Adding to my ever-growing list of things I talk about on here, here’s a post reviewing fast food mobile apps and the drive-thru pickup experience of using them. Be glad this is the first time food has come up; I’ve even considered multiple times over the years posting reviews of certain limited items and things at these places but I’ve held back! But yes, this is what the times have come to, but don’t worry – being a fat fuck means I am extremely qualified to talk about this.
I live in Los Angeles and so grocery stores are always packed even before now no matter what time of day or night you’d go, and right now with the pandemic I’ve avoided going to any since late January when I started my self quarantine to avoid a virus nobody even knew about somehow for months still aside people smart enough to pay attention. Grocery stores are impossible to go to both because they’re just hives of infection as well as, here at least, they don’t even let you in – you’re stuck in hours-long-lines to even be allowed in. Not to mention it can be dangerous even during the best of times, let alone a pandemic, in gang-ridden urban “diverse” areas where only a certain specific minority group have guns because they’re otherwise almost entirely illegal to own like where I’m stuck. Pick-up orders are no longer accepted, well that’s not true, they ARE but they cancel them after you show up pretty consistently. Delivery is near impossible to get lucky enough to find an open time for and not be cancelled or scammed on. So, to stretch the groceries I do have between exceedingly rare delivery of groceries, I’ve been using fast food so that my stocked up stuff stays stocked up. Not wanting to touch or interact with anyone ever in general, but especially now, I’ve finally made the jump to doing everything for fast food with mobile apps so I can pay and everything before even going anywhere.
These are just the handful I actually use. The nearest Burger King is in the hood, I mean literal genuine actual fucking Compton hood so I do not go there. Carls Jr is insanely overpriced and nobody goes to the one here because it blows ass so I don’t trust them to not have food sitting around for hours, amazing they’re still in business. Chick Fil A is like a 20 minute one-way drive away for a nearly hour long experience with the drive-thru wait and drive home, no thanks. The KFC here is both in the hood AND disgusting at its best. The El Pollo Loco is always trashy. Anything else I didn’t just mention or isn’t in the post just isn’t around me or has no drive-thru and right now I don’t trust delivery drivers – hell, I never have but especially not anymore.
As a weird quick aside, any time you do mobile orders expect them to think you’re an uber/grubhub/doordash employee picking up an order because they always do. It doesn’t matter really, just an observation. For some reason, the intellect of the normie in modern society has lead to more cash paying I’ve seen in drive-thrus since over a decade ago during the one time that cash should be entirely avoided. People are fucking stupid, but this also makes employees assume any mobile orders are for delivery because nobody is smart enough to just fucking use the app for themselves.
If you can manage groceries while also maintaining a stash I do recommend avoiding fast food as much as you can just because it’s more contact with others and risk of food being coofed on, but the fact is it’s a great way to not only stretch your groceries but also a valuable way to keep something familiar and normal to remind you the world isn’t ending so it’s worth having sometimes either way.
Somehow the most global and world renown chain is one of the worst about this. Their app runs slow and sometimes is completely unresponsive to trying to add items and it doesn’t accept gift cards. It also forces you to break the law at least in California to use it because after you submit your order it waits until you are at the McDonald’s location to ask you how you want to get your order. In CA it is illegal to drive and even touch a cellphone that’s sitting in a cup holder let alone actually hold it, unlock it, and then find the right option. Instead of simply being in their system it waits to pop up a menu until you are specifically there which then asks drive thru, inside pickup, or some other third thing I forgot already. It’s the ONLY one that does this, none of the other fast food apps require you to fucking pick how you’re getting the order, rather if they do ask it is in the app before you even fully finish the order.
