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(Chicago Trib)   McDonald's looks to speed up drive-thru service by adding another window. The first one to pay, the second to pick up the food and the third to review your existing medical coverage   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 58
    More: Unlikely, Mcdonald, Twitter, management consults, customer complaint, window, mobile payments  
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1444 clicks; posted to Business » on 18 Nov 2013 at 9:06 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-18 09:04:47 AM  
"I HATE when McDonald's makes me pull out of the drive thru line and wait in a parking spot like a chump," @EmLynnClements posted Thursday.

She then took off her CPAP mask and took another bite of her double quarter before falling back to sleep.
 
2013-11-18 09:13:28 AM  
They added a second window for that on the one near me years ago, but then just stopped staffing it. Just costs too much to keep a minimum wage part timer in there.
 
2013-11-18 09:21:06 AM  
No, what will improve their customer service is to close. All of them.

/garbage, not food at all.
 
2013-11-18 09:30:36 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: They added a second window for that on the one near me years ago, but then just stopped staffing it. Just costs too much to keep a minimum wage part timer in there.


Most places that have added a second window do not keep them staffed all the time, there's usually not much point. Simply adding another window isn't going to improve service speed if the bottleneck is order preparation. Most of the time that minimum wage part timer is putting orders together. Adding the second pick-up window is to provide a holding area for peak times when you have one person who placed a large and/or special order who is holding up the line for four others whose orders were filled quickly and who are now are sitting there waiting.
 
2013-11-18 09:32:07 AM  
Or...if you really need that big Mac (and you know you don't), why not just walk in? Oh, right, hover rounds.
 
2013-11-18 09:36:41 AM  
Adding a 2nd ordering speaker but not adding a 2nd anything else was, IMO, a pretty pointless endeavor that is now being somewhat corrected by this.
 
2013-11-18 09:37:00 AM  
Patrons now pay at the first window and pick up food at the second. Soon there will be a second pick-up window.

"It enables customers to pull forward to receive orders at a third window when their order is not yet ready," she said. It "will enable us to better serve more customers quickly."


So their solution isn't to speed up the service, its to officially accept the slowness as just the way its going to be and to try to lessen the pain of the inevitable wait times.

Whoever came up with this brainstorm should be sacked, and whoever approved this genius' brainstorm should be sacked as well.
 
2013-11-18 09:45:08 AM  
I don't get it. "Oh, your order is easy, so pull around the guy in front of you and pick up your order at the third window."
Have you seen how people drive? Hell, I live in the suburbs, I've had to parallel park maybe five times since I got my DL 20 years ago. Unless they're hiding air traffic controllers to work the drive through, I don't see how a third window will help.
 
2013-11-18 09:46:44 AM  
And when those people put to the 2nd pickup window to wait for their food are there still waiting, and the 1st pickup window gets an order that should have sent them to the 2nd pickup window...? Oh that bottleneck will be back and the cluster fark just as bad.

Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?
 
2013-11-18 09:56:19 AM  

dolphkhan: I don't get it. "Oh, your order is easy, so pull around the guy in front of you and pick up your order at the third window."
Have you seen how people drive? Hell, I live in the suburbs, I've had to parallel park maybe five times since I got my DL 20 years ago. Unless they're hiding air traffic controllers to work the drive through, I don't see how a third window will help.


Pretty sure the slow order moves to the third window, one behind him moves up and gets their order from the second window.

Still have to wait for the slow order guy, but it feels like progress, because, hey, at least they can eat their fries while they wait.
 
2013-11-18 09:59:08 AM  
When my sister worked for McD she would get a raise if her weekly average time to serve a customer was under 45 seconds or so.  Now they make the burgers "fresh" and the clock doesn't even get a color code until 45 seconds and wont go red until 2 minutes.

I still find it odd that McD makes more profit in Australia than in the USA.  Out of all the fast food places in the US to steal, why did they pick the worst of them? (McD, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Subway and nothing else)
 
2013-11-18 10:01:19 AM  

dolphkhan: I don't get it. "Oh, your order is easy, so pull around the guy in front of you and pick up your order at the third window."
Have you seen how people drive? Hell, I live in the suburbs, I've had to parallel park maybe five times since I got my DL 20 years ago. Unless they're hiding air traffic controllers to work the drive through, I don't see how a third window will help.


All they're really doing is saving the employee from having to go outside (which takes a lot of time by comparison).  The third window I'd think takes the place of the "pull in and wait" parking spot.  And hopefully they'll put the new window far enough ahead that the person at the 2nd window can pull around without any special maneuvers.

