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McDonald's exploring new ways of making buying a burger a long, baffling ordeal.

monkeyrotica Nov 20, 2013 11:02 AM

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mc...

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    cwdonald RE: monkeyrotica Nov 20, 2013 11:10 AM

    This sounds like they are moving closer to the Burger King special orders don't upset us model.

    As a point of reference, Wawa has customers order custom sandwiches using a touch screen.

    Seems like they are testing both custom burgers, as well as changing the workflow for checkers.

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      chileheadmike RE: monkeyrotica Nov 20, 2013 04:26 PM

      Outsourcing customer service to the customer.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chileheadmike
        GraydonCarter RE: chileheadmike Nov 21, 2013 07:43 AM

        I always felt the Wawa touch screen system was intended so that the food preparer need not speak English. I have no proof of this but it makes complete sense.

        1. re: GraydonCarter
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          cwdonald RE: GraydonCarter Nov 21, 2013 07:50 AM

          Don't they have to read the ticket to know what to put on the sandwich? To me it sounds like it should be an easier and faster way to take orders, and ultimately use fewer people. But the Wawa system requires you to order, pay and then pick up the sandwich. Wonder if McDonalds will consider moving to this two tier system (kind of like the way I used to buy things in Russia under the Soviet regime... ).

          1. re: GraydonCarter
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            ebchower RE: GraydonCarter Dec 7, 2013 11:54 PM

            I like the Wawa touch screen system because it lets me know exactly what's available. I also lose my patience waiting behind someone ordering verbally who is taking too long. On the other hand, the whole setup is very cold and impersonal.

            Wawas in my area don't have a problem finding employees who speak English.

        2. carolinadawg RE: monkeyrotica Nov 20, 2013 04:32 PM

          Why the extreme negativity towards McD?

          5 Replies
          1. re: carolinadawg
            monkeyrotica RE: carolinadawg Nov 21, 2013 03:08 AM

            For me, what was once a simple transaction has now become a painful, tedious, error-ridden ordeal I have a difficult time justifying. A former McDonalds exec spelled it out in an interview: once managers at McD's become senior executives, they don't want to sell burgers anymore. They want to sell a "dining experience." This seems to be happening across the chain burger landscape; it's gotten so that they're so out of ideas, Burger King and McD's are trying to mimic eachothers burgers. Again. In management speak, they've abandoned their core competencies and are experiencing mission creep.

            1. re: monkeyrotica
              carolinadawg RE: monkeyrotica Nov 21, 2013 04:43 AM

              Have you actually tried the new iPad ordering system you are so vociferously slamming?

              1. re: carolinadawg
                monkeyrotica RE: carolinadawg Nov 21, 2013 04:59 AM

                Do I want a staph infection with my fries?

                1. re: monkeyrotica
                  carolinadawg RE: monkeyrotica Nov 21, 2013 05:10 AM

                  I have no idea. I don't opine on issues about which I have no knowledge or personal experience.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                    RUK RE: monkeyrotica Nov 24, 2013 06:08 AM

                    Doesn't everybody nowadays carry a stylus in their pockets/handbags?
                    http://tabtimes.com/review/ittech-acc...
                    I do! :-)
                    ( but for different reasons than mentioned here)

            2. GraydonCarter RE: monkeyrotica Nov 21, 2013 07:47 AM

              The store manager said the patty is "chargrilled" but I'll bet it is just cooked on the fryer top. They are just using a frozen Quarter Pounder patty.

              The thing that makes a burger really good at BGR or Five Guys or Shake Shack is that it is a real, fresh, ground beef burger, not a frozen patty.

              5 Replies
              1. re: GraydonCarter
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                cwdonald RE: GraydonCarter Nov 21, 2013 07:52 AM

                But what they are really going for here is customization.. they are not just saying that a big mac has to have two all supposedly beef hockey pucks lettuce shreds plastic cheez insipid tomatoes secret sauce on a sesame seed sponge but you can customize it. ... in other words have it your way without having to go to Burger King.

                1. re: cwdonald
                  monkeyrotica RE: cwdonald Nov 21, 2013 09:00 AM

                  http://foodbeast.com/2013/11/20/spott...

