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  #51  
Old 06-03-2019, 03:53 PM
crazyjoe is offline
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Originally Posted by Mcmechanic View Post
I recently went inside a McDonald’s to eat. And omg it was like a free for all. There’s no organized line anymore, people just stand around and you have to to figure out who’s waiting for an order or waiting to order. They do have touchscreens to order from but if the place is busy it’s like Walmart on Black Friday. We managed to place our order, but then it took 20 minutes after sitting down to get our meal. I always thought McDonald’s was the epitome of fast, efficient, cheap fast food. Place order, pay,receive food, eat, and regret your decision in a couple hours.
I’m 42 years old, have I reached the “back in my day” stage of life, or is McDonald’s getting worse?
Talk about a complete failure to use technology, though. We have Google, Siri, and Alexa who are all mostly capable of interpreting speech (and it doesn't even have to be US English!) and coming close to approximating what you want. Instead of having humans push fucking touch-screen buttons, just have them speak their order FFS, and then present it on the screen. If something is incorrect, they can select that and either re-speak that part or have the option of making manual (ie touchscreen) adjustments. Seriously, why not do it this way? It would make life easier for shitloads of people and likely vastly improve ordering time.

I'e used the touchscreen before, it is about 100 times slower than telling the person at the cash register what you want, waiting 5 seconds, and getting your damn food. I'll just use the drive through, where that's still the default.
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Last edited by crazyjoe; 06-03-2019 at 03:53 PM.
  #52  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by erysichthon View Post
I haven't used the kiosks yet, but my general impression of present-day McDs matches the OP's—chaotic, no organized lines, people just standing or milling about in the ordering area, only one person taking orders, and most the staff focused on serving drive-thru customers.

I've occasionally had food delivered to my table, but this isn't offered consistently. Some locations have it, some don't.

I, too, am nostalgic for the days when all the food was pre-made and you received your order in a matter of seconds. However, I was far less picky in my younger days. If that system came back, I'd probably be disappointed.
Whereas I have always been a picky eater. As a child, I refused to eat at McDonald's because none of the pre-made food was anything i was willing to eat. (Except the French fries. When they were cooked in beef tallow they were awesome.) Now that the food is made to order, there are items I'm willing to eat.

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Talk about a complete failure to use technology, though. We have Google, Siri, and Alexa who are all mostly capable of interpreting speech (and it doesn't even have to be US English!) and coming close to approximating what you want. Instead of having humans push fucking touch-screen buttons, just have them speak their order FFS, and then present it on the screen. If something is incorrect, they can select that and either re-speak that part or have the option of making manual (ie touchscreen) adjustments. Seriously, why not do it this way? It would make life easier for shitloads of people and likely vastly improve ordering time.

I'e used the touchscreen before, it is about 100 times slower than telling the person at the cash register what you want, waiting 5 seconds, and getting your damn food. I'll just use the drive through, where that's still the default.
Holy shit, do you enjoy talking to phone menus? If they moved to the system you propose (which would have to function in a noisy environment) I would definitely never go there. That would be worse than the bad old days when everything was pre-made. I would have to fight to order and then get food I won't eat.

