Steven Bigari, a McDonald’s franchisee, has dramatically increased the efficiency of his 12 McDonald’s by reducing its drive-through order time by 30 seconds to a little more than one-minute per transaction. (That’s well below the McDonald’s drive-through average order time of two-minutes thirty-six seconds.)
Plus, this McDonald’s franchisee has increased the number of cars his drive-throughs handle by 15% from 226 cars per hour to 260 cars.
“This transforms my business. It’s bigger than drive-through,” contends Bigari.
What in the name of the Hamburgler is going on here? How can a McDonald’s record such startling order-taking efficiency?
To achieve such efficiency, Mr. Bigari has done the seemingly radical … he has outsourced his drive-through order taking function to a call center in Colorado Springs.
Yes, he has outsourced order-taking at his McDonald’s to a call center.
“Cheap, quick and reliable telecommunications lines let the order takers in Colorado Springs converse with customers in Missouri, take an electronic snapshot of them, display their order on a screen to make sure it is right, then forward the order and the photo to the restaurant kitchen. People picking up their burgers never know that their order traverses two states and bounces back before they can even start driving to the pickup window.” [source: New York Times article from 7.18.04 (registration req’d)]
What has been the reaction at McDonald’s Corporate offices? McDonald’s is intrigued and has started a small drive-through call center test with three locations near its Oak Brook, IL headquarters. However, McDonald’s is focusing its resources more on other customer service improvement areas such as installing wi-fi access in its restaurants and introducing credit card/debit card payment options.
Pleased with the results of his order-taking outsourcing system, Mr. Bigari now offers customers the option of ordering from their table using a phone and parents watching over their kids in the playground areas can phone-in orders and have their food delivered.
Hmm … whattaya think about this? How do you think this would impact your “experience” at McDonald’s? As long as you get your order faster and more accurate, do you care if a “call center” takes your order?
I know one thing, out-sourcing the drive-through order taking function will make the “drive-through incoherent garble” a thing of the past … which is a good thing.