McDonald's McBlows

Earlier today I read a blog on here about how much McDonald's sucks balls, and I couldn't agree more.  I've only written a letter to a buisness once in my life, and it was a little over a month ago to a McDonald's here.  I was actually so pissed off at the time that I drove to the local McDonald's corperate office after typing this letter and hand delivered it to the district manager.  I was fed up with their bullshit.  Fuck McDonald's, the food is shitty and bad for you anyway.


Dear Sir or Madam: 


This morning I attempted to make a purchase at the McDonald’s on ********, in Charlotte, NC.  Before I explain my experience in detail, I would like for you to understand my personal background with customer service.  I spent several years managing an 80,000 square foot retail store that had an average of 5,000 customers a day.  I had approximately 200 employees and I received several letters in the mail just like the one you are reading now.  You could say that I know a thing or two about customer service.  I wish the same could be said about your employees at the location on *********.  Please, take the time to look on your security cameras, and you will see that my story is accurate with the times I provide.

            At 4:50am on Monday, July 28th, I pull up to the speaker in a red Chevy Silverado.  As I drove around the building, I had noticed a large sign that read, “Open 24 Hours”.  I waited for 5 minutes at the speaker, and no one acknowledged my presence.  During my wait, several cars pulled in behind me and waited.  After a few minutes, the impatient would be customers behind me began to blow their horns and shout that they were hungry.  I began to assume that the only way I would receive service would be to drive around to the window and speak to an employee in person.

            At 4:55am, I drove to the first window, and looked inside.  I saw three employees, but from my perspective I could not tell what they were doing.  Then, after a minute or two, I saw a woman pushing a trash can by the window.  The woman made eye contact with me, and I gestured that I would like to speak to her.  There is no question that the woman saw me, yet she refused to acknowledge my presence.  Then, a minute or two after that, I saw another employee, who also looked directly at me.  I raised an open palm towards the sky as if to say, “Are you going to help me?”   Nothing.  I began to wonder if I was invisible.  The end result is that I drove a mile down the road and purchased my meal at another establishment.

            I realize that there are many excuses that your employees could give you to explain away this poor customer service, but none are valid.  Even if they were prepping for the start of a new business day by exchanging tills, counting money, setting up equipment, etc… how in the world can you justify not acknowledging a paying customer?  If nothing else I would have been content to wait for service if only one of the employees had taken the initiative to say, “I’m sorry sir, it will be a few minutes before we can take your order, as we are in the middle of setting up for today’s business.”

            Now, I know that you, the reader, can see the obvious flaws in the customer service (or lack of) your employees demonstrated this morning.  But I do not hold them accountable.  I hold you accountable.  I could not help but notice, in my extensive wait for the service I never received, a board hanging on the wall that read something along the lines of “Focus = Results”.   On the board there were several charts, bar graphs, letters, etc.  It was a familiar sight for me, because of my time in retail, as I was used to seeing productivity boards that displayed information.  I’m sure these pieces of paper, as valuable as the information may be to those who manage the company, are actually quite worthless when it comes to the employee I saw pushing the trash can. 

The end result is that I received poor customer service.  Period.  Employees do not learn how to give good customer service by reading a chart on the wall that tells last weeks performance on drive through accuracy, or orders per minute, and other bean counting techniques.  And this problem is one of the main reasons I left the retail world and went into business for myself.  Great customer service comes from leadership, and more specifically leadership by example.  I expect you, as a member of upper management, to place managers in these stores who are first and foremost leaders.  They should coach their employees on customer service, and demonstrate these skills while working along side their fellow employees.  Your employees may or may not read the “Focus = Results” bulletin board, but even if they do, it is absolutely no kind of substitute for real genuine leadership.

There was a time when I felt that McDonald’s standard of service was the model for all of your competitors, but some how that has changed.  Without going into detail, I have had other poor customer service experiences in recent months at other locations.  Until the service changes, I will look for alternatives to your establishment. 








Uploaded 09/07/2008
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