I found the screen reasonably user-friendly.
  #53  
Old 06-03-2019, 05:10 PM
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The push for higher and higher wages for handing someone a burger or putting a pickle on a bun has had a direct effect on your McDonald’s experience. It’s funny how time and again millions of people handwave away incontrovertible evidence. That said, surprisingly enough, in my neck of the woods people have figured out the kiosks.
What amazes me every time I'm somewhere that has one, is how In N Out makes it work. Seriously. The burgers are delicious and reasonably priced (a double is like $3.50, so not on the same scale as similar quality burger joints like Five Guys or Fatburger where it's closer to $5 or $6). They pay their employees well (I believe in Cali, they start at $13/hr). They seem to employ a shitload of people (last time I was in Phoenix, the In N Out I visited, I counted something like 14 or 15 employees working the lunch rush--these are just the ones I was able to see.) Everybody who works there seems happy as a clam and takes pride in their job. It's like they're lacing the water with happy pills or something. As I understand it, they get decent benefits, too. It's always amazed me as how in the hell they make it work. It's always seemed to me like they should be charging customers double at the same volume to be able to support all that.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-03-2019 at 05:11 PM.
  #54  
Old 06-03-2019, 05:30 PM
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I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but I was recently at a Starbucks, where one menu board (out of seven) behind the counter had a short list of items, and only prices for one size. The remaining six menu boards had photos of food and coffee, but nothing else. At the bottom of the one menu board that had the short list was the message "For our full menu, please download our app". Like hell I will. If you can't be bothered to put your full menu up in the actual business, you are missing the idea of a menu. WTF?
  #55  
Old 06-03-2019, 05:33 PM
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Here in NYC, there's considerable variation between McDonald's restaurants. In midtown, near my office, there are two, within walking distance of each other. One is clean and efficient, and the other is filthy and disorganized. The clean one has the kiosks, but use is not mandatory. The only people I ever see trying to use them are foreign tourists, for some reason. I guess it kind of eliminates the language barrier.

There are no drive-through issues here, obviously.

What all, as far as I can tell, NYC McDonald's have is a very, very casual attitude towards panhandling, sometimes aggressive panhandling, outside and inside the restaurants. Every McDonald's in the city (I'm not kidding) has a self-appointed doorman, who has taken over the door and expects a tip for opening the door. Many restaurants, in every kind of neighborhood, have panhandlers working the tables and sometimes even the lines, right at the register, in full view of the employees. Some are quite aggressive.

It's pretty unpleasant. I won't bring my kids to McDonald's. I mean, I wouldn't bring them a lot anyway -- I don't want them to get to used to that stuff -- but I won't bring them at all because of the panhandling situation.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 06-03-2019 at 05:34 PM.
  #56  
Old 06-03-2019, 05:41 PM
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I use the kiosks all the time in the McDonald’s close to me, for several reasons:

1. I’ve used them enough so I know where all the menu items are located, and I can go to them quickly. I can select options that might confuse a live person.

2. If I need to think about an item I can take my time. There’s never anyone behind me waiting to use my kiosk.

3. Orders made at the kiosk are taken directly to your table, using a table tent number.

This McDonald’s is busy, but I wouldn’t call it chaotic.
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  #57  
Old 06-03-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Here in NYC, there's considerable variation between McDonald's restaurants. In midtown, near my office, there are two, within walking distance of each other. One is clean and efficient, and the other is filthy and disorganized. The clean one has the kiosks, but use is not mandatory. The only people I ever see trying to use them are foreign tourists, for some reason. I guess it kind of eliminates the language barrier.
Oddly enough, I've never seen a kiosk with language options other than English, and in my neighborhood in Chicago, it really should also be available in Spanish.
  #58  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:07 PM
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I went to a gas station with a food court in it. It was late at night and I wanted a real cup of coffee and not that pot of colored water they had in the store. I went up to the specially trained food clerk who was doing absolutely nothing and asked for a cup of their fancy-over-priced-flown-direct-from-Brazil-ground-on-demand-coffee. I was told I would have to use the kiosk. Yeah, not going to happen. I haven't been back since and that was maybe 5 years ago. Sometimes I pull into the same station to pour myself some coffee from a thermos or whatever drink I brought with me.
  #59  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:27 PM
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Oddly enough, I've never seen a kiosk with language options other than English, and in my neighborhood in Chicago, it really should also be available in Spanish.
I haven't either, but every menu listing has a picture of that item, so language probably isn't a problem.
  #60  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:38 PM
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It can be both, you know.

I don't care care for the kiosks as they still require one to go to the register if paying cash (which I usually do).
Or to get the cups! (At least in places where they have problems with people ripping off the self-serve soda machines.)


Anyway, I remember when you could walk into a McDonalds, see what they had in stock behind the counter, pay and get handed the item directly. I think there'd still be a market for that kind of outlet...

