In dramatic footage captured by hidden cameras, customers at a Burger King restaurant are tucking into their meals when a concerning scene begins to unfold. A young dude is shown getting verbally and physically harassed by a group of teens at his table. The customers can see and hear what’s happening... yet no one seems to intervene. Then, after some diners take a closer look at their food, things suddenly start to escalate.
The hesitance on the part of the customers is perhaps understandable at first. After all, when you go to a fast-food restaurant for a bite to eat, you don’t usually expect any kind of drama.
But clearly that wasn’t the deal at this particular Burger King. The patrons may have needed a moment to wonder, what is going on?
The incident occurred at one of the chain’s establishments in Los Angeles, California. And in the footage posted to YouTube, all initially appears to be well as a junior high school student takes a seat.
Much like other customers, he starts to pick at the food on his tray. Yet everything changes a few moments later.
Before he knows it, the young man is surrounded by three teenagers who walk into the restaurant. It seems as though they’re all familiar with one another — but the encounter itself is far from friendly.
In fact, it doesn’t take long until things appear to get very uncomfortable at that table.
To start with, one of the teens jabs his hand into the student’s body. “Please stop,” the boy cries.
But the pleading falls on deaf ears. “Fine,” the aggressor mockingly responds, continuing the physical teasing. Then another member of the group seems to get involved in the action as well.
At this stage, the physical jabs are also coupled with vocal jibes.
One of the group is heard asking, “Do you have any friends?” The youngster says that he does, only for a second kid to fire back, “What are you even doing here?” Following this exchange, the taunting shows no signs of stopping.
In the footage, a member of the group goes on to grab a french fry from the student’s tray, before waving it in front of his face. And if that isn’t enough, one of the gang then shoves the boy, knocking him off his seat to the floor.
This is the moment that the other customers begin to realize what is happening.
How do they respond to the scene of bullying occurring before them? Well, as the footage shows, many of the patrons watch on from their seats and don’t opt to intervene.
There are some disbelieving glances... But unfortunately, it looks like the high school junior is very much on his own.
And things don’t get much better, either. After the student picks himself up off the floor, the kids shown tormenting him have seemingly got one more nasty surprise planned.
The apparent leader of the pack grabs the boy’s drink from the tray and proceeds to tip it over the rest of his food.
This isn’t all the hidden cameras captured that day, though. For the surrounding customers at that Burger King in Los Angeles, there was yet another thing to be worried about.
That becomes clear in the footage when some of the diners unwrap their food orders. An unsuspecting woman is the first to notice that something’s wrong.
Instead of receiving a perfectly assembled Whopper Jr. from the counter, the woman has got a burger that has been squashed into a deformed mound of bread and meat.
To say it looks unappetizing would be a massive understatement. And the lady isn’t the only person to receive their Whopper Jr. in such a state at the restaurant.
For instance, a guy sees that his order has been completely flattened, too. He shows it to his buddy, who readily agrees that it is just not right.
But mistakes can happen in restaurants, can’t they? Perhaps these smashed patties slipped out of the kitchen by accident. Yet it doesn’t stop there.
The edited YouTube footage shows that more customers are greeted by smashed burgers as time goes on. And unsurprisingly, many of these people aren’t too pleased with what they’ve been given, prompting them to approach the counter to complain.
One of them even asks to see a manager. But here’s where things get really strange.
As the cameras highlight, one man shows his destroyed order to a member of staff, who then responds with an odd question. “Did you order it bullied, or un-bullied?” he asks.
The customer’s face says it all. “Bullied or un-bullied?” the guy repeats with a baffled expression.
A different customer is equally confused by the state of his mangled Whopper Jr., claiming it “doesn’t make any sense.” Yet when he gets to speak to the restaurant’s manager, it leads to an even weirder exchange.
The guy in charge demands of his colleague, “Did you bully this burger?” In response, he simply notes, “Well, yeah.”
What is going on at this Burger King? The same worker behind the counter also delivers another bizarre statement to a customer looking for answers.
He says, “This is a defenseless Whopper Jr., it can’t defend itself.” The manager chirps up, too, adding, “We don’t mean anything by it, so just relax.”
