McDonald's addresses system outage, blames third-party provider

Fast food giant McDonald’s says a third-party provider is to blame for the worldwide system outage that knocked thousands of restaurants and franchisees offline, from Hong Kong to the USA.

In an updated statement Friday evening – hours after McDonald's employees and customers around the world took to social media to post about the disruption – the company reiterated the outage was not caused by a “cybersecurity event.”

Instead, McDonald’s said that the system blackout was “caused by a third-party provider during a configuration change.”

Still, many were perplexed at how so many McDonald's restaurants and POS systems across the globe could be affected by one outage.

According to McDonald’s, the global technology system outage began “at approximately midnight CDT on Friday.”

Besides golden arches scattered across the fifty states and Hong Kong, reports from other impacted franchises flooded in from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, and more.

“It's now been five hours since Mcdonald's started experiencing a global 'outage,' forcing them to close many stores in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, parts of Europe, and the UK. Surely the world doesn't rely on a single system for taking orders... right?” @HarleyJ posted on X.

"The Mcdonald's outage is crazy. Went in tonight and drive thru + all kiosks were down. A system that can fail nationwide is bad but across multiple countries too!? Bonkers," declared McDonald's frequenter and X user @gerwinvanroyen.

It appeared there were no reported McDonald's outages in Russia, according to users on social media.

McDonald’s said the issue was quickly identified and corrected and that many markets are already back up and running.

“The rest are in the process of coming back online. We are closely working with those markets that are still experiencing issues,” it said.

The updated statement was signed by McDonald’s second in command, EVP and Global Chief Information Office Brian Rice, and sent to all McDonald’s global employees, franchisees, and DL partners.

McDonald's outage update
Image by Cybernews

Rice apologized on behalf of the corporation for any inconvenience to restaurant teams and customers, thanking them for their patience.

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

In 2022, the fast food chain operated and franchised approximately 40.3 thousand restaurants worldwide, according to Statista.

Although France, China, and Brazil have the most McDonald’s restaurants in their regions, the US tops them all with a total of 13,528 restaurants, the most of any nation in the world.

McDonald's did not identify the name of the third party IT provider responsible for the massive outage.

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