Mom and Dad and I visited the new McDonalds restaurant in Waterdown tonight. This new-style McDonalds has a McCafé section, which tries to be a sort of “Starbucks amidst the hamburgers.” Here’s what went wrong:

  • The tasty-looking baked goods in the display case were not, in fact, for sale. The cashier revealed that “they’ve all been in there since we opened; we get the real ones from out back.”
  • Said cashier didn’t know what any of said baked goods actually were. This made ordering them difficult, and paying for them more so.
  • As a result, Mom ordered what she was told was a butter tart, but was actually a apple square.
  • There were no forks. I had to eat my chocolate cake with a plastic spoon. Actual quote from employee I requested a fork from: “I’m not sure; I don’t really know what’s out here.”
  • Said chocolate cake was nothing to write home about.
  • Dad’s muffin was served to him from the “they’ve all been in there since we opened” display case. Not a Good Sign.
  • Said muffin was dry and tasteless.
  • They were out of regular coffee, only had decaf.
  • Entering all of this into the touch screen on the cash register required significant technical support from the manager.
  • The “Cafécinno” that I ordered had none of the refreshing quality of the Tim Horton’s version of same, and all of the consistency of 5W30 motor oil in Fort McMurray in winter. It tasted sort of like old chocolate bars.
  • The decor inside this “new edge” McDonalds was, in Dad’s words, “like prison.” I compared it to Martha Stewart meets Ron Thom: grey, severe, metallic.
  • As a coup de grace, we were unable to exit the door we entered through without the careful manipulation of a piece of duct tape that was holding the latch open. Lord knows what would have happened if the archival baked goods had caught on fire and we were forced to exit in a hurry.
The irony of all this is that they took me to McDonalds as a respite from their local Tim Horton’s, which they claim has the worst service of any Tim’s around. Sigh.