McDonald's Corporation Complaint - Automation @ McD's - the FUTURE.... of waiting....
I was waiting on my wife last night at the COlumbus Ohio airport - the only merchant near there is McDonalds so I pulled up for a large Diet Coke.
First, I assume the ordering was one of those "outsourced" remote ordering setups as I was greeted with "Someone will be with you shortly" in a middle eastern or Indian accented male voice. About 90 seconds later, a female asks for my order. "Large Diet Coke, please". QUARTER POUNDER WITH CHEESE appears on the screen and she asks "Anything to drink?" - I respond, "yes a large diet coke and please remove the quarter pounder" - She does and I pull forward, pay my $1.48, and pull to second window.
As I wait at the window I watch a conveyor belt drink dispenser dispensing soda into numerous cups while the girl makes coffee. I was glad I didn't get coffee since she opened the coffee packer with her teeth - but that's not what this review is about....
I've been at the window for about 45 seconds and the coffee girl disappears. She reappears with a bag of food and tries to hand it to me. I tell her "I just ordered a Diet Coke". confusion.
She puts the food down and looks at the drink conveyor belt and tells me "There is no diet coke on the belt" and continues to look at me. So I ask "Can you make me one? That's all I ordered". She shuts the window and looks dumfoudned at the automated drink maker... she waves another girl over to stare at it. They both laugh and call another one over who I assume is the manager. She hits a few buttons and a large cup pops out and is filled with ice. A small amount of soda, not enough to fill the cup, is dispensed and the belt moves it from under the dispenser. They laugh again and hit another button. Slowly, the belt moves the cup back toward the dispenser - stopped a few times for another drink to be automatically dispensed. FInally, my cup gets to the nozzle and more drink is dispensed. The manager walks away, the coffee girl puts a lid on my drink, gets a straw and hands me the drink. As she does, I chuckle and as "WOuldnt it have bene easier to just to do that manually?" She says "probably" and shuts the window.
Now, I am all about technology - I work in the technology field and I love automation as long as it is "smart automation" and contributes to efficiency. I get what McD's is trying to do - but when the system shuts down and employees are not empowered and/or smart enough to work around the issue, customer are left waiting 5 minutes for food and drink.