McPeople Vs. Machines? McPeople Prevail!


Photo: Rick Robinson

With all the nifty technology like VOIP lines to labour in India for remote order taking, digital wifi tablets, high-end speakers so you can hear the difference between “please” and “cheese,” the drive-thru at many McDonald’s is a place of people power.Not that I frequent McDonald’s (I do) or consider myself an expert in fast food service (I am), but it seems to me when comparing the speed and accuracy in which orders are filled with friendly, efficient employees approaching drivers versus relying on the customer to fill in the communication gap … well, there is no comparison: people win.

A calculus undoubtedly has been run to determine the relative cost of those extra drive-thru employees against the additional revenue gained from efficiency. And I’m betting more people = better communication = faster service = happier customers = more profits for Ronald.

I’m fairly certain we’ll be replaced by the robots in short order (how do you know this is not a robot writing now&now&now loop=false). Or maybe the zombies will come first … we’ll never know either way.

Back to the point, there is always a higher price to be paid for human to human engagement in commerce. But as I’ve seen, offsetting that with successful engagement, in a way even an iPad2 with arms and a cute bob could not do, is always the right way to go.

And just think: you’ll be getting your crappy food faster, although i don’t advise it (I do).

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