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McDonald’s Apologizes for ‘Global Technology Outage’ That Hit Japan, Australia and Elsewhere

WorldAsiaMcDonald’s Apologizes for ‘Global Technology Outage’ That Hit Japan, Australia and Elsewhere

McDonald’s customers in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong reported having trouble ordering at the fast-food restaurants on Friday, leading some restaurants to suspend online ordering and others to close entirely.

The cause of those problems was a “global technology outage,” according to McDonald’s. The company did not specify how widespread the issue was but said that several markets were affected.

The outage was “quickly identified and corrected,” said Brian Rice, the company’s chief information officer, in a statement on Friday that was also sent to global employees, and franchisees. He noted that it was not caused by a “cybersecurity event,” but by “a third-party provider during a configuration change.”

Mr. Rice said that while many markets were back online, some were still “experiencing issues.”

“What happened today has been an exception to the norm, and we are working with absolute urgency to resolve it,” he said, apologizing to customers and restaurant owners.

The outage appeared to hit restaurants in several countries. In a post on X, McDonald’s Japan said its restaurants were having technical difficulties because of a system failure.” Later, in a separate post, it said that “many” stores across the country had suspended operations because of the issue, without saying how many. Japan has about 2,900 McDonald’s restaurants, the third-most in the world after the United States and China.

McDonald’s Hong Kong said on Facebook that it was also experiencing a “computer system failure,” stating that “the mobile ordering and self-ordering kiosks are not functioning” and asking customers to order directly at the restaurant counters. McDonald’s Taiwan also said on its website that it had temporarily suspended online and telephone orders.

And customers in Britain said they had difficulties using the McDonald’s app on Friday morning, according to Downdetector, a site that monitors reports of outages.

In Australia, photos on social media captured signs on the doors of some McDonald’s outlets apologizing to customers for causing inconvenience. Australian news outlets reported that some restaurants had closed, while others had reverted to an analog approach, with some workers taking orders with pens and paper.

Some restaurants in Australia appeared to have returned to full service on Friday evening.

At a restaurant in Richmond, Melbourne, customers ordered shakes and burgers, crowded around self-service ordering machines and lingered over shared French fries. Workers at the restaurant said the outage had lasted about two hours and that customers had paid in cash.

Jeremy Ruz, a customer in Newcastle, Australia, had been at the drive-through attempting to pick up dinner for his children when their plans were stymied by the systems failure, he said.

“People were coming out with a notepad and pen, saying they couldn’t take cards,” he said. “There was a queue a mile long.”

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