It's OK that we customers have to self-serve our drinks, condiments, straws, napkins, etc. (depending on the store). And we even appreciate why (costs, speed, etc.). It's OK. But just remember a few things. For example:
- We have been trained by multiple sources, for decades, that cleanliness counts. The McChronicles even posted about an NBC special show called "Dirty Dining". When the ketchup dispenser, napkin dispenser, and condiment tubs are all cruddy (YES, cruddy, see the image), many of us aren't feeling real good about things. It kind of diminishes the main reason we choose to do business with McDonald's (or any restaurant). PS: Spring for some professional labels. You know you are offering Splenda, Equal, and Sugar (and plan to do so for years) - so pretend you are professional. We LOVE that.
- We want things to be carefree, easy, simple, etc. So, don't attempt to produce artificial diamonds by cramming as many napkins into the wooden style napkin dispenser as is humanly possible (we prefer the pop-out style we've been seeing lately). Every time we see that monster we shudder. When it is packed, a customer grabs a napkin, pulls, and ends up with a sliver of paper between their fingers (with a ripped napkin still stuck in the dispenser). Or, way too many napkins come out. Sometimes the entire napkin holder falls out. See the attached image. We posted about this before, too.
- We don't work at McDonald's and don't know your secret codes. For example, we don't know the difference between a "12 oz cold", "16/21 oz Lids", "32 oz cold", and "Hot Lids" ... and we don't want to learn. See picture. And, completing the circle, when we try to grab one lid, inadvertently picking up two, then put one back, we don't like to wonder who had previously handled the lid we're using, what disease they may have, if they washed their hands before exiting the rest room, or if they dropped it into little Mary's stroller before retrieving it and putting it back because it was the wrong size (Dirty Dining).
These are the details that empowered crew members, and caring, dialed-in managers take care of. It all starts with store management/owners that live the customer experience.
You are spending money to do this stuff anyway. Please do it right. What a great opportunity to set the world standard for quality and cleanliness in customer self-service. McDonald's leads the industry in so many things. This should be simple.
Images: The McChronicles
McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.