Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The McChronicles has noted a trend in several McDonald's recently. Here's how it goes:

  1. the crew person at the counter says, "Who's next?".
  2. the customer steps up and places their order.
  3. the order is taken, the customer pays and receives their change.
  4. the customer suddenly acquires super powers, becomes invisible, and the crew person acts as if the customer evaporated.
  5. the crew person says, "Who's next?"
The McChronicles is kind of "hip". We "get it". So the first time this happened we accommodated it as we sought to understand what was happening. The behavior was attributed to inexperience or rudeness on the part of the crew (or maybe it was our breath). Then it happened again ... and again ... and ... you get the point.

Imagine the customer experience of someone who doesn't visit McDonald's a lot. Imagine the customer experience of someone who is a little slow. Imagine the perception of someone who is used to a slightly more respectful dignified level of treatment. Virtually ANYONE is going to wonder:
"Did I just become invisible?"
"Is my order in progress?"
"Am I supposed to stand here or move somewhere else?" "How will I know when my order is ready?" "Who will tell me when my order is ready?"
    Now, this is bad enough when things go to plan. But when an order ends up going into overtime, then a person's mind starts getting crazy. We won't attempt to list the things that may occur to a person while they're in that zone.

    Needless to say ... STRIKE THAT ... we'll say it:

    McDonald's crew:

    1. Do expect to be respected and treated kindly - by your peers, management, and customers. You deserve that.
    2. Real, warm-blooded human beings are your customers. We're ALL not jerks/rude/outrageous. Some of us are actually decent, nice people who are hoping for a nice meal and a modicum of acknowledgement.
    3. Please act as if you are waiting on a human being. Act as if your Mom/Grandma/favorite teacher/coach/guru/friend was on line.
    4. Be aware of the fact that virtually none of us know what you are doing when you type on your register - and we certainly don't know the protocol or the system. We assume that we will order, pay, and be handed food. If there is a minor delay, we expect that you will SPEAK TO US LIKE WE ARE HUMANS (remember your Mom/Grandma...?), tell us what is happening, and keep us informed as the unexpected (unadvertised) delay plays out.
    5. Customers should know that you don't know, or care, about what is going on in our lives. Customers have no right to blow up at you because their marriage sucks, their car is falling apart, and their kids don't respect them. We are to be civil and respectful.
    6. Please don't take it out on us if your manager is a jerk, or if anything else in your life is irritating you.
    In short, please tell us what just happened, what you want us to do next, and what we are waiting for. We'll be OK with it. Please.

    The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
    Image: One of the BEST customer service moments encountered by The McChronicles in 2006.


    Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross said...

    I second that! To "Quality, Service, Value, and Cleanliness," let's add "Communication."

    Notice that Wendys has a little open counter space at the end where the orders are placed when finished. At least I know where to stand.

    Great blog.



    Anonymous said...

    I worked at McDonalds for two years. Sorry, but we're just too overworked/underpaid to go "that extra mile." Honestly, if McDonalds is all about getting by with paying their employees the bare minimum, they, in return can't expect much more out of us. So please, don't expect anything out of us, cause your always going to be let down. Go somewhere else. McDonalds really doesn't care. If they did, they would change the way they run their resteraunts and treat their employees.

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    Anonymous said...

    As a crew member i would like to point out that i agree. I ALWAYS make a point of informing a customer of any irregular delays and i direct customers to the self service drinks and condiments while they are waiting. and if their food takes much longer than regular i offer to have them sit down and bring it to them when finished.

    McChronicles said...

    You sound like an awesome crew person. Thanks for commenting.