September 18 marked National Cheeseburger Day, a day to celebrate all things beef and cheese by grilling a burger and being thankful for the invention of the delicious sandwich. Or, if you're a major fast-food chain like McDonald's, it's a day to celebrate one of your biggest sellers by offering a low-cost promotion. McDonald's promised fans 50-cent double cheeseburgers for one day only, as long as customers ordered on its mobile app. App users were allowed only one double cheeseburger per deal, but that didn't stop hungry fans from trying to hack the system. Some customers made multiple accounts on the app to receive multiple 50-cent double cheeseburgers. One woman ordered 12 with different accounts and devices, according to a self-identified McDonald's employee on Reddit.
The deal was surprisingly cheap, even for McDonald's. But for the customers who were unable to get their hands on a 50-cent cheeseburger, it was too good to be true. Around noon on National Cheeseburger Day, the app saw a massive crash, keeping customers from accessing the deals. Website outage tracker DownDetector had hundreds of customers reporting that the apps wasn't loading. Reports of unintentional logging out, inability to check out, and empty "deals" sections all kept customers from redeeming the offer via the McDonald's rewards program.
Customers expressed their frustrations on DownDetector, with some suspicious that McDonald's might have caused the app's outages on purpose. While the company hasn't commented on the rumors, the promotion clearly didn't go as well as McDonald's had planned.
Employees Knew It Was A Bad Idea
As unhappy as customers were about the outcome of National Cheeseburger Day, McDonald's employees likely had a worse day. One self-identified McDonald's employee shared their nightmarish experience on National Cheeseburger Day in a Reddit thread, writing, "Firstly, I'm a shift manager, so I know how much a double cheeseburger is worth, so I know that they were not making money for selling it at 50 cents. It was purely for advertising the app ... I had at least 20 orders piled up on my screens of double cheeseburgers for an hour. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this was just a blunder." Commenters agreed that this was one of the worst promotions they'd ever experienced while working at the restaurant, calling the celebration "Black Friday for McDonald's."
Other employees shared that they experienced hostility from in-person customers because of the immense amount of mobile orders, which caused workers to split their attention to complete every order. Other customers were disappointed that the 50-cent deal was only available through the app — and they made their frustrations known to McDonald's employees who were already working under stressful conditions.
Overall, this event was definitely not ideal for those working at McDonald's. Considering the employee headache, along with the app malfunctions, it wouldn't be a surprise if McDonald's chose to sit out next year's National Cheeseburger Day.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.