Are the new reusable tableware geolocated?

If your friends serve you a drink from a large transparent glass stamped with the logo of McDonald’s, know that they stole it. This is the new hobby of some fast food customers. Since January 1, 2023, disposable packaging is prohibited in fast food chains. Now it is reusable tableware which is used in all restaurants.

And these new utensils seem to the taste of some. Glass, small white container, red container for fries… Everything disappears. “It’s collector’s item,” explains a surfer. “With my friends, we compete to see who will have the most. For others, it can simply be useful for defrosting the car in the morning…

For some, the packaging of fries is used to thaw the car.
For some, the packaging of fries is used to thaw the car. – Screenshot

“Our dishes are equipped with geolocation chips. It is not possible to leave with. You will have to explain yourself with the 17”. This is the message that would be listed on a sign inside a McDonald’s restaurant, according to a viral post. What do you want to do to bring the containers home?


“We are seeing losses,” the chain actually announced, only a few days after the launch of this tableware. “It is still too early to accurately estimate this theft phenomenon”, but it remains a priori reasonable. But this solution that would be geolocation poses a problem for some: “This poses serious ethical and privacy issues. For example someone can know precisely where you eat order 8529.”

On Twitter, a user tries to reassure: “Well, as a team member at macdo, know that NO the chips are not used for the geolocation of your order, but for the identification of the dishes. “And to add:” No, if you take the dishes with you, you will not ring the bell, no the managers and the management will not see where you are. And honestly we don’t have that much to do with finding you. »

She adds that since the introduction of table service, the geolocation chip is in the easel, and is used to “find you in the room”. Indeed, the team members may not have time to go around the restaurant six times, and to question everyone, to find out whose order CB84 is…

And this teammate is telling the truth. The new packaging contains an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip. It can be traced by a reader who sends an electromagnetic signal to it to activate and identify it, within a radius of one to ten meters.

“We have affixed RFID chips to monitor the reuse rate and assess the environmental impact,” explains the brand. The restaurant can thus count the number of plates and cups during each service and assess stocks in real time.

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