                  What's attractive about In N Out is that you can customize your burger with as many pattys as you can afford. This system stops at two pattys. And I don't see people paying $8-9 for a frozen burger with no fries. It's probably a moot point since the costs associated with rolling this out to a majority of stores is prohibitive. This just seems like another way of capturing a Millennial market share that associates your product with cheap junk. You can now customize this junk, but it doesn't change the fact that it's junk.

                  http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice...

                  1. re: monkeyrotica
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                    cwdonald RE: monkeyrotica Nov 22, 2013 09:16 AM

                    Costs may or may not be prohibitive. Remember the costs will be born by franchisees rather than the parent company for franchise stores.

                    And while you are right its not as much customization as In and out.. thats irrelevant, at least on the East coast as we dont have them, and never will.

                    I agree that it doesnt improve the product, but it does change the purchase experience, and giving a personalized burger may make it more competitive with Wendys Burger King and Five Guys.

                    It also potentially changes the whole purchase experience if you select the product yourself on a touch screen rather than ordering and having a person take the order. I think ultimately you may see this as a labor saving move. If it is a labor saving move, you can clearly cost justify the software.

                    1. re: cwdonald
                      monkeyrotica RE: cwdonald Nov 22, 2013 09:36 AM

                      I can't imagine franchise stores will be lining up to make this kind of capital investment, regardless of the promised labor savings. Wendy's franchises made a big stink when they had to upgrade their bun toasters. And while tech does alter the labor equation, you're now stuck with tech that has to be maintained and upgraded. There's a McD's near me with a soundproof play room with four video game terminals. None of them are ever on because all four are broken.

                2. re: GraydonCarter
                  monkeyrotica RE: GraydonCarter Nov 21, 2013 09:05 AM

                  Do people go to McDonalds for real, fresh, ground beef that tastes like something? I don't go to Taco Bell for authentic Mexican cuisine. I go because it's fast and cheap and they're open late. Problem is, lately, they're dropping Dollar Menu items so it's no longer cheap and they keep adding items that I don't want, clogging the already choked ordering system so that people have to pull out of the drive thru and wait for their "fast" food only to discover they give you the wrong thing. The hassle just isn't worth the price or time so I find myself paying more to eat a better product at the local 5G or Shake Shack which is probably better for me in the long run anyway. Thanks McDonalds!

                3. Boston_Otter RE: monkeyrotica Nov 22, 2013 12:13 PM

                  Given my many experiences of trying to order a burger with anything but the standard toppings, and the blank looks I get from kids behind the register at complex ideas like "extra onions", I'll welcome any way to streamline the ordering process. This sounds like a smart way to try taking the language barrier out of the equation.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Boston_Otter
                    Kate is always hungry RE: Boston_Otter Nov 24, 2013 12:35 AM

                    I haven't had a McDonald's hamburger since December 1985. I went across the street to McD's on my lunch break. There was no language barrier at the time. By the time I got my requested two plain hamburgers I was running late and they tasted like liver. I was puzzled why it took longer to prepare two burgers that needed less work than the standard order but I decided then that they didn't need my business.

                    As an aside, regarding the "language barrier" issue, a few years ago I was in Paris and went to Quick Burger several times. With my very minimal French, the counter help understood me when i asked for "deux hamburgers plein, s'l vous plait." When back in California, the "language barrier" was firmly in place at Burger King when I ordered a "plain hamburger." The person behind the counter stared at me as if I were from Mars or France. LOL

                  2. v
                    Violatp RE: monkeyrotica Nov 22, 2013 12:23 PM

                    Pfft. A burger with say, three added "premium" toppings will run nine bucks. That's insane when at the end of it, it's still McDonald's.

                    A couple blocks away from me there is a McDonald's and across the street is a fabulous little burger joint called Leadbelly.

                    http://leadbellyburgers.com/

                    Their most expensive creation is about 10 dollars and it's homemade fresh buns and good meat ground daily. Why in the world would I go to McDonald's instead of Leadbelly??

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Violatp
                      monkeyrotica RE: Violatp Nov 22, 2013 12:56 PM

                      I'm not a Five Guys fan, but a small will run you $4 and a regular $7 and they're both superior to anything you'll find at McD's. And unlimited toppings. They've never screwed up an order and it didn't require a $500 machine to get  it right. 

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