A former McDonald’s chef said of the customer data the fast food giant receives through its app: “McDonald’s knows so much more about you than you think.”
The information comes from popular creator chef Mike Haracz (@chefmikeharac), a former McDonald’s executive chef who has used TikTok to answer people’s questions about McDonald’s.
A video titled “Big Brother McDonald’s” posted on Saturday received more than 35,000 views in its first two days on the platform. In it, Haracz addressed a question about the app and made it more generally applicable to the data McDonald’s collects from its customers.
Haracz answered a question that began, “How does McDonald’s know how much money I have when I eat there?” He noted, “I don’t understand that logic.”
“Why do you think McDonald’s wants you to use the app for everything?” he began, before noting that McDonald’s collects data on customers based on the credit cards they use to pay and tries to determine purchasing patterns. He claimed that McDonald’s likely designs its marketing based on data it collects from customers.
“You technically know how much money you have,” he said. “You know what you’re buying; They know what you like.”
He also said that in response to a comment on Haracz, 95% isn’t quite 100%.
@chefmikeharacz Reply to @datgoodsauce Former #McDonalds chef talks about how he knows you. #mcdonaldssecrets #mcdonaldssecret #McDonaldsMenu #McDonaldsLife #McDonaldsTikTok #FastFood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodTikTok #BigMac #QuarterPounder #McChicken #McNuggets #McDouble #McMuffin ♬ Original sound – Chef Mike Haracz
Despite concerns from some about what data McDonald’s might collect about them, others seemed content to continue using the app.
“I can’t ignore this 30 percent discount on the app,” one remarked.
“When companies want to exploit my brain to sell me things I really want,” someone else ventured, “then I say leave them!” Less decisions for me to make.”
Another customer explained: “No wonder the app’s offerings are so good.” Data is king!!”
Some commenters wondered why data collection didn’t improve their experiences.
Another said: “You have my details. Give me the chance to customize it with jalapeños.”
Someone else said: “They must think they know I like eggshells in my McMuffin lol.”
But others engaged more directly with the premise.
One said: “It’s not like they know how much money you have, but they definitely know how much money you spend and are willing to spend.”
Someone else commented: “They definitely think I’m poor,” before clarifying: “I’m just cheap. Two McDoubles or McChickens.”
Many customers agreed to these terms and conditions because the app’s offers are simply too good to pass up. If you do not agree to this, you can no longer use the app. “I sacrificed my life for a few nuggets,” one customer joked at the time.
The Daily Dot reached out to both Haracz and McDonald’s via email.
*First published: November 20, 2023, 12:00 p.m. CST
Phil West is an experienced professional writer and editor and the author of two books on soccer, “The United States of Soccer” and “I Believe That We Will Win,” both from The Overlook Press. His work has most recently appeared in The Striker (where he served as Editor-in-Chief), MLSSoccer.com, Next City and Texas Highways. He lives in Austin and is also an instructor in the writing program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
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