The patron doesn’t take too kindly to this particular exchange, though, as he barks, “Just give me my burger, man.” His frustration is clear to see!
Then, after another customer comes to the counter with their squashed food, the worker smashes his fist into the mess to make it even worse.
Just like his fellow customers, this diner has no idea what to make of the scene. But his response suggests he isn’t best pleased with what he’s watched.
“What?” he says in pure confusion. “Is there something wrong with you?” The fraught exchange between the pair doesn’t conclude there, though.
The man behind the counter asks the irritated customer, “Had you seen me bullying this burger, would you have stood up and said something?” He responds with a nod. “That’s good to know,” the guy says.
Each customer who complains about their mashed-up burger is equally baffled by these events. But then they didn’t know what we know.
As it turned out, this whole thing was set up by Burger King. The man behind the counter was an actor, as were the teens and the high school student.
It was a social experiment that coincided with National Bullying Prevention Month, which falls in October each year. However, while the aim of the test was quite simple, the reactions it elicited were way more than anyone bargained for.
As we’ve seen so far, lots of customers ignored the cruel taunting happening right under their noses. The cameras even captured one guy walking past the raging teenagers to bring his battered Whopper Jr.
to the counter. He paid absolutely no mind to the bullying going on. But not everyone in the restaurant could stomach the abuse playing out in front of them.
While many customers just continued eating, a few got more involved. Yes, two people decide to step in and help the “bullied” student in their own way.
The first is a female customer who sits at a table just to the side of the commotion. “Are you okay?” she asks the so-called victim.
After the kid reassures her that he’s fine, the woman takes her tray over to his table. She sits with him and asks the apparent main bully for his name — and that prompts the group to leave.
“See you later,” she responds. “See, this feels better to me.” From here, an intriguing conversation emerges between the pair.
“Have you ever been, like, messed with before?” the student asks. The lady then replies, “Oh my God.
Like, the ideal world is where if somebody else sees something weird happening, they’ll come over and [say], ‘Hey! This is not okay!’” As for the second Good Samaritan, he takes a different approach.
The other customer engages the bullies, but then presses harder when they claim everything is fine. He asks the seemingly distressed youngster, “Are you having fun?
He’s not having fun. So therefore I think you guys should just leave him alone.” Simple, but effective. But how did he react to finding out this was all an elaborate set-up?
In the YouTube footage, a camera crew catches up with this guy after he leaves the restaurant. Explaining why he stepped in to help, he says, “To feel defenseless, that’s one of the worst things in the world.
I’ve been that kid, so if I see it, I’m going to do something about it. And I hope there are more people out there like that.”
Time to clear up some lingering questions: what were the exact figures coming out of this social experiment? And, in addition to the two customers that we know about, did anyone else intervene and help the bullied kid at the restaurant?
Well, brace yourselves...
According to Burger King, 95 percent of those who received a “bullied” Whopper Jr. that day flagged it up to the staff.
On the flipside, though, only 12 percent went to the aid of the “harassed” student. And while this kind of experiment is far from being scientific, that disparity in numbers is startling. It goes to show, too, that you never know when cameras are watching — especially inside fast-food restaurants.
At any one of the over 13,000 McDonald's restaurants across the U.S., you’ll be caught on camera. It’s weird, though.
When you pull up to the outdoor menu, you can see a microphone, a speaker, and perhaps a screen that shows your order as you give it. There’s not a camera on you – at least, not one you’ve noticed before.
So, next time you have a craving for a McRib or a McFlurry, you may think twice before pulling up. And if you do give in to temptation, you’ll be wondering where the camera is.
But thanks to that helpful employee, at least you won’t have to guess why you’re getting your picture taken!
You probably have a few ideas why McDonald’s has cameras on its guests. Most businesses have security systems in place, after all.
You may even notice cameras around the outside of your local Mickey D’s. But these aren’t the ones taking a snap of you at the drive-thru.
It’s also hard to believe that McDonald’s even has time to create those pictures of their customers! The average person spends about 285 seconds – nearly five minutes – in line at the drive-thru.
