My favorite topic over the past 18 months has seemed to center on the struggles of McDonald’s. Despite very rarely frequenting the restaurant itself, I have taken an interest in the rocky road the company has had to navigate.
Yesterday the news hit that McDonald’s had introduced a new drive-thru policy. To help eliminate mistakes at the window, the company is now adhering to three words: “ask, ask, tell.”
When implementing this new system, the McDonald’s employee you are chatting with at the intercom will first ask if your order is correctly displayed on the monitor. Then, when you pay at the first window, another employee (or perhaps the same one from the intercom), will repeat your order and ask if it is still accurate. Finally, at the second window, the employee who hands you your food will tell you exactly what is in the bag. He or she will also leave the bag open instead of folding it to offer even greater transparency.
Although McDonald’s admits that it might take a little longer to receive your food, I don’t think many of us can complain. If you are like me, a botched order can completely ruin your fast food experience. I remember several occasions when I was little and my parents took us through the McDonald’s drive-thru and things didn’t go as planned. Perhaps nothing got an 8-year-old Brent more angry than biting into a supposed plain cheeseburger only to have it oozing ketchup after the first chunk was in my mouth. Yuck!
Things haven’t changed that much in the present day. On occasion, I still receive sabotaged orders at the drive-thru window (one of the many reasons why I don’t eat fast food often). Dinner ruined.
Timing is always funny. The news about McDonald’s revamped drive-thru strategy hit the media yesterday. Last night, I asked Sidney if I could visit her during lunch today. With it being Thanksgiving week on campus and with all the students gone, it was a perfect opportunity for me to head out to Palmetto Bays Elementary. She said of course and asked if I could bring her, you guessed it, MCDONALD’S.
So today I had the opportunity to experience the “ask, ask, tell” method fresh off of its implementation. Things got off to a rocky start. Sidney wanted chicken nuggets but ordering them at 10 a.m. wasn’t a good idea. McDonald’s apparently doesn’t serve non-breakfast items until after 10:30 a.m. After cutting out of the drive-thru and going the wrong way to a parking spot so I could text Sidney for her new order, it was back up to the intercom for me.
This time when I actually ordered something that they were serving at the moment, things went better. I ordered her the sausage biscuit meal without the egg but with cheese. The employee asked if my order was accurate while drawing my attention to the screen. I went to the first window and paid and the woman there rattled off my order and asked it if was correct. I pulled up to the second window and, just like the news articles said, I did have to wait much longer than normal. But the employee gave me the bag with a big smile and told me what was inside. Seamless.
For the first time in what has seemed like forever, the most recent quarterly earnings for McDonalds improved over the previous report. This is another move in the right direction. Don’t Blink.