I was discussing this with my friends previously but they did not believe it. Then I came across this article today. It is an NY Times editorial which talks about how McDonald’s is starting to implement long-distance call centers for taking orders from drive-thru customers! Some 50 McDonald’s franchises are reportedly testing this remote order-taking technology. So, when you are sitting in your car and giving that order for your McChicken, the person you are talking to might actually be sitting in California instead of good ol’ Knoxville! Think about that.
NY Times (4/13/2006): Fries With That?
NY Times (4/11/2006): The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order
Fries With That?
NY Times Editorial. April 13, 2006
Sometimes it’s all too easy to lose perspective in the modern world. On Tuesday, The Times reported that McDonald’s has begun experimenting with a new way of routing menu orders at the drive-through window. The voice you hear at the squawk box comes not from an employee inside the restaurant but from a call center hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. The order is then relayed to the front of the very restaurant where you are bodily present and filled as usual. A man who wants a Big N’ Tasty in Wyoming and a woman who wants an Egg McMuffin in Honolulu may be placing their orders with the same teenager in California. Several customers, told of the fact, seemed taken aback.
And yet where is the surprise? There you sit, perhaps miles from home, idling in a car that was manufactured almost anywhere, burning gasoline refined from a substance pumped out of the ground who knows where and shipped, in all likelihood, across the ocean to be trucked to the station where you last filled up. Meanwhile you’re talking to your best friend on your cellphone