go to Mcd's, I order my items with no cheese. It seems to be an issue about 15% of the time for me, but special orders is the only way to get palatable food from the joint. I usually order the mcdouble with no cheese, or a filet with no cheese, and fries with no salt. Only way to get hot fresh food from there is to special order.

                        Lol, my normal thing to do when I'm feeling snarky is to ask how much a double burger would be. They usually reply with "1.50" or some such number. Then I say, "Ok, then I'll take a mcdouble - hold the cheese" which is 99c.

                        1. re: gordeaux

                          I usually just ask for a liter of cola.

                          1. re: gordeaux

                            The fries are actually usually quite fresh, and as a former employee (when I was a teenager), when you ask for fries without salt, we had to go through great pains to make sure that you received fries with absolutely not a grain of salt on them, which tripled the work or so. If you have any sympathy for minimum wage overworked employees, I urge you not to make this request unless you have a serious health issue that requires you to actually have fries without salt.

                            1. re: vorpal

                              As long as an employee is being paid for his/her time, then it should make no difference whether they are making fries with or without salt. You are getting paid to make the food the customer orders.

                              I am allergic to mustard, so always order everything plain. When I was a child, I was taken to a McDonalds-store #62-a long time ago. When an attempt to order a plain burger was made, my father was told it would be a minimum one hour wait. Back then the predressed the buns, and would not open fresh ones until these were all served. Now. I order specials and get them right away with a smile.

                              The local McD kepps no salt fries available at leak lunch time during the work week, there are that many requests.

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                *shrugs* Whether or not you value the employee's time is your decision, but be aware by being indecisive or making extraordinarily special requests, you're slowing down the serving time and making other customers wait longer. Not very considerate if you're not doing it for a good reason, in my opinion - you, of course, are free to disagree. I just remember being a McD's employee, having a customer request salt-free fries (a bit ridiculous, given how high the sodium content of everything on the menu is), and then having to run around washing a serving tray (to hold the fries so that they wouldn't come into contact with any salt), the fry scoop, and dropping a fresh batch of fries and having to make everyone else in my line wait an extra three or four minutes, when most orders at prime times can be filled in less than one.

                                1. re: vorpal

                                  Thank you, Vorpal, for your social conscience.
                                  I always seem to get in line behind somebody who feels that they have a Right to Demand special favors with their Dollar Menu order. One of these days I'm going to go off on somebody, because you just know that they don't EVER go to the type of restaurant where you can special order to your heart's content- and pay accordingly. But they hae no trouble making demands on young, hardworking kids at a fast food restaurant.

                              2. re: vorpal

                                Same deal for when I worked at Burger King.


                              3. re: gordeaux

                                i worked at mcdonalds back in my highschool days and i know in my particular mcdonalds we would always make fresh fries if a customer asks - we would just tell them it would take 3-4 mins (i don't remember the exact time) and usually no one would mind cause they would get the fresh fries...no need to make them go through the pain of clearing the salt free areas, in my opinion.

                              4. re: James Cristinian

                                I always have that problem with the breakfast sandwiches. I HATE processed cheese "stuff" and always ask for my biscuit sandwiches with NO CHEESE. But it only seems to be 50/50 that I actually get it the way I want it...

                            2. I tried a Mac Snack Wrap today and have to say that it's every bit as awful as I thought it would be. It was like a train wreck though. I couldn't resist.


                              1. Instead of pulling through a drive thru at these places, you might as well just swallow an 8 oz. cup of lard. Much less expensive and you get about the same level of satisfaction.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: NewDude

                                  I occasionally enjoy the Southern Chicken Sandwich, which is simply a Filet--o-Fish styled bun, a breaded and fried chicken breast, and two pickle slices. Pretty tasty.

                                  Usually I'll hit the drive-thru, but the other day I went inside to order. I placed my order and was given a number which would obviously be called aloud when my order was ready, right?


                                  The employee responsible for calling out the completed order numbers did NOT call the number; rather, she'd say "Two Big Mac's and fries ready " or "Chicken Sandwich Combo and a Coke ready".

                                  Apparently she was oblivious to the fact that most everyone in the room had ordered similar items, so when she'd say "Big Mac and fries ready" about 10 people would go up to her to claim their item. Then I'd laugh as they all fought to show Ms. Bright their number.

                                  This pissed me off so I asked the manager "Why is she calling out orders by item rather than the number we've been assigned? Why did the cashier even bother telling me 'you're number 125' if it wasn't going to be put to use?"

                                  The manager just shuffled his feet and pointed to an 800 number on the wall and said, "You'll have to call the number to place a complaint."

                                  When my number -- I mean by-item order -- was called, I was delighted to see they'd somehow made a mistake and gave me not only extra fries, but a large iced coffee as well.

                                  Instant karma's gonna get you.


