McDonald's stores hit by global IT failure

McDonald’s was hit by a system failure Friday that closed restaurants and disrupted online and app orders around the world, including in the United States, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.

At about 1 a.m. ETMcDonald’s (MCD) “experienced a global technology system outage, which was quickly identified and corrected,” global chief information officer Brian Rice said in a statement posted on the company’s website.

“Many markets are back online, and the rest are in the process of coming back online,” he said. “This issue was not directly caused by a cybersecurity event; rather, it was caused by a third-party provider during a configuration change.”

Earlier,a cashier at a McDonald’s store in New York told CNN that the store’s IT system went down around 1 a.m. and came back around 5 a.m.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Japan said in a post on X Friday: “Many stores across the country have temporarily suspended operations.”

In the UK, Maria Avram, who works at a McDonald’s restaurantin London, told CNN that there was a system outage between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time (2 a.m. and 3 a.m. ET), and staff had to take orders in person and tell colleagues in the kitchen what to cook.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s Australia told CNN that its restaurants nationwide were affected by the outage.

Problems were also reported in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

McDonald’s Hong Kong said on Facebook: “Due to a computer system failure, the mobile ordering and self-ordering kiosks are not functioning. Please order directly at the restaurant counter.” Those services have now been restored, it said later.

The fast food chain’s McDelivery service in Taiwan said on its website: “The system is under maintenance, and online and telephone ordering services are temporarily suspended.”

Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS cited McDonald’s Taiwan as saying Friday that some of its eateries, as well as McDelivery, were temporarily unable to conduct transactions due to internet disruptions. McDonald’s assured customers that it is investigating the situation and making necessary repairs, TVBS said.

McDonald’s has more than 41,800 stores around the world, with nearly 13,500 in the United States, its biggest market.

Of the other countries known to be affected, Japan has the largest number of McDonald’s restaurants — nearly 3,000 — followed by the UK, with close to 1,500 stores, and Australia, with just over 1,000.

The outage adds to a shaky start to the year for McDonald’s. During its latest earnings presentation last month, the company said the war in the Middle East was hurting its business and would likely continue to do so. Like other American brands, it has been hit by boycotts in several markets in the region.

Chief executive Christopher Kempczinski said McDonald’s was also seeing some negative impact on sales in other Muslim countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

This story has been updated with additional information.