Though it provides instant gratification, your favourite drive-thru or delivered meal comes with great risk, too. And nothing’s worse than completely forgetting to do your usual checks, curling up on your couch for some casual food comfort and realising that your order has been ruined (along with your whole night). These are the five fast food fails we sometimes just can’t bear.
This is a common phenomenon with speedy service, but it’s definitely annoying nonetheless, especially when it’s your favourite thing that got left behind.
“I hate when they forget to actually include your full order in the fast food package,” says Eat Out group account director Jeanine Boshoff. “I mean, that forgotten butternut falafel was the sole reason for my late-night fast food expedition!”
Eat Out editor in chief Adelle Horler agrees: “You risk your waistline and calorie count for the day, valiantly ordering a takeaway Spur (veggie) burger because you need Spur onion rings, and when you get home… noooo onion rings.” Sometimes there is a silver lining, though: “It was devastating, to say the least, but props to Spur, as they turned it into a customer service win – they offered me my next burger on the house!”
Sometimes you aren’t eating in the comfort of your own home, where you have access to your own eating utensils and condiments, and sometimes you’re just way too comfortable to get off the couch (no judgement here). So when you open the bag and it doesn’t contain everything necessary to enjoy the meal inside, it can be incredibly annoying (especially when you’d rather eat chow mein with your hands than trek to the kitchen).
“It’s so frustrating when they don’t include enough serviettes, chopsticks (where applicable), little sachets of sauce or anything essential to eating your meal,” says Eat Out editor Tessa Purdon.
Fast food is in the business of fast satisfaction, meaning your expectations are high – whether it’s slap tjips or your favourite pizza, you’re nearly drooling by the time you place your order. Unfortunately, those high hopes mean disappointment hits much harder.
“There aren’t any images to accompany the exact dish you’re ordering, so I’m always very conservative when I order in,” says Eat Out copy editor Lindsay September. “This isn’t the time for trying that new spot on the corner you’ve been eyeing or wondering whether that thing you’ve never ordered before may actually just be delicious. This is where old favourites shine – tried and tested orders that you’ve either enjoyed in the restaurant itself or successfully ordered in before. So nothing makes me angrier than when I order one of those and I still end up disappointed because they’ve suddenly decided to halve a certain ingredient or skimp on the portion size.”
We’ve all been through it: you drive up to a menu you’ve seen a million times before but suddenly you have absolutely no idea what to order. An old favourite? Something new? Has that always been on the menu? Is there a phone-a-friend option?
“The pressure is too much,” says Eat Out videographer Romy Wilson. “They don’t put the menus up at the start of the drive thru so you don’t know what to order, and then a queue starts forming behind you and now you’re stuck; alone, afraid and hungry. You begin questioning how you got there and all your life choices.”
The age-old question: why does the McDonald’s ice cream machine never seem to be working? (Especially on the hottest days of the year.)
“It’s a special kind of torture to go through the entire McD’s drive-thru for a late-night McFlurry, only to be told the ice-cream machine is broken,” says Eat Out social media and digital content specialist Katy Rose. Eat Out editorial assistant Bianca Jones agrees: “There’s a whole process: you feel the McFlurry craving, drive all of seven minutes down the road, wait in the drive-thru, internally debate about which flavour to get… only to lead to ultimate disappointment.”
In the bigger scheme of things, fast food fails are only minor problems to contend with every now and then, but at least we can all laugh about our shared niggles together!
Do you have any epic fast food fails to share? Let us know in the comments below!