That aside, say you do pull in, it finally asks you how to get it because the options don’t pop up until you’re already there, and then you pick drive-thru. You go to the speaker, they tell you they have no mobile orders. They ask the front facing employees. They also say they have no mobile orders. They tell you to pull up to the first window where, to no surprise, they tell you again they don’t have any mobile orders. Blame you, tell you its the wrong location, ask to see your phone (lol, I don’t think so), then they check again and oh – oh we do have a mobile order, was it (order they say wrong)? No. Oh nevermind I meant (order they say right)? Yes. Then they get an attitude because they’re embarrassed for being so incompetent and give you your food after you’ve held up the line for 10 minutes. This has never changed, no matter how many times I return it is the same fucking problem every single goddamn time.
Food/cost wise, they sometimes have okay deals but typically McDonalds has somehow become one of the most expensive fast food chains. They do have a 2 for $3 thing again which makes it much cheaper. For some reason that deal is mentioned nowhere on the app until you’re checking out and it puts itself there.
They don’t have one because they’re retarded and so they don’t get my business right now. The only app they have is a locator which uses a ton of space for nothing when you can just use google maps. Honestly, it seems to me like they purposefully refuse having an app to maintain their giant ON AVERAGE 30+ minute to 60 minute lines they get at almost every location – if people could mobile order and just pull through and the food was ready it would make the places look less busy and being insanely packed and backed up in the drive thru is one of the most well known aspects of the establishment because “it’s so good that people are constantly lined up for it!” when in reality it’s done on purpose to make it seem more wanted. Why mention it? Because it’s fucking stupid.
The only one worse than McDonald’s is Del Taco. The app sucks in every possible way – even down to just customizing an item (removing something, for example) is a huge pain in the ass and even adding an item entirely like just a regular ass taco is super unintuitive and doing anything with meals is like quantum theory. That’s fine, you get the hang of it eventually (somewhat), but then you run into a similar problem to McDonalds where they are too stupid to find your order in the system, blame you, then – worst of all during a pandemic and worse than McD’s – tell you to come inside so they can figure it out, to which I tell them fuck no and they then have me park in the parking lot and come out to me 15 minutes later…which is still a problem because they seem to want to stand within 6 inches let alone 6 feet and have no masks, gloves, or anything else last I went. Here they tell you an inch away from your face they have no mobile orders, and you’re stuck waiting – in my case one time over 20 minutes – for them to finally figure it out and find it and proceed to shove their hands inside your car to give it to you. I have since gone back once and it went a little better but still probably worth avoiding as Del Taco has always been one of the more incompetent fast food places in general along with McDonalds.
Jack In The Box
Their app no longer works for me even after reinstalling it a few times and doing anything else I could think to fix it, so I guess I just won’t be eating Jack anytime soon unless it fixes itself. Before that happened it was mediocre – the app was sluggish, they have no deals, and they have a similar McDonalds situation but stupider. You see, EVERY app aside Jack’s and McDonald’s lets you know the order won’t be made until you are there and tell them you are, that way you still get the food as “fresh” as you would had you ordered regularly at the speaker instead of it sitting there for 10 minutes getting cold and soggy and coofed on. Jack, however, forces you to push a button in the app telling them to begin to prepare your food which means you have to not only do this while driving (again, ILLEGAL here) but ALSO means you need to have some sort of future-sense to know how busy the drive-thru is, how much traffic there is in general, and how many red lights you’ll hit on the way.
The first time I used their app I told it to prepare the food basically right after I ordered it from my house because it’s close enough and it was an odd hour for eating. Then I got there and there was an over half-an-hour long line for the drive-thru. The food was disgusting and basically frozen, with the soda completely filled with melted ice. Now I just wait until I’m in the parking lot and push it. At the very least they do find the mobile orders easily. Though recently I got the app working again and it claims my closest store isn’t open when it is and won’t let me put orders in there. Oh, and most of the ‘just for you’ and ‘app exclusive’ things are lies – they’re just normal stuff on the menu but also 90% of the app exclusives wait till the checkout to tell you that its invalid in your area like the 2 tacos for 99 cents which here is really more like a buck seventy.
