How To Skip The Line At McDonald's And Get Convenient Curbside Service

If you are still placing orders at McDonald's through a human cashier at the drive-thru, you might be overlooking the convenience of the digital age. In today's world, there are numerous ways to place your order at the Golden Arches. And no, we're not talking about the obvious options like DoorDash or Uber Eats, although those are indeed appealing alternatives. If you find yourself on the move and don't require home delivery, McDonald's offers several convenient methods. While the drive-thru remains a tried-and-true option, if you often encounter lengthy lines snaking through the parking lot of your favorite McDonald's, the optimal way to order is by utilizing the curbside pickup service.

You might have noticed the designated numbered spots in McDonald's parking lots and wondered about their purpose. These spots are exclusively reserved for users of the McDonald's app who wish to place their order in advance but prefer not to use the drive-thru. The process for curbside pickup is fairly straightforward, but you'll need to download the McDonald's app and enroll in the rewards program to access this feature.

How to get curbside service on the app

Once you have the McDonald's app on your smartphone and you've signed up as a rewards member, you'll have to navigate the interface which can be a little confusing. Upon opening the app, you might encounter a promotional splash page, perhaps featuring a daily deal (such as "Free Fry Fridays!"). Close this page to access the main landing page, which includes promotions, menu links, deals, and more. Explore ongoing deals and add them to your mobile order. Alternatively, tap the order button at the bottom to order from the full menu. The app will automatically connect to the nearest McDonald's location. To streamline the ordering process and ensure you're ordering from the correct restaurant, set your preferred McDonald's location.

After selecting your deals and items, and completing payment, you'll be directed to collect your order at the restaurant. Upon arrival, select one of the numbered spaces and input the number into the app. In a matter of minutes, a McDonald's staff member will deliver your order to your designated space. If you decide you want to switch to the drive-thru or head inside upon reaching the restaurant, you can modify your preference within the app.

A few curbside pickup caveats

While curbside pickup is an excellent option for avoiding lengthy drive-thru lines, it doesn't necessarily mean that your food will be ready right as you get to the restaurant. Keep in mind that McDonald's won't begin preparing your order until you are in close proximity to the restaurant. The app's geofencing technology detects your location, ensuring that your order isn't started prematurely. This feature also prevents your food from getting cold. Be certain that you're placing your order at the correct McDonald's location – even small towns can have several spots within close proximity – as changing the pickup spot after placing your order isn't possible. Additionally, refunds aren't provided for unclaimed food.

Another thing to be aware of is you cannot use more than one deal when ordering on the app. You must use one of the deals or rewards and then you are blocked for an hour from using another one, so driving around the block won't cut it.