Last edited by Melbourne; 06-03-2019 at 08:38 PM.
  #61  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:40 PM
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I went to a gas station with a food court in it. It was late at night and I wanted a real cup of coffee and not that pot of colored water they had in the store. I went up to the specially trained food clerk who was doing absolutely nothing and asked for a cup of their fancy-over-priced-flown-direct-from-Brazil-ground-on-demand-coffee. I was told I would have to use the kiosk. Yeah, not going to happen. I haven't been back since and that was maybe 5 years ago. Sometimes I pull into the same station to pour myself some coffee from a thermos or whatever drink I brought with me.
That's to stop the staff from ripping off the cash register.

Small business 101: never let the same person count the cash and count the product.
  #62  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Here in NYC, there's considerable variation between McDonald's restaurants. In midtown, near my office, there are two, within walking distance of each other. One is clean and efficient, and the other is filthy and disorganized. The clean one has the kiosks, but use is not mandatory. The only people I ever see trying to use them are foreign tourists, for some reason. I guess it kind of eliminates the language barrier.

There are no drive-through issues here, obviously.

What all, as far as I can tell, NYC McDonald's have is a very, very casual attitude towards panhandling, sometimes aggressive panhandling, outside and inside the restaurants. Every McDonald's in the city (I'm not kidding) has a self-appointed doorman, who has taken over the door and expects a tip for opening the door. Many restaurants, in every kind of neighborhood, have panhandlers working the tables and sometimes even the lines, right at the register, in full view of the employees. Some are quite aggressive.

It's pretty unpleasant. I won't bring my kids to McDonald's. I mean, I wouldn't bring them a lot anyway -- I don't want them to get to used to that stuff -- but I won't bring them at all because of the panhandling situation.
Ugh, I despise those guys. They act like they are doing you a favor and then expect you to give them money for it. And then the others will beg for money literally at the counter. There was one location I just stopped going to because they let those guys have free reign.
  #63  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:05 AM
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Keep in mind that ordering weirdness has gone on far longer at other places.

I made the mistake once walking up to a Sonic just to get a milkshake. Apparently this put me in some sort of nether-world caste of non-existence. An immense hassle. That was my only trip to one.
  #64  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:48 AM
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I was ok with the kiosks until I read that they have tested them and every single one had trace amounts of fecal matter on the screen. Yes it is probably everywhere but now that I know its on the kiosk I stay away. Plus at our local Mcd it slowed the time down for getting our food... took the fast out of fast food.
  #65  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:13 AM
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Yes it is probably everywhere but now that I know its on the kiosk I stay away.
Indeed, poop is everywhere. Just wash your hands like mom told you.
  #66  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:03 PM
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I made the mistake once walking up to a Sonic just to get a milkshake. Apparently this put me in some sort of nether-world caste of non-existence. An immense hassle. That was my only trip to one.
Oh, that reminds me of another first-world annoyance: Sonic no longer sells malts.

Recently I drove into a Sonic and ordered a chocolate malt. The disembodied order-taking voice responded with "We don't have malts anymore," in a snarky, dismissive tone,* as if malts are some exotic thing that only a handful of weirdos like. I immediately Googled "sonic malts" (one of the search suggestions was "sonic malts discontinued"—uh oh) and learned that this was a corporate-level decision, and not something limited to the local Sonic.

*I may be exaggerating that part.
  #67  
Old 06-04-2019, 04:59 PM
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as if malts are some exotic thing that only a handful of weirdos like.
Malts or malteds, in my experience, aren't really all that well known anymore. I don't know where I'd get a proper malt these days, or if the kids even know what the difference between a malt and a shake is. Hell, I was born in '75, and I barely knew the difference, and the only reason I did is because the local hot dog stand actually did have both malts and shakes on the menu. I can't remember ever hearing anyone in my peer group suggest going out for a malt or having a taste for a malt or anything like that. I suspect this may be regional, though. To me, it's almost, but not quite, as old-timey as going out for a phosphate.
  #68  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:21 PM
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Ugh, I despise those guys. They act like they are doing you a favor and then expect you to give them money for it. And then the others will beg for money literally at the counter. There was one location I just stopped going to because they let those guys have free reign.
Funny thing. I went to McDonald's last night (I was working late). I went to the one I described above. The one that didn't have the kiosks and was filthy and disorganized.

