can be a pretty objective customer who has opinions backed up by 30 years
of operations experience.
When McDonald's USA installed the Made For You kitchens I quickly got
frustrated (as a customer) with the tripling or quadrupling of service times
at McDonald's. Like millions of McDonald's customers I gravitated to the
drive-thru because it seemed faster and I didn't have to stand around with
my arms folded waiting for my food. Hence the increases in McDonald's
Drive-thru business over these years. For more than a decade I've avoided
the inside of a McDonald's unless checking out a new dining room or other
change. If I wanted to eat I'd get in my car and go through the drive-thru.
But during the past six weeks, for various reasons, I've been going inside a
number of McDonald's stores to order and eat. In my humble opinion, the
service times are worse than when Made For You was first installed. My
guess is that's because the menu has doubled in size over those years (why
is the Angus still cluttering up the menu?).
So, as a customer, and an operations veteran, I have a few recommendations
for McDonald's Operators that might help break the bottleneck at the front
counter and build sales in 2013.
* Reduce the menu by 25% - I know, management will never have the
self-discipline necessary but I had to put it out there.
* Put in "Dual-Point" ASAP. While it might not actually speed up service it
will be comforting for the customer. As well as I know McDonald's I still
wondered if I'd been forgotten on about half my visits.
* Keep a manager on the front counter. During my visits the management
people rarely looked a customer in the eye and paid all of their attention
to drive-thru. I know how they feel since I remember how my managers hid
in the grill area when we messed up a breakfast/lunch changeover on a
* Lock the cell phones in the safe - there is nothing more irritating than
watching the person who is obviously in charge wandering the floor talking
or texting on a cell phone. I don't care if they are talking to their boss, they
should be fixing the operation and delivering my food.
There, I said it. The first McDonald's training films told new crew people,
"hungry people aren't always patient". Those were slower paced times so
today it's even more true. There are a limited number of people out
there who will wait so long for their food.