McDonald's Was Just Voted the Second-Worst Place for a First Date

At least it's not number one?

Couple sitting at a table in a McDonald's

Angela Hampton Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

A couple of months ago, someone asked the r/NoStupidQuestions subreddit whether dinner at McDonald's would make for a good first date. "If you are 12 or 13 [years old], yes," one commenter joked, and most of the other responses advised against involving the Golden Arches on that first night out. 

It turns out that's how a lot of people feel. Tombola, a UK-based online bingo site, asked 11,000 of its members about the worst locations for a first date, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, McDonald's was high on the list.

Though 20% of respondents said the absolute worst first date spot is going to see a movie, a meal at Mcdonald's came in a close second, with 13% of respondents calling it their worst date destination.

"McDonald's has a reputation for being cheap and convenient, which gives the impression that someone doesn't care about impressing their date," Jessica Alderson, the CEO and co-founder of the dating app So Syncd, told Tombola. "Not only that, but the lighting is bright, it can be noisy, and there are often kids around. All of these factors aren't conducive to a romantic atmosphere that enables you to feel a sense of intimacy."

The rest of the Top 10 most ill-advised first-date locations include:

3. Staying home (7%)
4. Going to a parent's house (4%) 
5. Visiting a restaurant (4%) 
6. Going to a pub or bar (4%)
7. Swimming (3%)
8. Watching a football (soccer) match (3%) 
9. Attending a funeral (2%)
10. Going to the park (2%) 

We're not sure how anything involving crying and an open casket is better than a Double Quarter Pounder, but the people have spoken, I guess. As far as restaurants go, Alderson says that several aspects of dining out can be off-putting in the early days of a relationship.

"Some see [a restaurant] as too intense for a first date since it can be expensive, and you are expected to sit for an extended period of time without knowing if you will get on," she said. "'With a drinks date, you can make a quick exit if you're clearly incompatible, but when food is involved, you have to sit it out." 

If McDonald's, restaurants, pubs, bars, staying in, or even a picnic in the park all make the worst locations list, we're not sure where you're meant to take that person you've just matched with. On the other hand, one all-time icon says that her Hall of Fame-level relationship started with a trip to McD's. "When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner," Dolly Parton told People in 2018. "He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald's." 

Parton and Carl Dean have been married for almost 57 years, so that's one serious McSuccess story. Also, if it's good enough for Dolly Parton, then — let's be honest — it's good enough, period.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles