The Worst Time of Day to Visit McDonald's, According to an Expert

If you want fast service from McDonald’s, avoid going during the turn over from breakfast to lunch.
Big Mac and fries from McDonald's.
Big Mac and fries from McDonald's. / JOERG KOCH/GettyImages

McDonald’s is famous for its consistency, but there are a few tricks you can use to get service that goes beyond the baseline. Seasoned customers may already know that ordering free fry refills and asking for a receipt are game-changing hacks the fast food chain doesn’t advertise. A former McDonald’s corporate chef recently revealed another tip for guests looking to get the most out of their experience. If you want quick, high-quality service from McDonald’s, avoid ordering at 10:30 a.m.

According to a TikTok video from Mike Haracz, which was spotted by Food & Wine, 10:30 a.m. is the time most locations switch over from breakfast to their regular lunch menu. After launching all-day breakfast in 2015, the chain has quietly phased it out and reverted to serving its hash brown and Egg McMuffins exclusively during the morning hours. This means workers are now responsible for adjusting grill temperatures, removing breakfast items from warming cabinets, and adding in lunch items, all while being expected to fulfill breakfast and lunch orders at a fast food pace. Anecdotal reports point to employees also being more overworked than ever, which means you’ll likely be waiting in the drive-thru line for a while if you go in the mid-morning.

“All of these moving parts are happening, while it's also getting busier in the restaurant,” Haracz explained, “ ... and it causes a lot of issues within the restaurants.”

There is one benefit to placing your order during the store’s most hectic time. It marks the very beginning of McDonald’s lunch services, meaning the French fries, Big Macs, and McNuggets served at this time are the freshest they’ll be all day. So if you value quality over speedy service, 10:30 a.m. may actually be the best time to order lunch at McDonald’s—just remember to be patient with the employees behind the counter as you wait for your meal.