But franchises across the country have started speeding up their processes, and that time has now been slashed by 15 seconds.
Yet McDonald’s does take pictures of its customers. And Katie Clarke knows why.
She worked at McDonald’s, you see, so she could reveal the truth about the bird’s-eye view she had into visitors’ cars. And that’s not even the creepiest secret!
The McDonald’s drive-thru camera tidbit started a conversation about what really goes on when you order food from your car. Another employee from the fast-food chain said on TikTok that employees are always listening, too.
As soon as a customer drives up, it triggers a sensor on the McDonald’s employee’s headset. That means they can hear what you’re saying before they greet you and ask for your order.
The McDonald’s employee who shared this commented on TikTok, “I’m waiting for the day they realize we hear them [from] the moment they pull up to the moment they leave the speaker box.”
A McDonald’s employee named Andy confirmed this fact when speaking to the website Mental Floss. He explained, “The speaker is activated by the metal in the car, so as soon as you drive up, the speaker turns on in our headset.
We can hear everything, and I do mean everything. Loud music, yelling at your kids to shut up…” That’s really embarrassing!
There’s a reason why McDonald’s drive-thru lanes are so heavily sensored, too. Remember how we said the restaurants were working to cut down on time spent on orders?
The sensors keep tabs on how long a car’s at each point of the drive-thru ordering and delivery process.
An assistant McDonald’s manager named Bob explained, “We get measured based on something we call OEPE. Order end, present end.
[That measures] from the second that your tires move from the speaker until your back tires pass over the sensor on the present window. My store is expected to be under two minutes.” And that camera? Here’s exactly where it’s located.
The camera is set up at the ordering station, and it’s angled directly at the spot where you put in the request for your Big Mac. What’s there to see and hear inside of your vehicle?
A lot, according to Katie Clarke.
Really? Customers only spend a few minutes at the drive-thru, after all.
How much can McDonald’s tell about you during that time? And why do they need to peep into your messy car?
Well, the customer service tracking explains why McDonald’s keeps tabs on your car – and, for a short time, listens to you – while you’re in the drive-thru. But that doesn’t explain why a photo is necessary.
Wouldn’t that slow the process down? It seems rather at odds with trying to speed up orders.
At least McDonald’s employees can laugh at the footage captured by the hidden cameras. Or they’ll get a big shock, as the folks working in a Columbia, Maryland, McDonald’s can tell you.
The cameras there recorded a visitor who came to the restaurant after working hours – and you won’t believe what she did.
Now, this customer came through the drive-thru lane, only to find that her McDonald’s had closed for the night. What would you do?
Just drive away, we bet. But this woman decided to reach and wiggle the drive-thru window just to see…
As it turned out, the McDonald’s staff had failed to lock up the drive-thru window. So the woman opened it up and reached in, helping herself to a free soda from the machine.
And that wasn’t it. The next thing the camera captured was the sneaky customer climbing into the restaurant through the small pane of glass.
Shockingly, the woman spent a full 20 minutes ransacking the McDonald’s without even covering her face. Instead, she picked up all of the food, Happy Meal boxes, and cash that she could find.
Then, after all of that, she walked right out of the front door.
Another hilarious drive-thru clip caught a local celebrity playing hooky from their job.
Reporter Traffic Jam Jimmy had headed out onto Baltimore’s streets to track congestion levels in real time, but then he got hungry.
With cameras on him – including the ones from his news station employer – Jimmy drove into McDonald’s and attempted to order a Filet-O-Fish.
Unfortunately for him, though, all of Baltimore was watching as he tried to get his sandwich.
At least Jimmy’s colleagues saw the funny side! When the camera cut back to the studio, the news anchor could not control her laughter.
As she wiped tears from her eyes, she said, “Jimmy, I told you we were coming back to you.”
But while Traffic Jam Jimmy’s mistake was an endearing one, not all McDonald’s customers can say the same. On New Year’s Day, a 25-year-old woman pulled up to the drive-thru lane in search of McNuggets.
