McDonald’s in 2016: A restaurant?
Guest blog of Leonie van Spronsen, living and working in Paris, where she experienced the table service at the McDonald’s at the Champs-Élysées.
As you might have seen in the media recently, McDonald’s is changing its (in France at least) service strategy in their outlets. They are trying to create a ‘real’ restaurant with table service to cut back lines and improve service and started recently with their large outlet on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Reason enough to go check it out!
When entering, the first thing you notice is the overwhelming crowd of people inside. As this new service was created to cut back waiting times I am a bit surprised by this but upon further inspection I understand what they have meant to do and must admit it works. Basically in the classic McDonald’s the lines and crowds are all the way at the back in front of the teller whereas here with the order screens throughout the space, the crowds are much better spread out.
The screens have been there for a while now but what is really different that you now have the option to have your food brought to your table.
How does the table service at MacDonald’s work?
To be honest it is not super clear how to do this, as you have to take a card (you can find these cards in a small bin below your screen) that you need to scan and then take to your table. The very kind (and much better dressed than before) hostesses are happy to help you with this though and with their help it is easy enough. My struggle with finding out how this works is not an isolated incident from what I gather as many people have still chosen the option to pick up their order at the teller (thus creating the lines they were trying to avoid). When I have finally found a spot it is rather smooth sailing from here onwards, they find me and serve me my order within 10 minutes and when the sauce ordered is missing on my tray there are plenty of hostesses around to help and I receive my sauce within minutes.
Basically experiment successful you would say?
Yes and No – yes, I think this is a smart move from the fastfood corporation as it is innovative, new and it definitely creates are better spread of crowds throughout their space. But No, calling this a restaurant would be a serious over-statement.
My fries are cold when they arrive, there are JUST enough hostesses to serve the meals and I would say around me only 40% of the tables actually took the order-to-table option and although I actually see the hostesses clean tables (the first time I have ever seen that happening in a fastfood place) my table is still very sticky when I sit down.
Now it’s just a matter of time to see who will follow? And who knows we will be getting used to a new fastfood concept over the coming years..