But yes, as has been mentioned, all it will take to ruin everything is 2 big orders in a row, which of course never happens...
 
2013-11-18 10:04:52 AM  
Yeah... I was just thinking that they needed a quicker, more efficient way to get crap food into my mouth.

I'm not sure how it helps. I it takes X amount of time to make item Y, all it really does is give you the illusion of progress. You won't be leaving any faster.

So, wait at the window like a "chump"(FTFC), instead of pulling forward like a "chump." Sheep are so easily placated.
 
2013-11-18 10:12:20 AM  
"Soon there will be a second pick-up window."

One McDonald's near here has had 3 windows for years now, but unlike this new policy, the first two are for paying and pickup is at the third. Guess you could go either way, since half the time the bottleneck is at the pay window.

They assign the cashier to go double-duty as order taker, so you sit there waiting till she gets off the headset so you can finally hand her your money, then she dicks around in the change drawer for a while because they don't have automatic coin dispensers like some places do, then hands you your change bills first, coins second, so all the coins spill out of your hand. Hey McDonald's I just identified some problems with your drive-thru which you aren't addressing with this third window.
 
2013-11-18 10:14:17 AM  

DON.MAC: When my sister worked for McD she would get a raise if her weekly average time to serve a customer was under 45 seconds or so.  Now they make the burgers "fresh" and the clock doesn't even get a color code until 45 seconds and wont go red until 2 minutes.

I still find it odd that McD makes more profit in Australia than in the USA.  Out of all the fast food places in the US to steal, why did they pick the worst of them? (McD, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Subway and nothing else)


Fast food is supposed to be crap.

Crap tastes good.
 
2013-11-18 10:17:32 AM  
For maximum efficiency, the drive through should be structured like a banks, with multiple lanes
 
2013-11-18 10:19:04 AM  
In-N-Out does this and it works pretty well. I guess other places do, too, but I don't go to them any more.

/Have no idea how much it holds up those behind me when I order my 3x3 animal style.
 
2013-11-18 10:22:38 AM  
Hardee's is much slower than any of the other burger chains, but worth it.
 
2013-11-18 10:26:44 AM  

bsharitt: Hardee's is much slower than any of the other burger chains, but worth it.


I just go in. They usually put a rush on when they see me drooling on the floor. They hate to mop.

Best biscuits anywhar!
 
2013-11-18 10:29:33 AM  

stpauler: "I HATE when McDonald's makes me pull out of the drive thru line and wait in a parking spot like a chump," @EmLynnClements posted Thursday.
She then took off her CPAP mask and took another bite of her double quarter before falling back to sleep.


Yeah, who cares? Get out of your farking vehicles and go in the store, you lazy farks.

www.hdforums.com

"I hate when I'm in line at McDonald's and the ice in my super sippy cup melts before I get my order. I hate it even more when I'm waiting in line and there's nothing good to look at on my little TV. I can't believe that these low-wage workers can't serve me faster. My life is so haaarrdddddddd."
 
2013-11-18 10:32:12 AM  
Drive throughs are for lazy people, who don't mind screwed up orders.

/always park and go in
//and get a correct order, faster.
 
2013-11-18 10:32:48 AM  
Two pickup windows... Thus doubling their chances of screwing up your order...
 
2013-11-18 10:34:02 AM  
In my neck of the woods we have a series of McDonald's with a double order lane - for those unfamiliar, its essentially two order windows adjacent to each other - the left and right car place their orders, then merge into a single lane to pay for their order. While a great idea on paper - McDonald's neglected to remember that most drivers lack the capacity to yield and merge...or for that matter exhibit the slightest bit of "turn etiquette". What will inevitably happen is a driver in the first position will have a lengthy order - while a driver in the far right "second lane" will only be order a McChicken. The driver in the second position wraps up their order quickly and speeds ahead five feet to the primary pay/pick-up lane - if there is the slightest bit of congestion this driver's front end will stall about five feet from where the primary driver would merge into the pay/pick-up lane. At this point the driver in window number 1 just wrapped up their order and inches up to merge. Driver number one is waiting for the car ahead of him to pull up to the pay window. The showdown begins - driver number two (who ordered the McChicken in the secondary lane) believes he finished his order first and should not yield to driver one...depending on the aptitude of driver number one...this could result in an impasse...that is only solvable through the use of heavy artillery.
And not to mention...the pain in the arse the secondary window causes for the cashier - he/she must verify every order because you never know who actually yielded/waited their turn.
 
2013-11-18 10:52:41 AM  

makesthefire: In my neck of the woods we have a series of McDonald's with a double order lane -


Snipped for brevity.

