We know a thing or two about what used to be called fast-food. Here’s me mopping the floor (well, leaning on a mop!) of a Burger King (or what used to be a Burger King and is now a KFC, but that’s another story);
and Marta setting off to deliver some pizzas;
Just thought I’d get the credentials out of the way first. :)
My suggestion is that there is no fast left in fast-food these days and scarcely any quality. For me, that sort of removes a lot of what used to be the point of going there in the first place. I can get much better food at the same speed elsewhere now, so why bother with McDs, KFC, BK or anyone else?
I remember going for some training many moons ago when I worked for McDs in London. It was a sort of all encompassing training that gave me an insight to the whole company and how they did business with a large focus on in-store operations. Working for McDs back then was like joining the army, the Moonies or some equally fanatical sect no matter whether you worked in the stores or not. The people working in ops were mini-Gods, were passionate about their business and that meant being passionate about service times. This was fast-food and it was supposed to be a well constructed sandwich (and other stuff) delivered quickly to the customer. They had stopwatches to time the service back then and managers who shouted at people to “Get a bloody move on!”. QSC was the buzzphrase of the day – Quality, Service, Cleanliness. This fanaticism was both very admirable and very annoying at the same time. There’s no question that it worked well, a kind of brainwashing, but it was ultimately the main reason I left the company, my brain was not the washing kind and I didn’t work in the stores anyway.
I notice that McDs were issuing warning to franchisees back in 2001 that unless they improved their QSC scores they could be offski. Well that warning doesn’t seem to have been heard here in Europe yet. This is not just a Polish thing, it’s the same everywhere these days but I see it first hand in Poland for too often.
Knowing as much of the background as I do, every visit to a so-called fast-food establishment these days just makes me want to break down and cry. The cleanliness is perhaps no worse than it used to be but the Q and S scores have taken a very serious nosedive. Frankly, there is no S and very little Q. I think I can say that on at least 90% of my visits I have to wait for the sandwich to be cooked because there is nothing in the chute. The chute is that sodding enormous thing at the front that they pull the sandwiches from. It is big so you can fit a lot of sandwiches into it and keep them warm for about 10 minutes, then you throw them away. The current tactic of having almost nothing in the chute, apart from making a mockery of the chute as kitchen appliance, is just a great way of saving money, which is of course why they do it, nothing waiting in the chute means no chance you’ll have to throw away an expired sandwich. They save money, the customer has to wait. They seem to like it that way and are not shy about getting shirty with you should you have the temerity to complain about the wait. Everyone waits, why should you be any different, seems to be the attitude.
I could understand this if I were ordering a Big Mac minus pickles plus extra mayo, what’s known as a “special”, but I’m not. I’m not because I’m sure they would tell me I can’t order such a thing, which would just make the pain even worse. So I order a regular sandwich and wait, and wait, and get more, and more pissed off about it. Funny thing is that today I ordered a MacRyby (fish thing) and got it immediately. That used to be the only one I’d expect a wait for because it was so rarely ordered and was cooked specially. We waited for my daughter’s cheeseburger… the most basic of basic sandwiches. Bit like going to a pub and getting the “Geronimo Wall Banger” cocktail before the pint of bitter!
Quality. Well, the ingredients seem to be okay, not perhaps as good as they were but good enough for what it is. The construction of the sandwiches though……the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a head-on collision with a freight train about sums up most of what I get served.
I guarantee that if the team who set-up McD in the UK were to come over here, assuming they are all still alive and kicking, they’d sack every last employee, all the management and start all over again with themselves doing all the work. Looking at the number and size of the adverts in McD these days looking for employees, this might cause a few problems! Is this the problem? Nobody wants to work in these places any more? Hard to believe when there is such high unemployment.
Anyway, there it is. I appear to be the only customer left who remembers the good old days, the rest don’t know, or don’t care enough to moan and so the Q and S slip quietly down the toilet.
Why don’t I stop going? I suppose all those years in the biz means it is in my blood now. No matter how bad it is I still have to visit once a week, or so. Like being addicted to sticking needles in my eyes.