                                2. I've mentioned this on other threads, but the operative wisdom here is Joe Pesci's comment from one of the "Lethal Weapon" movies:

                                  "You always get f***ed at the drive-through, 'kay? You always get f***ed at the drive through".

                                  Not only have I found that it usually takes LONGER to get served at the D-T (unless there's absolutely no one in line in front of you), if you walk up, you can immediately inspect your order, and make sure you have ketchup for your fries, a straw for your drink, etc., etc. Plus, if nothing else, it gives you a chance to wash your hands before eating. How often do you use anti-bacterial cleaner on your steering wheel?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: KevinB

                                    ...I found that it usually takes LONGER to get served at the D-T...

                                    I observed the same thing years ago, and would never use the DT. Then my back went south, and I now walk with a cane. It's kind of hard to carry a bag of food and a beverage in one hand. So when I'm out solo and get a craving, it's the DT for me...but I'm not liking it.

                                    1. re: KevinB

                                      ITA, KevinB. I always go in to the restaurant. For one thing, I can use the exercise :) but it's true that the chances of screwed up orders seem to exponentially increase using the drive through.

                                      How many times have you gone to a fast food place with 20 cars in the D-T lane, and walked into a virtually empty restaurant? And then you can walk out with your correct order of food and glare pointedly at the line of idling cars.

                                      Whoda thunk that Joe Pesci was a guide for us all?

                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        I made it my New Year Resolution in 2005 to not use Drive Through windows. It was difficult (especially in rainy season) but has been particularly fulfilling in so many ways since. Now I make my resolutions simple but fairly easy to keep. New habits...

                                        Back to the subject. The food here is not terrible or they would be out of business. Other places charge the same prices, so competition would win.

                                        People do make mistakes. Check before you drive out or learn that you have to. You should know this by now. Only once, years ago, did I pick up the bag and said "are there three burgers in there, it feels light?", and the clerk opened it and there were only two. Really, life experience should be engrained in most of you by now. since you all have drivers licenses.

                                    2. The problem seems to me the time in which you ordered the Big Mac. From 1 to about 4:30, the meat has been sitting in the heating thing for longer due to drop in customers. You have to have meat ready to make into a burger at a moment's notice, but during those times, it's pot luck.

                                      Try any fast food at that time of day. 4 out of 5 times it's going to be horrendous, especially in the summer and holidays when the kids are out and working there. The chicken you order will be harder than usual, the meat will be sitting too long, and the fries sitting out too long.

                                      1. Get a load of this! I just went yesterday to order a filet-o-fish and double cheeseburger, no pickles for me, as well as a double cheeseburger, no pickles for the lady. I like to add a small fry, to put some on the fish sandwich. And also ordered a large diet coke to split.

                                        They ended up giving me:
                                        A double hamburger, no cheese no pickles. An old, soggy and lukewarm double cheeseburger no pickles. A fish sandwich that was barely assembled. A large diet coke that had the exact same amount of liquid as a medium, just with more ice. The small fry I ordered. And three additional medium fries.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: kkachurak

                                          The kids wanted McDs on the way home from the parade today, We stopped at 3PM
                                          Ordered 4 sandwiches, 3 fries and a vanilla cone (this was at the D-T) because we had the dog with us.

                                          We pulled up into a space and opended the bag. There were 2 sandwiches, 1 fry and a
                                          snack wrap. I walked inside to get the order fixed. The snotty little b*stard at the counter told me, if you drive away from the window, we don't believe you if you claim we shorted you anything, you probably ate it already.

                                          Told him he better start looking for a new job and to get the manager. I told the manager what I thought of this little a-hole.............If I was only short why would I be bringing in a snackwrap I didn't order or pay for,

                                          McDs where you can't have it your way..............

                                          I won't return, even if my kids beg for it

                                        2. Yesterday at a McD's.

                                          DT: Large Coke Zero please

                                          Cashier: Would like a drink with that?? Oooops, it is a drink..........Is that to stay or to go??

                                          DT: Surprise me.


                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Hmm.. if you asked for it "to stay", was he going to pour it into your hands?

                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              In their defense :), you do have to choose between an "eat in" and "take out" button on the cash before the subtotal will display (or at least you did, back in my day). Not sure if this information is actually used in any meaningful capacity, but there you have it.

                                              1. re: vorpal

                                                I guess that makes sense because asking if I wanted my drink to stay or to go made no sense.

                                                I really just figured those were automated responses from her.


                                              2. re: Davwud

                                                In some locales there is a different tax rate for food you eat at the establishment vs. takeout.

                                              3. Oooh I'm scared.
                                                Because I eat there everyday for a month like Spurlock did for a month.
                                                That's an apt comparison.
                                                Try again. And try his little trick at any little cheapo place you revere.
                                                Some people are really quite gullible and manipulated.
                                                I assume you never liked McD's from the start.