It's still filthy and disorganized, but now it has the kiosks.

Still has a panhandler manning the door, though, and one inside.
  #69  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:31 PM
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Still has a panhandler manning the door, though, and one inside.
Oooooh, look at you with your fancy two-panhandler McDonald's........
  #70  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:05 PM
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Oh, that reminds me of another first-world annoyance: Sonic no longer sells malts.

Recently I drove into a Sonic and ordered a chocolate malt. The disembodied order-taking voice responded with "We don't have malts anymore," in a snarky, dismissive tone,* as if malts are some exotic thing that only a handful of weirdos like. I immediately Googled "sonic malts" (one of the search suggestions was "sonic malts discontinued"—uh oh) and learned that this was a corporate-level decision, and not something limited to the local Sonic.

*I may be exaggerating that part.
When I was younger, I'd go into a Mc and order eggs, 2 x pancakes, and a large cup of water. Rocked up the next week, and the counter clerk said "we don't have eggs". There's no institutional memory when your hiring kids.

Rocked up a month later, and was told 'we don't do large water'. Ok, I'm through.
  #71  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:51 PM
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I travel to a small town in Minnesota several times a month, and McDonald's is about the only non-gas station food option. It has been interesting watching kiosk usage over the last few months since they were introduced there. At first even I resisted, but I teach user interface design at the college so I wanted to see how bad it could be.

I like how large the screens are, and they are logically laid out, although it is definitely slower than giving your order to a human, UNLESS you get that new kid who can't find anything beyond the basics. It certainly gets quicker on repeated visits. I like the idea to save your order for repeat visits (I really wish Subway would let you do that too). I have discovered some options which aren't on the menu boards (or perhaps they're not obvious), such as the double hamburger. One thing I don't like is they don't showcase the specials, like the 2 for $6 options. The specials should be prominently displayed like they are on the menu boards, on the start "splash" screen (or is it the "home page")?

This location has table delivery, which has consistently been quite quick. They also have the drink cups next to the kiosks, even for people who use face-to-face ordering, which is strange. I'd say about 20% of the customers actually use the kiosk, which is understandable since it's a small farming town and McDonald's is the old-folks hangout. I know exactly why they're at this location: they simply can't find people to work there. They're always advertising openings starting at $12.00 which is a good wage for this community, but no one is available.
  #72  
Old 06-04-2019, 10:47 PM
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I don’t have issue with the kiosks, it’s the chaos of people just standing around in random places including leaning on the kiosks, waiting on their to-go orders. I get the table service, the kiosks, the grab ur cup at the register, and the register. But the lack of any designated areas or formal line formation tools like barricades or even simple signage I found half baked.
  #73  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:02 PM
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I know exactly why they're at this location: they simply can't find people to work there. They're always advertising openings starting at $12.00 which is a good wage for this community, but no one is available.
In higher wage areas, they actually outsource the drive-thru voice to lower wage areas, so you're speaking via the Internet to somebody in West Virginia or wherever.
  #74  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:07 PM
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In higher wage areas, they actually outsource the drive-thru voice to lower wage areas, so you're speaking via the Internet to somebody in West Virginia or wherever.
Wow, how did you find this out? So potentially we could be talking to a drive thru voice from India?
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:43 AM
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The last one I was at, they actually did deliver it to my table (here in the US.) We got a little table number placard like you do at some other fast food establishments. Granted, this is in the US (I see you are in Canada), but, so far as I can tell, this is a pretty recent development, and I don't think it's at all McDonald's. I've only seen it a couple of times so far.
This used to be fairly common for dine-in, grill/special orders. "Here's your food, and we'll bring out that quarter pounder without mustard to your table in just a few minutes."
  #76  
Old 06-05-2019, 06:55 AM
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This used to be fairly common for dine-in, grill/special orders. "Here's your food, and we'll bring out that quarter pounder without mustard to your table in just a few minutes."
Sure, that they would occasionally do. But with table numbers and not just special orders but your whole (ordinary) order being brought to your table by staff? That was the part that was new to me. That's more like how Culver's and Chick-Fil-A does it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-05-2019 at 06:59 AM.
  #77  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:02 AM
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I like the kiosks, for the same reason I like self checkout at the supermarket: it's faster.

