May I Take Your Order Please?

Our local newspaper ran a story yesterday about one of our area McDonald’s outsourcing the drive-through window. Now that takes a minute to digest, doesn’t it? On the other hand, I guess it was inevitable. Let’s see how it works.

Apparently, you pull up to your local drive-through window and place your order as usual. Seconds later, you pick up your order at the next window.

So how’s that different than the way we’ve always done it? Well, you place your order as always, but the person taking your order is now located in another city in another state. In the case of our local McDonald’s here in Michigan, we’re talking over high-speed data lines to a call center professional with “very strong communication skills” in North Dakota … over 1,100 miles away, 16 hours if you’re driving. This same process allows our order taker to communicate with those preparing the food at the next window here at our local restaurant … all within seconds. We, as customers, have no idea that our order has traveled four or five states away and bounced back before we can even start driving to the pick-up window.

For you, the customer, there are several advantages:

  1. Note the fact that you had your order in seconds rather than 10 minutes.
  2. You’ll also experience fewer mistakes in your order.
  3. Your hot food will be hotter and your cold food colder.

McDonald’s benefits from this new strategy as well. In the fast-food business, time is money. In fact, shaving a mere five seconds off the processing time of an order is significant. Test restaurants have reported the ability to process an additional 30 cars per hour, substantially reducing labor costs. They also discovered that when employees have to take orders over the drive-through microphone and deliver food at the same time, they start making a lot of mistakes. This new system has reduced mistakes considerably, resulting in fewer complaints.

Thus far, this new unorthodox procedure has produced very positive results and more than paid for the additional technology costs. If this trend continues, this outsourcing strategy could be implemented system-wide. If this occurs, you can certainly expect call centers to sprout up all over the country as many fast-food competitors follow suit.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

One thought on “May I Take Your Order Please?

  1. I just signed up for your daily feed and am looking forward to future articles. I was shocked to hear about Paul Harvey but enjoyed reading the bio you wrote. We won’t see the likes of him again anytime soon.
    The story of the teacher, students and puzzles was so revealing and cute as well and your update on McDonalds was very interesting and intimindating when you think about technology advances today.
    Thank you for such a variety of information. I’m telling others about your site.

    Ms. Dawn Meyers

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