Fries with that, Mr. Trudeau? PM stops in for surprise McDonald's lunch

A cheeseburger happy meal, a Big Mac meal, a quarter pounder with cheese meal, a McChicken ... all part of Justin Trudeau's McDonald's lunch order. The prime minister made a surprise pit stop Saturday at the Whitby Mall McDonald's, about 45 minutes outside of downtown Toronto.

'I like he went for just a casual McDonald's, you know, he was kind of like one of us'

Dominic Morales' co-worker snapped this photo of the prime minister from behind the counter when he stopped in at this McDonald's by the Whitby Mall. 'I did want to respect his privacy so I didn’t do much,' Morales said. (Ardienne Salas/Google Maps)

Who knew the day shift at McDonald's could be so exciting?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a pit stop for lunch Saturday at the Whitby Mall McDonald's, about 45 minutes east of downtown Toronto.

The unannounced visit caught a lot of McDonald's staffers off-guard, like 16-year-old student Dominic Morales, who was on his break when the prime minister dropped in.

"I heard like a lot of screaming coming from our co-workers," Morales told CBC News, soon realizing who had walked in. "[I was] like 'Was he here for an event or whatever?' And then it just turns out he was just ordering food, like a normal person."

"I don't really delve into a lot of what the prime minister does. I think he'd go to a higher class place … I like he went for just a casual McDonald's, you know, he was kind of like one of us."

Morales shot a video of his co-workers soon after the prime minister left, giddy with excitement about their brush with the politician.

In the video, the colleague who served Trudeau starts listing off some of his order — a cheeseburger happy meal, a Big Mac meal, a quarter pounder with cheese meal, a McChicken — before admitting she didn't even recognize him at first.

"Melissa was like, 'Hey. Can you help on till?' I was like, 'Yeah sure.' The guy comes up and he takes off his glasses and he's like, 'Hi.' And I was like, 'Oh my god. That's the Prime Minister,'" she said in the video.

Trudeau was in the area for an event on the Rouge River, where he spent part of the morning canoeing.

'He just walked in, ordered a lot of food, we made the food, gave it to him and then he left,' said 16-year-old McDonald's employee Dominic Morales. (Submitted by Dominic Morales)

'I guess he just was hungry'

Fidel Gomes, the restaurant's general manager, said he didn't know the prime minister would be coming in, but he wishes he had.

Gomes was in store at the time and got to have a quick word with the prime minister before he took off — "He said, 'See you later, Fidel.'"

Before Saturday's visit, he said his biggest guest was the McDonald's president. Regardless of the surprise, Gomes said serving the prime minister was an honour.

Morales said everything about the encounter was low-key, though Trudeau did come in with some security.

"It was the most casual thing I've seen," he said. "Most of the people in the back didn't know that they were making his food so they just treated him as any normal person would."

He has told some of his friends, but many of them said they didn't believe him. Morales said the whole thing does sound pretty far-fetched.

"I guess he just was hungry."


Haydn Watters is a roving reporter for Ontario, primarily serving the province's local radio shows. He has worked for CBC News and CBC Radio in Halifax, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Toronto, with stints at the politics bureau and the entertainment unit. He also ran an experimental one-person pop-up bureau for the CBC in Barrie, Ont.


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