Why You Should Always Ask for a Receipt at McDonald’s

A former McDonald's employee spills the beans on the perks that come when you ask for a McDonald's receipt

If you catch a craving for a burger and fries, McDonald’s is always a short drive away. The fast-food restaurant has a range of bestselling menu items, from the Happy Meal and Big Mac to the McGriddles breakfast sandwich and chicken nuggets. But to ensure you get a fresh meal every time, you might need to take one extra step.

According to Kamran Adnan, a former McDonald’s employee, there’s a secret that McDonald’s employees won’t tell you: The staff gives extra perks to customers who ask for a McDonald’s receipt.

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In a Quora post, Adnan notes that asking for a McDonald’s receipt will practically guarantee you’re served the freshest food. He explains that McDonald’s employees are trained to watch out for “mystery shoppers” or “Gapbusters”—people who are paid to visit McDonald’s restaurants and rate their experience—at certain points in the day. These shoppers tend to dine from 12 to 2 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m., he says.

Because their reviews factor into the store’s rating, “every store manager will do everything to ensure this rating is as positive as possible,” Adnan said.

These undercover diners are typically reimbursed for their purchase, so they will ask for a McDonald’s receipt. This signals to employees that they might have a “Gapbuster” on their hands. Not only will they make sure to serve that customer first, but they will also give them the freshest food possible.

While McDonald’s has not confirmed Adnan’s claims yet, it can’t hurt to ask for a receipt next time. Nothing beats a McDonald’s Coke and a large order of their steaming hot French fries, after all.

Should you ask for a receipt at other fast-food restaurants?

The receipt trick is an unofficial hack that may not apply to every McDonald’s location or other fast-food eatery. However, there’s no harm in giving it a shot!

Brooke Nelson Alexander
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for Reader's Digest. She's a two-time Emmy-nominated reporter with nearly 10 years of publishing experience, and her work has been recognized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.