There was only one problem: it was 6:00 a.m., too early for anything but a Mickey D’s breakfast.
Now, most clients would just order something else or drive away and wait ’til lunchtime. But this Toledo, Ohio, customer decided to exact her revenge on the McDonald’s employee who denied her the McNuggets she so desperately craved.
She forced herself through the drive-thru window and launched a full-fledged attack on the cashier.
The employee eventually got the upper hand and shut the drive-thru window, but it wasn’t over yet. The customer threw an unidentified object through the glass and shattered it.
And this is where security cameras come in handy. The footage helped prosecutors, who pursued a charge of vandalism against the woman.
Still, we haven’t gotten to the camera that’s situated at the start of the drive-thru lane yet. That’s the one that’s focused on you while you make your order.
When Katie Clarke took to TikTok, she revealed the existence of that camera, and she also explained why they’re used.
Clarke mentioned when the photo is taken, too. The McDonald’s drive-thru cameras snap the customer just after they finish reciting their order.
But the photo’s not just of the guest. It also captures an image of their vehicle. And with that tiny tidbit of information, you may have finally guessed why they do it!
In her TikTok, Clarke shows the drive-thru camera’s footage on screen before asking, “Ever wondered how McDonald’s know whose car is whose?” She then reveals what we now know, saying, “There is a camera, and it takes a picture of you and your car.”
Yes, that picture plays a vital role in making sure you have the right order. The employee at the window has to check their screen and verify that your car matches the one that asked for the meal they have at the ready.
That’s how they ensure accuracy with each passed-off bag of burgers.
Clarke also warned TikTokers to keep their behavior polite while in the drive-thru lane. Since, you know, they have cameras watching them!
But she put it a bit more bluntly than that. The McDonald’s employee said, “Maybe don’t pick your nose when you order… because we see it, and we judge you.”
Surprised by this information? Well, you’re not alone.
Clarke’s TikTok received thousands of comments from people who couldn’t believe what the McDonald’s employee had revealed. One person simply wrote, “Wait, y’all see us?”
Even former McDonald’s employees had had no idea that the restaurant had this technology. One TikTok user said that the drive-thru cameras were “some new new.”
They added, “We didn’t have that when I worked there last year.” If you haven’t been to a Mickey D’s in a while, then, you may just have avoided them!
But not everyone was shocked by the drive-thru camera news. Some had experienced them firsthand.
One Twitter user shared the story of their trek to McDonald’s on a day when they weren’t feeling their best. And as they rolled up to order, it became clear that someone was watching from inside the restaurant.
The Twitter user recalled, “I recently pulled up at McDonald’s and was having a bad day. The person at the speaker said, ‘Welcome to McDonald’s.’ I said, ‘Hold on’ and started rubbing my forehead.
She [said], ‘Oh, you look stressed.’” That’s how they knew the cashier could see them.
McDonald’s isn’t the only place where this happens, either. The cameras are also at Starbucks!
One viral video shows the way Starbucks customers react when a barista greets them with a song. And by the unimpressed looks on the people’s faces, it’s clear they have no idea the singer can see them.
At Starbucks, though, it’s not just a photo being taken. According to TikTok user and barista zandergjura, the camera clicks on as soon as customers pull up.
As they order, then, the moment is recorded and shown to the employee on the other end of the line.
Another interesting tidbit about Starbucks’ drive-thru system: every single headset in the place will turn on when a customer makes their order.
As barista Zander put it, “That means we can all hear you while you order your drinks…” He then quipped, “Good luck ordering at the next drive-thru.”
But if you’re camera-shy, don’t worry too much. Other fast-food employees have said that their restaurants don’t follow the same protocol or don’t have this advanced technology.
One wrote on Twitter, “It’s not usually like this. [With] my camera at work, we can only see the car, not the people inside.”
And when all else fails, remember: you can have a little bit of fun with it, too. Next time you pull up for a Big Mac and fries, then, don’t forget this bit of advice from a Twitter user.
They wrote, “Posing at the camera in the McDonald’s drive-thru [because] EVERY camera is the chance for a photo-op.” Smile – you’re about to eat a burger!