Kelsey Golden was playing with her 2-year-old son, Barrett, on her front porch last week when a DoorDash driver pulled into the driveway.
“I stared at her for few seconds and said, ‘Um, I don’t think that’s for me,’ ” she recalled.
Then she took a close look at the receipt. It had her name and address on it.
That’s when she realized her toddler had used her cellphone to mistakenly order a delivery of 31 cheeseburgers from the McDonald’s on Highway 77 in Kingsville, Tex., about six miles from her house.
The cheeseburgers cost $61.58, but the total was $91.58 after app fees and a $16 tip.
“And he doesn’t even like cheeseburgers!” Golden said. “Barrett prefers Chicken McNuggets.”
Less than an hour earlier, her son had been playing with her cellphone — she occasionally allows him to play with the camera app when she is working on her computer, Golden said.
Instead of taking pictures and laughing at his reflection like he usually does, Barrett had called up her DoorDash app and accidentally placed a delivery order.
DoorDash doesn’t require secondary security checks or face recognition to place an order if you’re signed into the app, she said.
Golden said she received a text from DoorDash before the driver showed up that afternoon on May 16.
“They said it was going to take a bit longer to get me my order, and I was confused,” said Golden, who works as an enrollment assistant at the private school attended by her other children, Grayson 6, and TJ, 5.
When the driver showed up, everything became clear. But then as Golden peered into the brown bag, she realized she had a problem: What to do with 31 cheeseburgers?
“Actually, we had 30 and a half,” she said. “Even though Barrett doesn’t like cheeseburgers, he did eat half of one.”
“Attention KINGSVILLE/Ricardo Community, I have 31 free cheeseburgers from McDonald’s,” she posted. “Apparently my 2 yr old knows how to order doordash. Message me if you’re interested.”
Golden said two people quickly came by: a pregnant woman who wanted six burgers (“Who am I to judge?” Golden said) and a mom with a large family who took 18. She gave the rest to neighbors.
She said she laughed all afternoon about the mix-up and took comfort that Barrett is not the only one to get a family into this kind of predicament. Other high-profile errant orders were made by a Utah 6-year-old who bought $350 worth of Barbies on Amazon in 2018 and a New Jersey toddler who went on an $1,800 shopping spree at Walmart earlier this year.
“It was just an innocent fluke while he was goofing around with my phone,” Golden said.
In a written statement to The Washington Post, DoorDash said there are ways for parents to create guardrails on the app.
“A customer can always sign out of their DoorDash app after each use to prompt authentication upon login,” wrote a company spokesperson. “Customers [also] have a short grace period after ordering where they can cancel their order for a full refund if the merchant has not yet started preparing their food.”
Golden said it was her own fault for not locking her phone.
“I’m not mad at anyone — we’ve been having some fun with this,” she said.
When the newspaper in nearby Corpus Christi, Tex., wrote about her son’s big cheeseburger order, she posted a comment with an emoji of a face palm on Facebook: “This is nice. I always wanted to go viral for a giant mom fail.”
Golden said her husband, Tray Golden, has always been private, so she had to gently break the news that she and Barrett were trending on Google.
“I was like, ‘Guess what happened today — you’re not going to believe it,’ ” she said. “I never imagined this would get attention beyond my own family and friends.”
Some people are chuckling along with her at the mistaken order, but she has also received a barrage of critical comments online questioning her parenting. To address that, Golden posted a satirical video on YouTube she titled “That Awful Cheeseburger Mom.”
“I’m actually concerned for this mom,” she said looking at the camera, spoofing people who are critical of her. “Because if she doesn’t get a handle on her kid, her kid is going to end up jumping in a cage at the zoo — with a polar bear.”
Golden said that posting the video made her feel better and let her detractors know she is taking the cheeseburger caper in stride.
Staff at the McDonald’s heard what happened and invited Golden and Barrett to the restaurant on May 20. They decorated the place with balloons and had a Happy Meal for Barrett.
“It’s such a funny story — everyone just wanted to meet [Barrett] and say hi,” said Glenn Orr, department lead at the Highway 77 McDonald’s.
Golden said Barrett was unfazed by the attention and was happy to get home and play with his toy trucks.
“When he’s old enough to understand, I’ll be sure to tell him all about it,” she said. “I’ll show him the pictures and say, ‘Remember that time you ordered 31 cheeseburgers and made it onto national television?’ ”