This is the absolute worst fast food app, worse than the nonexistant In-N-Out one because at least you don’t download that. It does nothing. You can’t order food. You can’t get deals or coupons from it. You can’t even see fucking prices. It is nothing but a very basic menu that doesn’t even allow you to prepare ahead of time for cost, runs like shit, and is designed terribly. Complete fucking waste. Why I picked a 2 I don’t know, it should have been 0.
I don’t really think this counts as fast food, more like fast casual or something, but right now it sort of does because it’s all curbside pickup and “drive up” ordering or app ordering. Works good, they’re ready with your food when you get there, but the only downside to their app system is it requires you to call the store when you’re there and tell them the vehicle you’re in to bring the food to you rather than just having a numbered spot or simply a text entry form to describe the car color and make. I don’t really want to have to call someone just to get my order. Otherwise, totally fine. For me, I typically get the chicken strips dinner and they were out so they actually called me to make sure their substitution would be okay which I felt like I should mention as they at least bothered to do that and I appreciated the extra work they went to.
The mobile app is pretty good, though customizing items is a little annoying – to order something with no lettuce for example you have to swipe like 3 times just to get that one single item off. For someone like me, who eats very picky, I have to do this for like 5 things on any sort of burger so like 15 fucking swipes and it’s kind of annoying instead of just picking to remove the stuff. For what is typically one of the more expensive fast food places they actually have pretty good deals with their “Biggie Bags” now too, getting you lunch even if you make it large for around 7 dollars (in CA where food is far more expensive than most places and also has a near 10% sales tax which most states don’t include on food – making “$5 dollar boxes” for example really almost $7)
Pickup is pretty consistently alright, they are able to pull your order up every time with ease and I haven’t had any issues with accuracy. However, they are always out of barbecue sauce. I mean fucking always. And it isn’t even as good as it used to be. Also, avoid any chicken that isn’t the nuggets – Wendy’s both in online word of mouth and in personal experience several times now will regularly undercook their chicken sandwiches resulting in straight up raw chicken which can kill you or hospitalize you – the last thing you want to deal with while trying to avoid a pandemic in the first place. Their ability to handle a line isn’t great either, as even if they aren’t that busy it’ll be backed up pretty regularly just because they’re slow.
As insanely biased I am towards loving Taco Bell this has nothing to do with my massive love for their food and company – but their app and pickup experience is easily the best. The app runs great, is very intuitive, is designed well, and they have never had an issue pulling up even one of my very many orders. What’s also great about Taco Bell in general, especially with the app given how easy it makes it, is that it’s one of the rare fast food chains that will do anything you want as long as they have the ingredients for it.
This means you can literally make anything you want with the options available – there is no limitation on removal or addition aside some ingredients costing extra to add (usually from 10 cents to 50 cents from what I’ve seen) and this has always been true. This not only means you can eat whatever you want however you want it, but that you basically have infinite variability here instead of getting tired of eating it too often. It also means you can buy real stuff for very cheap; for example the $1 3 layer nacho you can throw beef and sour cream on if you want a small nachos bel grande for under $2 even in CA and with those additions. They also have great $5 boxes (again, more than that in CA though) and during the pandemic are doing lots of free taco days – even literally today they’re doing another free taco day today for like the 4th time in a month and their tacos are around $1.70 so it’s not nothing. Lately, since I’m going so often to keep my supplies here up, I’m able to keep the cost around 5 bucks and still get like 4 things including big burritos. Cheap and the very best food there is, yes, you heard me, fuck you.
The pickup is always perfect – roll up to the speaker, say you’re picking up a mobile order, tell them the name, tell them the soda (if you got one) you want, and sauce you want, and about 2 minutes later you’re on your way home with your food and it is always delicious because it’s Taco Bell. Great app and great drive-thru experience, though I’ll admit my specific Taco Bell is basically the most well run and positive-staffed of almost any food or retail I’ve dealt with and I know there are less good (but still delicious) TB’s so results may vary.
I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.