Customer service at the world’s largest fast food chain is at an all-time low.
The wait at McDonald’s drive-thrus is the longest in at least 15 years, according to a study by QSR Magazine. At 189.5 seconds, its also nine seconds longer than the industry average.
McDonald’s told franchise owners earlier this year that one in five customer complaints are related to customer service, and that number is growing all the time, according to The Wall Street Journal.
To help deal with the problem, McDonald’s created the new position of “runner,” an employee who hands out cups and sauce packets to ease the burden on cashiers.
McDonald’s is also implementing a “dual-point” ordering system in the U.S. This involves the customer ordering at one end of the counter, taking a receipt with a number, and fetching his or her food on the other end.
But McDonald’s hasn’t done enough to address the root of the problem — its rapidly expanding menu and the resulting pressure on employees.
“The operational pressures to assemble those items are slowing down the drive-thru,” Sam Oches, editor of QSR, told USA Today.
The menu at McDonald’s has grown 70% since 2007, Bloomberg reported last year.
“It’s gotten to the point where the operation has kind of broken down and that’s all a symptom of the complication of the menu,” Richard Adams, a consultant and former McDonald’s store owner, told Bloomberg’s Leslie Patton. “They can’t make the food fast enough.”
While McDonald’s killed a few menu items earlier this year, it has released just as many new ones in an attempt to attract cash-strapped customers.
But McDonald’s will need to go back-to-basics to keep from alienating its customers.
The Wall Street Journal’s Julie Jargon also pointed out that one of the chain’s biggest problems is high employee turnover.
Because most employees make a low hourly wage, they are less likely to be loyal to the company or think twice about leaving.
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