Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Getting The Order Correct At McDonald's! Is It Rocket Science???

OK folks, I know this may sound trivial and down right crazy but I'm going to blog on it to see what you think! Hear me out and understand the problem!

Everyone on the planet darn near has visited McDonald's. It's worldly icon and it will probably be the first form of food to be available on the ISS (International Space Station) which I think is only fitting! However there is a problem that "McD's" needs to fix before "they boldly go where no burger has gone before." McD's management at the store level and at the corporate level need to train their employees on how to get an order correct when it comes to what the customer says they want. Now I'm not saying don't up sell apple pies and drinks but the people who work in drive through and in-store need to really listen to the customer and hear what they want! Let me explain!

When I go to McD's drive thru or in-store I like to order a "Quarter Pounder" an original "core" sandwich at McD's. The Quarter Pounder was invented in 1971. When I place my order the employee always ask me do I want cheese on it? I say no and they turn and tell the cook "One Quarter Ham" please. Now I have learned over the years of ordering at McD's how to order to get exactly what I want, so I figured I would say what the order taker would say to the cook to get what I wanted. Sounds pretty simple to me...Not so fast! The order taker still ask me if I wanted cheese on my burger.

So when I return another time and I order my Quarter Pounder I say "may I have a Quarter Ham please" and what does the employee do? Ask me if I want cheese!!! I say no again! Then they turn around and say "One Quarter Ham!" What's up with that? I ask for for a burger in McDonald's employee terminology and the employee disregards the terminology and hears only what they want to hear.

Then to top things off they want to charge me the same price for a Qtr Ham as a Qtr Ham with cheese which makes no sense to me! So when I inquire about the differences in prices or lack there of, the employees tell me that they must charge me the same price for a "Quarter Ham" as a "Quarter Pounder with Cheese" there is no pricing difference. Why not??? (Considering a regular hamburger cost one price and their regular cheeseburger cost is a little more because of the cheese being added.) By me not adding cheese to my sandwich the employee has to do more keystrokes than the single one touch entry for a Quarter Pounder with cheese! More work= more time in line for the employee and the customer.

Another Instance

A friend also runs into the same problem when he goes through drive-thru. He likes to order an Egg McMuffin (Egg, Cheese and Ham/Canadian Bacon). Again a original "core" menu item that has been with McD's since 1972. His problem is when he orders this, the McD's employee asks if he would like sausage on that? Who puts sausage on Ham/Canadian bacon at McD's? How do you confuse this item in an order? It's name indicates the sandwich differences from the other breakfast sandwiches. Now there is a "Sausage McMuffin with an Egg" sandwich which my friend doesn't order. He goes to several different stores and even when he goes inside the store thinking maybe it was a communication problem with the drive-thru intercom, he got the exact same results! Employees trying to add sausage to the Egg McMuffin sandwich.

Training Methodology
This is not a miscommunication problem, this is a training methodology. I think it's also a shortcut in transaction time to get the customer in and out of drive-thru quickly! Now I know some will say this is nuts to talk about but I'm here to tell you if you say nothing then the fast-food franchises don't really have the customers wants in mind. It's all about getting the customer in and out quickly hence the term "Fast Food!" It may be fast but it's not always right!

Come on McD's fix the problem! This is not rocket science, so why is it so hard for your employees to get the orders correct? It's about customer service and really listening to what the customer wants. Not everyone who orders a hamburger wants cheese on it (which is how you make it seem), and not everyone wants a meal when they just want a sandwich. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe most people on the planet know what the McDonald's menu is and they know what they want before they order. The menu has not really changed that much in it's history at least with the core items!

I know I'm crazy for blogging about this but if nothing is said people will not get what they want when they go to McD's and that's not right and I really do enjoy the food there. I have been going since I was a little kid with my father and brother and it was a weekly treat and I have done the same with my son some 30+ years later. What your training your employees to do is not good customer service this is cattle herding!!! The days of customer service have all but dissolved away and as a corporate entity you know this and instead of going back to what got you where you are today you change your own corporate model and do business as usual!!!

This will post on Facebook and Twitter in the hopes that McDonald's hears about it and makes some changes!!!

Mr. Lovettelli has spoken and you will listen!!!

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