Faster is Not Better

There’s a growing issue at my local McDonald’s. (This is not about the quality of the food, the waste or any other large-scale issue. This seems to be completely isolated from the corporate entity and is strictly the owner of my local franchise.)
The issue is speed. The management has implemented a system at lunch time. There is one, sometimes two, order taker(s) at the drive-thru. On the surface this looks like a great idea. There’s no difficulty understanding the customer because of the microphone.

The problem is, that the person taking your order is nowhere near the menu. If you haven’t got the menu memorized or say the right number, you’re SOL. And heaven forbid you want something that isn’t a value meal or a special order.
Next, there is a roaming money taker who comes to the car and takes your money or runs your credit card to the window. Here’s the next fault line in the system. If they money taker gets off sequence, or heaven forbid you say cash when you meant to say credit the damage is almost impossible. The line is backed up for three or four minutes while they try to sort that debacle out.

Lastly, there’s the person who’s delivering the food. If you aren’t at the window, getting ketchup or sauce for nuggets or sugar for your coffee is next to impossible. Just suck it up and go without.

Now, here are some of the things that have gone wrong with this system in place:
1) Not receiving the items you ordered, even though when you glance in the box might look right, that doesn’t mean it is.

2) Not getting condiments. They no longer throw ketchup in the bags. Props for the environmental waste move. Boo for the customer service snafu. (Might be helpful if the girl handing out the food understood the English names for the condiments and sauces. I don’t really care if she doesn’t speak English as her first language as long as she understands it.)

3) Not getting charged the right amount on your card. This takes ages to fix. All the while the people in the cars behind you are getting anxious and upset because they have finished their transactions while you’re waiting to get yours fixed.

The problem is that the management of this location has demanded faster and faster serve times without thinking about the fact that there are going to be more mistakes. The service people are harried and I’m sure they get in trouble when their little “order time” ticker takes longer to complete. They’re artificially pushing the times down in the first place. And if you have a long order or a complicated one? Hello, I want to spend more money here and you’re acting as if this is an issue.

The faster, faster motto is getting stupid. There’s even a radio station that uses “you don’t have to listen to slow washed out music” anymore. Their examples of slow and washed out? The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Rolling Stones. Yeah, right, instead you’re making me listen to “Hey there Delilah.” How is this an improvement?

Needless to say, I think I’m at the top limit of this insanity now. I’m going to have to take my business to one of the other restaurants for lunch or *shudders* bring my own lunch in.


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