I don't even bother going through these drive throughs. We have a few too... and I knew how other customers drove getting to the place. Like morons, that's how. They probably already cut me off once getting into the lot. I couldn't expect them to behave in a civilized manner in a drive through. They probably get the wrong order a lot. Then call 911 to complain.

No... I almost never go through a drive through... unless it's not an option.
 
2013-11-18 10:58:27 AM  
Culvers has a waiting area in their drive thru, but it's Culvers so I don't mind at all...

/now if they were only on the west coast :(
 
2013-11-18 11:01:50 AM  
splitsider.com

You all are a bunch of damn hypocrites. Every damn one of you ate breakfast there at least 3 times last week.

My favorite was when they started putting a live person in a window to take your order. I'm sure some marketing firm/study group convinced them that this would make the "dining experience" more "personable", but really it just made everyone feel guilty. I would bet money that overall sales when down by at least 10% at stores where you had to actually tell a real person instead of a speaker how many thousand calories you wanted.

If McDonalds wants to increase sales, let users put in their order with a push-button menu at the drive through, and just have the food sent out via pneumatic tubes like they do at the pharmacy. Remove all human interaction and I guarantee you sales will increase exponentially.
 
2013-11-18 11:01:55 AM  

makesthefire: In my neck of the woods we have a series of McDonald's with a double order lane - for those unfamiliar, its essentially two order windows adjacent to each other - the left and right car place their orders, then merge into a single lane to pay for their order. While a great idea on paper - McDonald's neglected to remember that most drivers lack the capacity to yield and merge...or for that matter exhibit the slightest bit of "turn etiquette". What will inevitably happen is a driver in the first position will have a lengthy order - while a driver in the far right "second lane" will only be order a McChicken. The driver in the second position wraps up their order quickly and speeds ahead five feet to the primary pay/pick-up lane - if there is the slightest bit of congestion this driver's front end will stall about five feet from where the primary driver would merge into the pay/pick-up lane. At this point the driver in window number 1 just wrapped up their order and inches up to merge. Driver number one is waiting for the car ahead of him to pull up to the pay window. The showdown begins - driver number two (who ordered the McChicken in the secondary lane) believes he finished his order first and should not yield to driver one...depending on the aptitude of driver number one...this could result in an impasse...that is only solvable through the use of heavy artillery.
And not to mention...the pain in the arse the secondary window causes for the cashier - he/she must verify every order because you never know who actually yielded/waited their turn.


A couple of McD's near me converted to the double order lanes. I had asked once how they keep the orders straight. There's a camera now that takes a picture of you/the car. It doesn't matter who yields first.
 
2013-11-18 11:24:58 AM  

jayhawk88: You all are a bunch of damn hypocrites. Every damn one of you ate breakfast there at least 3 times last week.


I'll admit to a single fast-food breakfast per week but its from Hardees (only they have a decent chicken biscuit IMO).

I wouldn't even have that singular weekly visit if it weren't for my youngest wanting some junk food to jumpstart the gorram awful monday mornings.
 
2013-11-18 11:28:34 AM  

jayhawk88: You all are a bunch of damn hypocrites. Every damn one of you ate breakfast there at least 3 times last week.

My favorite was when they started putting a live person in a window to take your order. I'm sure some marketing firm/study group convinced them that this would make the "dining experience" more "personable", but really it just made everyone feel guilty. I would bet money that overall sales when down by at least 10% at stores where you had to actually tell a real person instead of a speaker how many thousand calories you wanted.

If McDonalds wants to increase sales, let users put in their order with a push-button menu at the drive through, and just have the food sent out via pneumatic tubes like they do at the pharmacy. Remove all human interaction and I guarantee you sales will increase exponentially.


Zero for me. Haven't had McDonald's in months. I just don't care for it.

The one down the block has the double line- it always looks congested when I drive by.
 
2013-11-18 11:33:57 AM  
Short of invalidity, the best reason for drive-thru is if you have a kid in the back seat.  Extracting/re-implanting them in the seat and navigating them through a store is a pain (in my day I never had a car seat and mom would just lock me in for ten minutes, not possible any more).

What would really speed things up and reduce staffing is if they could have you pay via a swipe-it-yourself (or even better NFC tap) screen.  McD would be thrilled to eat the bank fees on every transaction if they could have customers diy that step.  However, lots of fast food is sold to people without any plastic, paying with crumpled stripper notes and panhandled nickels.
 
2013-11-18 11:44:42 AM  
Is sort-of weirds me out that anyone besides kids and teenagers actually eat at McDonald's. Are they mutants? How can their bodies handle it?

