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McDonald's blames global outage on third party

People walk past McDonald's store in London, Britain July 27, 2022
People walk past McDonald's store in London, Britain July 27, 2022

McDonald's has revealed the technical problems which brought much of its fast food chain to a standstill on Friday were caused by a third party provider.

The international restaurant said the global outage happened during a "configuration change" and stopped stores taking orders in the UK, Australia and Japan - amongst others.

McDonald's stressed the issue was not caused by a cyber attack.

Stores in the UK and Australia are open again after their systems froze.

Those in Japan are reportedly also resuming trade after being forced to close.

The company experienced a "global technology system outage, which was quickly identified and corrected," McDonald's chief information officer Brian Rice, said.

He said many countries were now operating normally while the rest were in the process of coming back online.

"Notably, this issue was not directly caused by a cybersecurity event - rather, it was caused by a third-party provider during a configuration change," he added.

Mr Rice said what had happened was the "exception to the norm, and we are working with absolute urgency to resolve it".

'Couldn't serve anyone'

Problems started in the early hours and continued throughout the morning, but the company would not say how many stores were affected.

Sarah McLean, who owns a franchise across the Midlands, said that all of her 21 branches had been affected.

"My restaurants were impacted very early in the morning, so thankfully the impact wasn't too significant, about an hour and a half," she told the BBC. But during that time they "couldn't serve anyone".

Downdetector, a system used to monitor IT problems in businesses, noted a spike in issues with the McDonald's UK app from around 05:00 GMT on Friday.

Some social media users posted their discontent.

"@McDonaldsUK why can I order through the app this morning but all of my local McDonald's are closed when they are meant to be 24 hours?!" Tom Bennison in the East Midlands posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Andrew Evans in Birmingham posted: "Hmmm @McDonaldsUK my local is turning everyone away saying there's a national outage on your ordering system?"

Problems were reported in several countries, including New Zealand, Austria and Germany, but come the afternoon they were starting to get resolved.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that stores across Japan were beginning to resume operations following the system disruption.

McDonald's in Japan had earlier said: "There is currently a system failure. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and ask that you please wait for a while until the service is restored."

Posting on X, Ted Anderson said he had gone into a restaurant in Japan to find it cash only and staff "calculating the totals on paper".

By 14:15 GMT, McDonald's Australia said all of its restaurants had re-opened.

"A huge thanks again to our wonderful customers and hard-working crew for your patience and support," it said.

In New Zealand, X user Germin van Royen said: "The Mcdonalds outage is crazy. Went in tonight and drive thru + all kiosks were down. A system that can fail nation wide is bad but across multiple countries too!? Bonkers."

The fast food chain has about 40,000 restaurants worldwide, with around 1,450 restaurants across the UK and Ireland and more than 14,000 stores in the United States.

It operates nearly 3,000 across Japan and roughly 1,000 in Australia.

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