But a great idea has come up wanting in actual execution.

The kiosk looks like a giant over-sized smartphone, and it appears to actually be running a smartphone app--a poorly designed one at that.
To order a meal, one must tap the non-responsive screen dozens of times, choosing each detail (Your meal comes with a soda...choose what kind of soda. What? They just give you a cup and you fill it yourself? Then this is a pointless time-waster of a question, isn't it?)

About one in ten times the machine says "contactless payment cannot be used, go to counter" only after the order has been all entered. Not helpful.

About one in ten times the machine does not give a receipt. Nice.

You still need to get a cup, and sometimes they have them out front, sometimes you have to chase down one of the five people behind the counter who are all ignoring customers.

[rant]
The other day I ordered a Mushroom Swiss burger and then went to get my cup. The one guy who listened to me couldn't understand why I needed a cup.
The manager came and said "We don't have that!" ... the cup? No, the burger.
He then asked if I wanted my money back in cash, or a different burger.
I said "Please put it back on the card."
Him "We can't do that, I have to give you cash."
Me "Two things are wrong here--you have a handy machine that lets me order something you don't have, and you can't return the money in the same form I paid it."
Him "I can only give you cash back..."
Me <grumble>
Him "What's wrong with accepting cash?"
Me "I prefer it back on the card. Could you please put it back on the card?"

(and so on)

Him "Let me see....<click click tap>...Swipe your card."

And that was it. It took two or clicks and taps, a swipe of the card, and he handed me a refund receipt. So he had lied to me. He knew he could do it but didn't want to.

I wanted to explain to him how his lie is precisely the reason why customers don't believe when told "we can't do that" or "we don't have any"
[/rant]

(Yes, I do like burgers a bit too much).
  #78  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:16 AM
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Wow, how did you find this out? So potentially we could be talking to a drive thru voice from India?
When I first heard about this a few years back, they were handled by a firm in the northern states - Minn or one of the Daks, IIRC.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:20 AM
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They just opened a new McDonald's in downtown Little Rock. Ultra modern with kiosks and stuff.

I'm a bit sad because they closed the iconic 2 story McDonald's on 7th & Broadway. There aren't many 2 story locations in the chain.

The new one is one block down on 6th & Broadway. Opposite side of the street.

This thread has made me curious to try the kiosk system. I'll drop by and go inside this week.


Here's a photo of the rare 2 story McDonald's.
https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/...rt-downtown-l/

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-05-2019 at 07:23 AM.
  #80  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:22 AM
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I don’t have issue with the kiosks, it’s the chaos of people just standing around in random places including leaning on the kiosks, waiting on their to-go orders. I get the table service, the kiosks, the grab ur cup at the register, and the register. But the lack of any designated areas or formal line formation tools like barricades or even simple signage I found half baked.
This has been a McDonald's staple for ages. No line management, just a big open space in front of a bank of registers. I'm sure there is a good reason for it, even though we are all annoyed by the chaos, they must somehow be more profitable this way.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:23 AM
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I haven't been to McDonald's in ages. The last time I was there, there were a bunch of people just standing around (I presume that they were waiting for their orders to come up), but they were standing in the way of the people who wanted to use the kiosks. A lot of people were using the kiosks (when they could get through the crowd), using either debit or credit; but there were some who placed orders through the kiosk but wanted to pay cash, and were confused by how to do that. There appeared to be nobody staffing the "human calls order to another human, then pays cash" counter, except for employees who would occasionally appear with a tray or bag bearing food, and who were hollering, "Number 53! Number fifty-three!" before leaving the food on the counter and disappearing into the back.

I left, and went to Subway for lunch instead. I do like Big Macs, but I doubted I would get one in that mess.