I'm one of those people that simply can't handle ANY McDonald's food. Everything except their ice-cream makes me want to crap my pants within 15 minutes of eating it. Even their salads, if they have any meat in them.

I know I'm not the only one. I have friends that get the same violent gut-reaction to McD's. The grease they put on everything isn't fit for human consumption.
 
2013-11-18 11:49:33 AM  
Holy crap, people. "Wah, I had to wait an extra 45 seconds to get my McFlurry because the person in front of me got 3 value meals."

How about we just slip a glucose IV into your arm.  Would that work?
 
2013-11-18 12:21:07 PM  

KellyX: Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?


My local McDonald's remodeled to have two complete lanes.  It always was so heavily trafficked and zippy that you felt guilty for not being able to get your window down fast enough.

Location, location, location.
 
2013-11-18 12:25:36 PM  

KellyX: Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?


They exist.  One around here that is drive-through only (with a token walk-up service window) and drive-up windows on both sides.
 
2013-11-18 12:28:26 PM  
Which window will he be attending?

i1.ytimg.com
/hold the special sauce, plz
 
2013-11-18 12:37:06 PM  

netringer: KellyX: Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?

My local McDonald's remodeled to have two complete lanes.  It always was so heavily trafficked and zippy that you felt guilty for not being able to get your window down fast enough.

Location, location, location.


How does that work?  One on each side of the building?
 
2013-11-18 12:48:14 PM  
We have a McD w/ 3 windows. The first one sits unused, teh second one may or may not take your money, the third is where most of the actions happens.

Not that I've been there in a very long time, but rarely I'll pick up some nuggets for the kids.
 
2013-11-18 12:50:46 PM  

wxboy: netringer: KellyX: Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?

My local McDonald's remodeled to have two complete lanes.  It always was so heavily trafficked and zippy that you felt guilty for not being able to get your window down fast enough.

Location, location, location.

How does that work?  One on each side of the building?


Nah.  Two lanes next to each other like at a Ralley's - an innie and an outie - that wrap from the ordering menu in the back to the delivery on the north side.  I haven't been through there enough to see how they get the food to the outer lane.
 
2013-11-18 12:52:20 PM  
The McDonalds and Chick Fil A near me put people outside and take orders during peak times.  The McDonalds people will walk around well before the ordering speaker and take your order. The people at Chick Fil A will take your credit card at the ordering speaker before you even make it to the pick up window.
 
2013-11-18 12:54:50 PM  
Can't wait until they start using these and cut out all the middlemen:

i.imgur.com

/I think burgers would taste better after being launched at 40 mph.
//Just wait, once the figure out how to send soda through them, it'll happen
 
2013-11-18 01:06:22 PM  
They're going to need to add an extra manager to stand behind each person at the windows and yell at them to go faster to beat the timer that starts when cars pull up.

/at least, that's how it was when I did my time there
 
2013-11-18 01:10:12 PM  

jayhawk88: You all are a bunch of damn hypocrites. Every damn one of you ate breakfast there at least 3 times last week.


I haven't gone near a McDonald's in years. Working there (and seeing how quickly the food turned once it was cooked and placed in the heating rack) has cured me of my craving for the mac sauce.
 
2013-11-18 01:16:03 PM  
All I know is that it pisses me off when some asshat is too lazy to get out of their land barge to go inside and place their huge order. The only things I get at McD's is either iced coffee or iced tea, or an occasional soda. So it can be rage inducing waiting 10-15 minute due to some inconsiderate asshole up front.
 
2013-11-18 01:55:28 PM  
This is, no exaggeration, at least a decade old in McDonald's in this area (along with other ff joints). Third window never gets used, as people pointed out. Some of them have even 'boarded up' one of the windows.

Unless there's a high school football team stopping in on the way back after a game, going in is ALWAYS faster, you lazy farks.
 
2013-11-18 02:11:57 PM  

realmolo: Is sort-of weirds me out that anyone besides kids and teenagers actually eat at McDonald's. Are they mutants? How can their bodies handle it?

I'm one of those people that simply can't handle ANY McDonald's food. Everything except their ice-cream makes me want to crap my pants within 15 minutes of eating it. Even their salads, if they have any meat in them.

I know I'm not the only one. I have friends that get the same violent gut-reaction to McD's. The grease they put on everything isn't fit for human consumption.


I'm 6'4" 185 and I eat McDonald's maybe once every couple weeks. It's a nice indulgence. I don't have the same reaction to the food that you do. *shrug* people are different.
 
