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The reality of eating at ‘Britain’s Worst McDonald’s’

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McDonald’s has branches all over the UK, but some have a particularly bad reputation.

McDonald’s Kingswinford location near Dudley in Black Country has only 2 stars on TripAdvisor and as of January 2022, 62 of 102 customer reviews were Bad, 11 Bad, and 13 Fair.

A reporter from BirminghamLive decided to see for himself how bad this fast-food spot is.

READ MORE: I tried McDonald’s new McPlant burger and it was delicious despite the mess.

They judged McDonald’s restaurants in setting, service, and food and drink. Here’s what I said about each element.

environment

When I first arrived at McDonald’s on Dudley Road, I was amazed at how crowded the parking lot was. It’s not the biggest parking lot anyway, but quite a few delivery drivers were also parked and eventually I got the last seat in the parking lot.

We walked into the restaurant itself and found it to be quite crowded on a Tuesday in January at 11:30am. Many tables were already filled with single diners and a few families.

But on first impression, it looked clean and tidy. There was no food left on the table. Again, I visited fairly early during the day. So this can vary from late afternoon to evening.

When I arrived there was no one serving behind the counter, only handing out orders, so I had to use the self service screen. But overall I found the restaurant to be clean, tidy and well organized. I sat down to enjoy the meal and couldn’t see a messy table or food laid out.

The only time I saw leftovers on the table was when my family left. And this still hadn’t taken place during the 10-15 minutes I stayed before I left. And while I drove back, I could still see it out the window.

The outside was neat. No overflowing trash cans or litter. At first impression, it didn’t look bad. I’ve definitely seen worse McDonald’s in the past.

service

As mentioned before, there was no one serving behind the counter when we arrived at the restaurant. Had to use the self-service screen, no major issues. Less interaction with others may be a sign of a new corona era.

Anyway, the screen was quick and easy to use and the food was waiting to arrive in minutes.

I wasn’t expecting too much when I read reviews on TripAdvisor about missing items from orders and cold food. But within a few minutes my order number was called and I was given a large tray of food.

The staff serving me were friendly and prompt. I couldn’t order the sauce through the screen so I asked again when collecting the food and got what I asked for. It was also free. Is charging for sources a thing of the past? I do not know!

The staff I saw from behind the kitchen counter were all wearing masks. I have not seen any disadvantages in terms of service. I also saw staff delivering food to people sitting at tables.

food and drink

This time I went to McDonald’s by myself, but ordered enough food to test that I received all the items I ordered. And here’s a huge disclaimer, I didn’t eat it all. I couldn’t eat all the food.

So I ordered a large 1/4 pound meal with fries and an oasis. Happy Meal with Chicken Nuggets and a Bottle of Orange Juice (I chose ketchup as this comes with a selection of sauces); one apple pie; And deluxe hot chocolate.

Overall, it cost me 9.96. So it’s not bad at all. As mentioned earlier, when assembling the food, we asked for two extras: a sweet curry and a sweet-and-sour sauce.

After collecting my spells, everything seemed to be there. And it was – nothing was missing from my spell. A great start so far.

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I tried the big chips that came with the main meal first. These were hot. And the box is full. There was no half here. In fact, they were falling from the box onto the tray.

But compare them to Happy Meal chips. These are lukewarm and much cooler down the packet. So it’s rather disappointing. I ate a few, but couldn’t eat any more.

Next, I took a few bites of a quarter pounder. It came together well and nothing really broke. So the first impression was good. But it wasn’t that hot.

I wouldn’t say the burgers were cold, but they weren’t as nice and warm as I was expecting them to be. It was disappointing. But it didn’t taste bad.

But the chicken nuggets were warm. They were as delicious as I remember.

The apple pie was hot when I looked around, despite sitting on the tray for about 20-25 minutes while eating other food and drinks.

As I recall, I don’t think I’ve ever had an Apple Pie from McDonald’s (despite winning several times at Monopoly) and it was delicious. I will definitely try again.

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On this visit, I deliberately ordered deluxe hot chocolate. As the screen said on the screen that they’ll be leaving the menu soon, I think it’s a festive drink. It is served with whipped cream and chocolate powder on top.

However, on two previous visits (not this particular spot) I ordered this exact drink and it was A) without cream, B) without chocolate powder, C) almost half full. So I wonder if this will be similar.

This time I was very surprised that all three boxes were checked. And it was hot. And it kept me warm while I was in the restaurant and it was the perfect drinking temperature, a 20-minute drive home.

It wasn’t the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tried. I always found and missed McDonald’s Hot Chocolate. Sometimes it was like drinking hot water, other times it was delicious.

This is fine. It tasted like chocolate, but it couldn’t compete at places like Costa. And it didn’t look as extravagant as the image on the screen, but when do you think?

Overall

After reading the overwhelmingly horrific reviews on Tripadvisor, I headed to the Kingswinford branch in fear of what might happen. Can I take a full order? Will the restaurant be messy? Will my food be cold? Will the staff be rude?

The most recent review in December is also very negative. But to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. Not as bad as the reviews. Whether it’s based on the time of my visit or not, I was there around 11:30am on a Tuesday, January, as I mentioned.

If you visit in the evening or on the weekend after a busy lunch rush, this could be a completely different review. But I found it to be clean and relatively tidy and the staff I met were friendly and followed Covid measures.

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It was a pleasant facility. I’ve definitely seen much worse and walked straight ahead before. All the food I ordered arrived on my tray and on time.

Some items were cold or lukewarm which was very disappointing. But the other items were piping hot and full to the edge. Big chips and deluxe hot chocolate.

Shall we visit again? Maybe if I was passing by on my way to somewhere. Perhaps the moral of this story is that you don’t always listen to Tripadvisor reviews…

I contacted the McDonald’s press office in response to the negative reviews posted on TripAdvisor and if there are any improvements for that particular restaurant.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Birmingham Live reporter: “Customer satisfaction is our top priority and we are always disappointed when we hear about experiences that don’t live up to our customers’ expectations.

“However, referenced reviews make up a very small percentage of the thousands of customers served every day. If a customer is dissatisfied, we encourage them to talk to the restaurant staff or contact the customer service team.

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Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/reality-eating-worst-mcdonalds-uk-22752945

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