I hope someone from McDonald's corporate reads this thread, and realizes that the Speedee-Service system that McDonald's invented years ago, worked extremely well. A limited menu, and everything served up at the counter within a minute of your ordering it. And no fancy coffee drinks--seriously, is McDonald's a fancy-dancy coffee place or a fast-food burger joint? If McDonald's wants to spin off McCafes into standalone coffee places that compete with Starbucks, fine; but I'm sure as heck not ordering a latte with a hint of cinnamon when I order a Big Mac and fries.
I for one like McCafe--faster and cheaper than Star*ucks or DD
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:27 AM
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On top of all that, their prices are getting ridiculous considering the kind of food they are serving. I do McDonald's/Burger King maybe once a month, and I usually regret even that.
Totally agree!! when they charge $3.54 for simple sausage/egg/muffin sandwich, not to mention skimping on condiments (unlike wendys/burger King et al), they are overpricing. Do like unlimited $1 drinks though
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
I had a similar experience: I was going about my business mashing keys on the kiosk when an employee came up and stood by me. I stopped doing my thing because I thought he was going to tell me something about the kiosk, and then he asked if I needed help because I wasn't doing anything. I asked if the kiosk was broken (with a strong implication of if it isn't, then why ask if I needed help?) and then waited until he left to continue with my order. And then the machine didn't take my credit card so I had to pay up front anyway.
so employee tried to assist you, you apparently did have problem, but you cop an attitude for employee being helpful? I don't get it
  #84  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
It's the cups that really do that. And some places just call out numbers when orders are ready.

On the cups, you need to get them from the counter so you can hit the soda machine.
disagree--it depends on time of day--during say lunch time, cups are next to kiosks, no wait
  #85  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fedman View Post
so employee tried to assist you, you apparently did have problem, but you cop an attitude for employee being helpful? I don't get it
No, I didn't have a problem, the kiosk had a problem. I asked him if the kiosk had a problem and he said it didn't.
  #86  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I guess the thinking is that if everyone with a standard order uses the kiosks then it frees up the counter-staff to deal with customisations. Of course if you are one of those people requiring customisations you will always be stuck with extra work and dependent on the efficiency of the counter staff.
I agree with everything you said in your post but this part is actually why I DO use the kiosk. Maybe all the customizations aren't on there, but a lot of them are. Also, the menu is much larger than what they display. If you want to add or remove a sauce, add bacon, extra cheese/no cheese, whatever, you can do that on the kiosk and it is very clear. If I want an egg biscuit with bacon added, but do not want a bacon egg and cheese biscuit or I want just a plain muffin (or whatever, none of this stuff is listed o the regular menu), I can easily do that. I would have a much harder time verbalizing all that to a person who may or may not get it all right. Also, a great advantage of online ordering. Stuff like getting a person at Subway to put basic toppings on a sub always seemed like a huge ordeal to me, for example. But I can just order online for pickup and specify exactly what I want.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by fedman View Post
Totally agree!! when they charge $3.54 for simple sausage/egg/muffin sandwich, not to mention skimping on condiments (unlike wendys/burger King et al), they are overpricing. Do like unlimited $1 drinks though
They have like $1 and $1.39 sandwiches, too, and you can add meats for cheaper. So, for example, if I really want a sausage egg and cheese biscuit, I order 1 sausage mcmuffin and 1 egg biscuit for $2.39 total. And for that you get 1 egg, sausage, cheese, a biscuit, and a muffin. So you end up with a sausage mcmuffin with egg and a side biscuit or a sausage egg and cheese biscuit with a side muffin for $1 less than 1 sandwich. Can also do a big breakfast for $3something and basically end up with the sandwich plus a hashbrown.
  #88  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:18 AM
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I was in an inner-city Mickey D's last week and had no problems. The counter girl politely took my order and I got it pretty fast.
  #89  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
This has been a McDonald's staple for ages. No line management, just a big open space in front of a bank of registers. I'm sure there is a good reason for it, even though we are all annoyed by the chaos, they must somehow be more profitable this way.
It's literally called a "scramble" system.
  #90  
Old 06-05-2019, 01:58 PM
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I love ordering from the kiosks, for many reasons.