2013-11-18 02:26:45 PM  

netringer: wxboy: netringer: KellyX: Perhaps McDonald's should try experimenting with a location that gets rid of the lobby, and only caters to drive-thru only. Perhaps has 2 lanes like Checkers/Rallys does... isn't like 70% of their business drive-thru anyhow?

My local McDonald's remodeled to have two complete lanes.  It always was so heavily trafficked and zippy that you felt guilty for not being able to get your window down fast enough.

Location, location, location.

How does that work?  One on each side of the building?

Nah.  Two lanes next to each other like at a Ralley's - an innie and an outie - that wrap from the ordering menu in the back to the delivery on the north side.  I haven't been through there enough to see how they get the food to the outer lane.


Yea they got one like that here too, but it's still a normal McDonald's in the sense it has a lobby and eat-in area.

But I was referring to a 100% drive-thru only, but I think someone said they knew of one that did that.
 
2013-11-18 02:27:47 PM  

Mister Buttons: Can't wait until they start using these and cut out all the middlemen:

[i.imgur.com image 207x244]

/I think burgers would taste better after being launched at 40 mph.
//Just wait, once the figure out how to send soda through them, it'll happen


I remember when Krystals tried a delivery system similar to that, only it was a tray on a chain system that brought it over the other car and down to your lane.
 
2013-11-18 03:38:14 PM  

makesthefire: In my neck of the woods we have a series of McDonald's with a double order lane - for those unfamiliar, its essentially two order windows adjacent to each other - the left and right car place their orders, then merge into a single lane to pay for their order. While a great idea on paper - McDonald's neglected to remember that most drivers lack the capacity to yield and merge...or for that matter exhibit the slightest bit of "turn etiquette". What will inevitably happen is a driver in the first position will have a lengthy order - while a driver in the far right "second lane" will only be order a McChicken. The driver in the second position wraps up their order quickly and speeds ahead five feet to the primary pay/pick-up lane - if there is the slightest bit of congestion this driver's front end will stall about five feet from where the primary driver would merge into the pay/pick-up lane. At this point the driver in window number 1 just wrapped up their order and inches up to merge. Driver number one is waiting for the car ahead of him to pull up to the pay window. The showdown begins - driver number two (who ordered the McChicken in the secondary lane) believes he finished his order first and should not yield to driver one...depending on the aptitude of driver number one...this could result in an impasse...that is only solvable through the use of heavy artillery.
And not to mention...the pain in the arse the secondary window causes for the cashier - he/she must verify every order because you never know who actually yielded/waited their turn.


The older 2 kids were bugging me for McDs after swim class one Saturday last year. I went to the closest McDs, slightly sketchy area but it had been refurbished. I recalled the time before I was in there with my kids and this young black guy is cussing up a storm so this time I went in the Drive Thru. There were 2 parallel lanes for ordering and one for paying.

I pull to the ordering box thing but there's no one there. I start saying "Hello?" politely as I'm originally British but proceed to start yelling into it like I have an onion on my belt or it's a cloud or something. Eventually - like 4 or 5 minutes later - someone takes my order. Meanwhile, 10 cars or so have passed through the other lane. I'm pissed.

Of course this farks up everything and they claim not to have my food ready and I've to go park up and "someone will be out with it in a minute". Of course, no one ever farkin' came so I had to take both my kids out of the car - they are too young to leave in there in that area - and go inside to get my food. Now I had to wait in farkin' line. I could see my food - it was on a shelf above where the burgers slide down - but I couldn't get to it until it was my time in line.

It was a huge pain in the ass mostly down to crappy staff poorly implementing something from corporate.

/had the last laugh by never returning there
 
2013-11-18 04:34:43 PM  

KellyX: Yea they got one like that here too, but it's still a normal McDonald's in the sense it has a lobby and eat-in area.

But I was referring to a 100% drive-thru only, but I think someone said they knew of one that did that.


Google Street View to "3072 sw 29, 66614" for the one I'm thinking of.
 
2013-11-18 05:17:51 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: They added a second window for that on the one near me years ago, but then just stopped staffing it. Just costs too much to keep a minimum wage part timer in there.


Fast Food chains are now moving to IP based ordering. where when you pull up, you get a pre-played message "Hi, would you like to try a frosty cold Mc-----" before a voice of a completely different gender buts in asking for your order.  that voice is at a call-center in flyover country - or India, who enters the order into the restaurant's ticketing system and it shows up on the screen for the cooks.  The need for someone to wear a headset to take orders, get drinks, bag food, and hand your shiat to you may soon be ending.
 
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