With such high demand, it’s important to the “Golden Arches” company to being fast and decrease the time between getting the consumer from being hungry to being full. Making the service’s speed one of their first priorities, they have developed during the years processes so that the client is quickly served and the employee doesn’t need to move much to get the products, which is known as “Scientific management”. This type of management is concerned with the best way to do a job, standardizing the tools and work processes to decrease the time lose, based on the principles of bureaucracy and assembly lines. In other words, McDonald’s applied the “famous Fords assembly line so they produce more in less time” (Ritzer, 2004).One easy way to observe this in their restaurants is the organization of the space and the distribution of sections. First they have parking lots adjacent to the restaurants, so the client doesn’t need to walk long distances to get there. On the inside the restaurant is designed so the consumer knows were to go and to minimize distance travelled. The tills are located close to the hamburgers’ expositor and the other machines and fryers so that employee can easily grab the consumer order and move to the next order without losing to much time. The consumer itself is controlled with the use of a limited menu to make the choice easier.
The well-known drive-through is most probably one of the best examples of McDonald’s process design. This process was designed to decrease even more the time that the customers take to get their order and also the time spent in the restaurant, since the customer doesn’t even need to get out of their own vehicle to have their food. In a McDonald’s Drive-thru, drivers place an order at the first window or a microphone box after entering the special drive-thru line and then they drive around the building to another window where they pay for their order and finally move to a last window where the order is delivered, if there’s any special order, which take longer to be delivered, drivers are asked to move to a standing-by lot so they don’t cause any delay in the process.
One of the most recent innovations is the easy order points to customers who wish to pay with cards, it consists in a self-service till when the customer can choose what he want to buy and pay without need to wait in a queue to be served by an employee, after placing the order the customer is called to pick his order when its ready.
As a fast food company, McDonald’s its always worried with time and how to decrease the time of their services, even the fact of all the food sold can be considered finger foods is considered one process design to run against the time. Nowadays, there are several innovations being test to make the process even quicker for both the customer and the employee.
As said before, variety is not a world that we would use to describe McDonald’s menus, instead we could use words as predictable and uniform to describe it, since one of the company motto is to assure that products and services are the same over time and in all places. However, from time to time there are some extra products added to the menu to fit a specific season or event.
The usual menu includes the famous “Big Mac, the quarter pound, along with the cheeseburger, (…) all available with French fries, as well as breakfast and dessert menus and a range of hot and cold drinks” (Emeral Group Publishing, 2007), which is equal around the world so that is always something familiar to the customer on the menu. Besides that, during a specific season or holiday, such as Christmas, or during another special events, McDonald’s develop new products known as temporary or seasonal products, therefore the customer is invited to experience something new to celebrate the date. Other preoccupation behind the menus is fit the local conditions, realities, tastes and traditions, adding local foods to the uniform menu, which results in new products or adaptations of the permanent products to reach customers tastes around the world.
The kids were not left behind with the creation of a special meal to them, a happy meal, which consists in a combination of the simplest burgers of McDonald’s with fries, drink and a special prize related with the latest animated characters, a menu proportional to their size. With this they reach another age target that can influence their parents to go to one of their restaurants.
However, with the increase of the worldwide levels of obesity, today’s society is getting more conscious about healthy meals and calories, so McDonalds was force to keep up with more sophisticated customers which result in significant changes on their permanent menu with new products, such as wraps, salads and fruit smoothies.
One of the disadvantages of such a restricted menu is not being able to change, so if a customer have a special order he don’t get it straight away. Quoting Henry Ford “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants as long as it is black” by following his ideology, McDonald’s make it hard to satisfy the picky customers.
When a customer goes to one of McDonald’s restaurants, he is expecting a quick and low cost meal, not really caring with the quality of the product, since customers decide if the product worth the price that they will be paying for it. However, a McDonald’s consumer can easily be mistaken between quality and quantity, so if the burger is big consumers believe, it’s better. It’s easy to say that the speed is the most important performance parameter to the company and the customer, as it is being on time.
McDonald’s still is a growing company and is expected to continue being the number one company in the fast food business, but it is essential to them to look back to their priorities, sure it is important to be quick in this business, but what if being quick is letting the customers behind? With strict scripts to employees, McDonald’s is influencing the experience to go to one of their restaurants to further their interests and they are not caring if it matches with what the consumer wants and expects.