The counter service at my local McDonalds was always incredibly slow. Usually about 5 to 6 people in line ahead of me. Many of them ordering multiple items. And none of the employees at my local McD are native English speakers, so it was slow and they made lots of mistakes. And I’d always cringe whenever someone ordered a bunch of coffee drinks, because the order taker would have to stop taking orders to make the coffee drinks, at a pace that looked like they were walking through molasses. I’d always be fuming after my 10-15 minute wait to order ONE sandwich and nothing else. And sometimes I’d be less than polite about their concept of “fast food”. I eventually all but stopped going there because it was so bad for my blood pressure.

I’ve never had any trouble navigating the kiosk ordering system. And I can customize. I mean, in theory I’ve could’ve customized when ordering at the counter, but the thought of even trying to successfully communicate a customization to their counter personnel made my head explode. I think once I tried when I was in an optimistic mood but I ended up giving up. But I’m usually in and out of there about 10 times quicker since they put in the kiosks.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 06-05-2019 at 01:59 PM.
  #91  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
I'm 49, and yes, it used to be better. When I was in high school in the '80s I worked at a McDonald's, and speed was the priority. We occasionally ran promotions during which we were required to fill each customer's order within 60 seconds, or they got a coupon for a free drink. That's 60 seconds from pressing "total" on the register to having all items on the tray or in the bag and being ready to receive payment. For a single person ordering a sandwich/fries/drink, it was typically much quicker than that, but it got tight if you had someone ordering for a family of five. We could achieve these speeds because food was always ready: there were fully assembled sandwiches waiting in the warming bin. These days they do on-demand sandwich assembly, I guess because the juicy ingredients don't soak into the bun so much? Whatever, it now means that sandwiches get assembled one at a time instead of six or twelve at a time, beginning after the cashier presses "total" on the register. This is a terrible bottleneck. In addition, for some reason the order-taking process has also become slower. Back in my day (yeah, I said it), someone ordered an item, and you pressed a button; these days, it seems like they're drilling down through a menu tree each time you ask for something.

FWIW, this isn't just McDonald's. I have the same experience every time I eat at Wendy's (except the food is better).
Burger King still makes sandwiches ahead of time during the busy times. But the sandwiches are only good for 10 minutes after they're made, and then they have to be thrown away, per health dept. rules.

So if you're ordering one of the less popular sandwiches, or if you're making modifications to it, you have to wait anyhow.
  #92  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:47 PM
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Heh, back before there were "life hacks", we used to share the secret that you should order your Quarter Pounder "no onions" so they'd be forced to make you a fresh one instead of grabbing one from the heating tray.
  #93  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:59 PM
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Encountered the "self-service kiosk" thing for the first time the last time I went into a McDonald's, about a month ago.

I hadn't been to a McD's in about a year, and that was in midtown Manhattan, when/where it was still the usual "human behind a counter taking orders, giving you a receipt with a number, and then you wait to hear your number" dealio. (Which is a slight evolution from the model I grew up with, where you just waited at the register while the person behind the counter went and got your already-made food, unless you ordered something that had run out, in which case you just stood to the side waiting for the missing parts of your order as he/she started serving the next customer.)

The kiosk interaction was fine. I navigated the menu, made my food selection, took a little numbered plastic card, entered the number to the kiosk, and was told the food would be brought to me at any table where my number was visible.

Ten minutes later, no food. I went over to the counter people to ask what happened. I noticed my now cold order simply on a tray in some kind of order pickup place where they were calling out order numbers as they came out. They asked for my receipt to confirm the order number when I went to take the tray. Fortunately I'd kept it, I had almost thrown it out already.

Everybody else there ordering from the kiosk seemed to know they were still supposed to get their food themselves.

I asked, "The kiosk said the food would be brought to me at a table?" That earned me an eye-rolling shrug.

Then someone put on no-bleeped sex-and-vulgarity laden rap music over the intercom while kids played in the ball pit/jungle gym area. Until someone complained, and it got turned off. For five minutes. Then it came back on, I guess when the parent who'd complained left.

That sucked.

