Do you want fries with that?
That defender of free enterprise, that bastion of corporate capitalism, the esteemed Wall Street Journal, just published an article detailing a longtime challenge facing McDonald’s: getting its workforce to provide service with a smile.
You read it first at the WSJ: breaking news none of the customers had ever suspected. No one who patronizes the restaurant chain could have known the dark truth that the employees might be “rude or unprofessional.”
The riveting exposé blows the lid off what’s happening behind the counter at McDonald’s: “service is broken.”
In a comprehensive industry comparison of customer service at fast-food chains, McDonald’s consistently tanked.
And of course it has nothing to do with keeping workers part-time, paying minimum wage and offering no benefits. People love jobs like that – especially when it means their skin is permanently saturated with the aroma of eau de fries and they get to wear greasy uniforms.
And of course management understands the problem is completely unrelated to lousy pay.
Nope, highly-paid upper management knows everyone is born with the passionate career goal of “Order Taker” under the bright yellow arches at the home of the revered “Big Mac.”
“The fast-food giant, whose restaurant sales in the U.S. began to slip last year, is pushing franchisees to improve staffing and service amid mounting complaints about rude employees.” Corporate HQ was shocked – shocked! – to learn that “customers find service ‘chaotic.’ “
“But achieving speed and friendliness of service across the chain has been a particularly elusive goal, at least in part because about 90% of McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. are owned by independent operators.”
That’s right, folks, in a stunning tour de force of insightful analysis, the blame lies not with the company, but with the franchisees!
If only the corporation owned all the restaurants! Then lousy service would never be a problem!
McDonald’s declined to make executives available for interviews, and won’t publicly say what it will do to “address complaints,” other than giving top management more big increases in their compensation packages.
When learning that the reason behind the rise in customer complaints could be because customers now have ways to complain, including the email address on food packaging, the CEO immediately demanded who was the meathead who came up with that bright idea.
According to a memo sent to franchisees, the company is doing several things to improve service, such as providing electric shocks for employees who fail to smile and releasing flying monkeys to attack workers who forget to include ketchup packets in orders.
Under a new “dual point” ordering system that is being rolled out nationwide, the customer places an order at one end of the counter. When the order is ready, a “runner” will dash across a bed of hot coals to deliver it, thanking customers and begging them to come again because otherwise workers get an extra beating at the end of their shift.
“Dual point provides personalized one-on-one service. To the customer, we appear friendlier and better organized.”