What's The Best Time To Go To McDonald's To Avoid A Crowd?

McDonald's, home of the famous Big Mac (which was originally made for steel workers) is one of the most popular restaurants in the world and is ranked second only to Subway for the chain restaurant with the most locations. So, it comes as no surprise that McDonald's can get very busy. Although the fast food giant is pretty good at making orders quickly and decreasing customer wait times as much as possible, all it takes is one late batch of French fries or burger patties to hold up the whole line. If you dislike long lines at McDonald's, then the best way to lower your risk of getting stuck waiting for food or being asked to pull forward is to hit the restaurant during its least busy hours. So, which times of day should you go to McDonald's to avoid the crowds?

According to a Quora post by a past employee, the busiest hours at McDonald's are during peak meal times from 6:30 am to 9:30 am for breakfast, noon to 2 pm for lunch, and 5 pm to 7 pm for dinner. So, if you want to avoid the lines and the crowds, it is best to visit McDonald's in between these peak hours.

The best times for the smallest crowds at McDonald's

For the shortest lines, the best times to go to McDonald's include: before 6:30 am, between 9:30 am and noon, from 2 pm to 5 pm, and in the evening after 7 pm. Of course, this also depends on your McDonald's location and what type of events are taking place nearby. For example, 9:30 am to noon may be pretty empty most days of the week but extremely busy on Sundays after church. Certain McDonald's near schools may also get busy once school gets out at around 3 pm or when sporting events like football games or baseball games end in the evening after 7 pm. However, generally, other factors excluded, avoiding the main meal times will help you beat the crowds.

However, when considering hitting a McDonald's during an off-time it is important to know that although the restaurant will be less busy, it is also less likely that your food will be fresh. According to another Quora post, the busiest hours of the day are when customers are most likely to get the freshest food. But, if you are okay with your food not being made to order, you'll likely get it faster.

How to get through the McDonald's line as fast as possible

As a fast food chain, McDonald's goal is to get customers through the ordering process as quickly as possible. To do this, when the restaurant isn't busy, workers often make popular foods like fries, nuggets, and burger patties in advance to get ahead of future orders. So, if your goal is to get in and out of a McDonald's in as little time as possible, you should order popular foods that are more likely to be already ready. You should also avoid items that are advertised as being made to order as they will take more time. Some examples include Egg McMuffins, which are made with real butter and a freshly fried egg, or the Quarter Pounder burgers, which are always grilled to order.

In fact, for the speediest McDonald's ordering process, you should keep your order as simple as possible with no special requests. According to Yahoo News, if you make a special request when ordering (like asking for a burger with no mustard), the employees will likely have to make a new customized sandwich to match your order. Therefore, if you are short on time, sticking to the standard order with no customizations will be the fastest way to get your food.