Last edited by robardin; 06-05-2019 at 03:01 PM.
  #94  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:06 PM
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Yes, I recently went to one in London just to see the differences.

I did the kiosk thing (which I've done once or twice in the states).

My card was declined, the ONLY time that happened my entire vacation, and I used it for all sorts of things.

After pushing some buttons in frustration it finally spit out a receipt I could take to the cashier and pay cash which thank god I had.

Other than that, it was pretty much like the states. I can't say I dislike kiosk ordering, I do it all the time at our Wawas (convenience store with bitchin' food), but doing it at McDonalds feels... kinda gross. In a germophobe type of way.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:12 PM
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I'm a convert to using the app, especially if I'm grabbing something during my commute via walking/train. If app usage goes up enough, they might start removing the kiosks again.

I can order wherever/whenever and confirm the order to go through when I am still two blocks away or so keeping time waiting to a minimum. Also, the special deals through the app usually make it cheaper.
  #96  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:28 PM
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Just last week I used a McD's kiosk for the first time. I agree that it was rather chaotic because there were no lines. It also wasn't intuitive to use the kiosks because they weren't lined up in front of the counter but rather 12-15 feet away. An employee pointed out the kiosk to many customers, including me. That was annoying because although I was first to enter the restaurant, a group of teens who came in behind me walked straight up to the kiosks, and so I had to wait on them.

Anyway, small learning curve there, which isn't a big deal.

However, while I don't mind the concept of a kiosk, I do think that they could make the screen more intuitive because it took me awhile to find a single cheeseburger. Maybe v.2 could use voice recognition, so I could just say, "Cheeseburger, small fries, medium coke" instead of scrolling through photos.

Of course, if the McD's voice recognition is anything like Sirie, I'll end up with a Chia pet and a side of freckles.
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Last edited by PunditLisa; 06-05-2019 at 03:29 PM.
  #97  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I don't care care for the kiosks as they still require one to go to the register if paying cash (which I usually do).
Why in gods name would you use the kiosk then?
  #98  
Old 06-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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Once people adapt to the app/kiosk, it will be terrific....with a couple caveats.

1. Let me get my own napkins, straws and ketchup, don't fucking guard the shit like it's frankincense and myrrh and don't ask me how many ketchup packets I want and proceed to ignore it when you bring the food out
2. Don't get rid of the food runners, these folks make dining in a heck of a lot more pleasant and are crucial to keeping the tables bussed and the condiment station stocked

In the grand scheme of things having everyone using the app and/or 5-6 kiosks will almost certainly lead to less waiting to order and the food runners ensure that you aren't part of the disorganized mass of people milling around waiting to hear their number. Grab a seat, order on the app, have food brought to you, leave....sounds delightful to me.
  #99  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
They just opened a new McDonald's in downtown Little Rock. Ultra modern with kiosks and stuff.

I'm a bit sad because they closed the iconic 2 story McDonald's on 7th & Broadway. There aren't many 2 story locations in the chain.

The new one is one block down on 6th & Broadway. Opposite side of the street.

This thread has made me curious to try the kiosk system. I'll drop by and go inside this week.


Here's a photo of the rare 2 story McDonald's.
https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/...rt-downtown-l/
The two story McDonald's there was over thirty years old, worn down, lacked adequate parking space, drive-thru traffic often spilled out onto Broadway, and ever since they got rid of their security guard the number of panhandlers loitering made the restaurant unpleasant. I do agree that the two story building made for an unusual location.

The new McDonald's is cleaner (for now), the drive-thru is a lot more pleasant, and the place looks nicer. I've only been inside twice and the first time I walked out and went to Bannanaleaf instead. The second time it was less crowded and I ordered my meal at the kiosk. It's still just a McDonald's though.
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  #100  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folly View Post
I'm a convert to using the app, especially if I'm grabbing something during my commute via walking/train. If app usage goes up enough, they might start removing the kiosks again.

I can order wherever/whenever and confirm the order to go through when I am still two blocks away or so keeping time waiting to a minimum. Also, the special deals through the app usually make it cheaper.
I think this is where they are heading. The kiosks are just an training aid.
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