Dude Figures Out How to Game McDonald's Kiosk for a Free Burger

Hope you like ketchup-soaked buns.
April 9, 2019, 1:00pm
Getty Images.

If you happen to be in Australia, and you’d like to get one free McDonald’s hamburger, then please keep reading—and also, please start to consider what you’ll do with 10 ketchup-covered hamburger buns.

A YouTube user who calls himself Hamburglar Bourne posted a video that details how he and some friends exploited the crap design of McDonald’s self-service kiosks to score a free hamburger, and how they also ended up with 10 meatless buns. In the video, they placed an order for 10 hamburgers, which cost a buck each. But—and this is the but that will let you walk out of McD’s with a free burger—they customized those burgers to remove the meat patty. (“We have a vegetarian friend,” the McMastermind says. “His name is Harry.”) Going meatless knocked $1.10 off the price, so the eleventh burger is totally free.

“When we get to [the checkout] screen, we find that all the pattyless burgers had $1.10 taken off them, so they’re all -10 cents,” he says. “And there’s our regular burger, which is just a buck, leaving the total at zero dollars. Let’s complete this order!”

The Hamburglar also posted the video on Reddit, where he says that they filled all of those empty buns with fries, and didn’t really waste any of the food. (“That pattyless burger is the most depressing meal I’ve ever seen,” one Redditor commented.)

Although this is...a good idea, I guess, it seems to be location-specific to Australia—and even then, it only works until McDonald’s patches its software. I went to the closest McDonald’s and gave this a go, and learned that ordering 10 burgerless ketchup-and-pickle sandwiches still costs $10.70 (with tax) in the United States, and adding another burger just adds another $1.07 to the total.

Because I didn’t have a group of Australian friends to share those nothingburgers with, I cancelled that order and got a Quarter Pounder and fries to go. It cost $3 and change to test this free burger thing, so… that’ll show McDonald’s, I guess.