Huge lines of cars wait outside closed McDonald’s during Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian devastated parts of the Gulf Coast and central Florida this week, but life went on as usual at a McDonald’s in Lakeland, Fla. At least for the customers.

TikToker Patrick Lambert (@tricklamb) captured a McDonald’s that appeared to be closed but had left its automatic drive-thru response on during the storm, leading people to believe they could order in. Lambert shows a line of cars spilling onto the road, some attempting to turn back.

The video has garnered more than 970,000 views as of Friday.

@tricklamb #hurricanian #mcdonalds @@McDonald’s ♬ Original sound – Patrick Lambert

He also went downstairs to take a closer look, documenting people ordering into the void and then driving away. “It’s now 5 p.m. EST and it’s still going on,” he says in a follow-up video. “I’ve been here since 8 a.m. Nobody ever stopped today to tell these people it’s actually closed.”

Lambert adds in the comments that he actually went through the line to tell people it’s closed. He even made a mark.

@tricklamb in reply to @floridagirl13 ♬ Original sound – Patrick Lambert

In the comments, others in the area claim something similar happened at nearby McDonald’s locations. Other TikTokers posted similar videos of queues of cars idling oblivious from dawn to dusk, assuming fast food workers would work through the storm.

“Bro, you can’t make this shit up,” says @therealmalone in their video after surveying a line of cars that couldn’t seem to see the “closed” sign on the drive-thru window. “Florida only, man.”

@meg_mallory #hurricaneian #hurricaneian2022 #lakelandfl #mcdonalds ♬ Oh no – Kreepa
@therealmalone This hurricane really brought out the people waiting outside a closed McDonalds😂😂#huricaneian #florida ♬ Original sound – Dylan Malone
@bunnyofdeath626 People have been queuing for hours. #hurricane #ian #mcdonalds #florida #cantfixstupid #hurricaneian ♬ Original sound – Lilyth Strange

The Daily Dot reached out to Lambert via Instagram direct message for comment.


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*Initial publication: September 30, 2022 at 11:42 am CDT

Audra Schroeder

Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, focusing on streaming, comedy and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch and the Village Voice. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Audra Schroeder Huge lines of cars wait outside closed McDonald’s during Hurricane Ian

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