At the time I couldn't believe how poorly the system was working.
A large group of us (with under-3's) decided to get together one Saturday lunchtime at the Riccarton branch as we wanted something that the kids would like with the minimum of effort.
What we struck was a complete disaster. The staff looked at the end of their tether, nobody seemed to know what was happening and the management of the store didn't even think to put up a sign indicating that they were trialling a new system. Many people walked out and after about 20 minutes we finally got our orders.
Later that weekend I decided to do some research into the new "system" and discovered it was a new system being launched globally. At the time I even found an article from a management website which explained that they were making the change to increase the quality of the food (because it doesn't sit in warming trays) and at the same time - and in my opinion is the TRUE reason for the change - they would reduce costs significantly because they would no longer be throwing out food if it wasn't sold within 10-12 minutes.
The article also pointed out that while the new system seemed good on paper, the cost savings would be lost IF they failed to continue to deliver "fast food" - which lets face it, is the main reason most people go to McDonalds.
So rather than just moaning to friends and family, I decided to contact McDonalds and question whether their strategy was such a good idea. I was particularly interested to hear their feedback to the comments that I overheard from customers while I was waiting in line and the fact that many people now walk away rather than having to deal with chaos. Unfortunately when I went to the McDonalds website I was disappointed to see that they have a notice on their site saying that they will accept feedback but don't expect a reply.
I must have hit a raw nerve though 8-). About two days later I had a phone call from the owner of many of the Christchurch branches and he explained the logic behind the changes that were being implemented in the restaurants. I really appreciated his time and after talking with him was somewhat hopeful that I had simply struck "teething problems".
That was a few months ago now and I can quite clearly now state that it wasn't teething problems.
The new system is STILL a disaster.
Admittedly some branches have tried to get around the problem with technology - using wireless PDA's, staff members weave between people in the queues and takes orders, handing them a ticket with a number on it that they then present at the counter to pay for the order. I have to admit by being intrigued by the new system - but that only keeps me entertained for a couple of minutes, after which the realization that the delays are still going to be much the same as before sets in!
Congratulations McDonalds - instead of the new system saving your business, you've actually put a nail in your own coffin. Your burgers don't taste any better/fresher - they just take twice as long to get now (on a good day).
You've failed to actually understand that people have been loyal to your brand because of consistency (anywhere in the world) & SPEED. Without your make-and-hold method, you simply cannot deliver food with the speed and efficiency that your brand has offered for decades.
Perhaps it's time for me to take a closer look at that local burger company offering shares in their company 8-).
Other related posts:
Microsoft getting revenue from Android sales
I need to have more patience...
Who is 01300367890?
Comment by sbiddle, on 8-Jul-2007 19:04
This "new" system has been the norm at many US McD's restarurants for around 5 years. There are also some McD's stores in NZ who have only been making to order for quite some time.
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