McDonald’s quality service is very evident in every outlet it has all over the world. Arguably, serving its customers in an apt and courteous manner, each customer whenever not satisfied is aptly attended to. This is one standard protocol which is implemented in each McDonald’s restaurant. Each crew member is trained and oriented by the head store manager and its store area managers, in order to be efficient in handling the needs of its various customers. In able to make speedy service possible and to ensure accuracy and security, many fast food restaurants have incorporated hospitality point of sale systems (Ray Kroc, Grinding it out: The Making of McDonald’s, 1977).
This makes it possible for kitchen crew personnel to screen orders place at front counter and drive through at the actual time. Wireless systems allow orders placed at drive through speakers to be taken by cashiers, as well as kitchen personnel. Drive-through and walk through configurations will allow orders to be taken at one register and paid at the succeeding window. Modern point of sale systems can operate on computer networks using a wide array of software programs. Sales records can be generated and remote access to computer reports can be given to corporate offices, managers, troubleshooters, and some authorized personnel.
With this in mind, quality service at McDonald’s is assumed and secured for the betterment of its loyal customers and the company as well. While fast food restaurants usually have a dining area in which customers can eat the food on the premises, some orders are designed to be taken away, and traditional table service is rare. Orders are generally taken and paid for at a wide counter, with the customer waiting by the counter for a tray or container for their food. A “drive-thru” service can allow customers to order and pick up food from their cars.
Nearly from its inception, fast food has been designed to be eaten “on the go” and often does not require traditional cutlery and is eaten as a finger food (Ray Kroc, Grinding it out: The Making of McDonald’s, 1977). Common menu items at fast food outlets include fish and chips, sandwiches, pitas, hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza, and ice cream, although many fast-food restaurants offer “slower” foods like chili, mashed potatoes, and salads.
The quality service of McDonald’s doesn’t end there. The company gives a premium on each customer’s health in order to reciprocate the loyalty a customer gives to the company. Some of the large fast food chains are beginning to incorporate healthier alternatives in their menu as well. For instance, white meat, snack wraps, salads and fresh fruits are made available. However, some people see these moves as a tokenistic and commercial measure, rather than an appropriate reaction to ethical concerns about the world ecology and people’s health.
McDonald’s announced that in March of 2006, the chain would include nutritional information on the packaging of all its products. Yet amidst the quality service that the company provides, some customers and lobbyists are not contented with what the prominent fast food chain does to suit the various needs of its customers. Because of commercial emphasis on speed, uniformity and low cost, fast food products are often made with ingredients formulated to achieve a certain flavor or consistency and to preserve freshness. This requires a high degree of food engineering, the use of additives and processing techniques substantially alter the food from its original form and reduce its nutritional value.
The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is chain of grocery stores launched by Wal-Mart in 1998. These stores are designed to be the opposite of vastly enormous superstores. These smaller stores are supposed to entice shoppers with easier parking, less crowded aisles and faster checkout. Neighborhood Market stores offer a wide variety of products that includes a full-line of groceries, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, photo developing services, and a limited selection of general merchandise. Generally, located in markets with Wal-Mart Supercenters, they supplement Wal-Mart’s strong food distribution network.
As of May 31, 2007, there were 118 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Yet customer service has also gone downhill in a big way. For instance, a customer waited over a half hour for someone to come and assist me in the bicycle department, finally leaving because no one could be bothered. One of the cashiers called and called for assistance to no avail. The woman in the infant department, which she believed to be the department head, that wouldn’t even begin to try to get me a price on an unmarked car seat. She told the customer that it must be the same price as another seat which was nearby that was clearly a better quality, more expensive seat.
The Customer feel like the people of this area are being taken advantage of and being treated poorly because of the fact that places to shop are so limited here. Half of the time some people can’t find what they are supposed to be looking for, simply because it isn’t in stock anymore. You can forget about finding any decent shoes. What has happened to the quality at Wal-mart? I know many people who share my feelings about the way Wal-mart has become, and many of us are considering paying a little more elsewhere to get the service and quality that we prefer.
Furthermore, their idea of “merchandising” has increasingly gotten so cheap and sloppy. If you’re looking for let’s say sunglasses, don’t dare imagine that they’d all be in the same logical area — they are scattered on strips hung at end of aisles in practically any department. How do they control their inventory? Now their inventory approach would be confidential and unpredictable, after all it is Wal-Mart, not Nordstrom’s. The apathy at Wal-Mart is not proper. You are then left to “fend for yourself” at the “baggage carousel” and hope that you retrieved all your bags, as the next order is already hot on your heels.
With this in mind, some customer would rather shop on Wal-Mart online. This gives the customers a convenient way of shopping with the use of the internet. It is practical for some people who spent most of their time at home. One simply can browse through the variety of products by choosing a category. For customers, this is a hassle-free and not time consuming at all. The customer spares himself from some obnoxious employees that cannot attend to you whenever you need assistance to find a certain product. Yet this is not a solution to the demands of customers. Quality service must be assured in every Wal-Mart store.
The company must set standard protocols for an employee to perform their job in an objective manner. Perhaps, Wal-Mart is not even considering such yet they have quality assurance with the products that they sell. So, why not imply quality assurance with regards to employee-customer relationships? Wal-Mart is like the “McDonald’s” of department stores because they customer satisfaction and quality service are overlooked and not given proper attention by its company executives.
For the employees to perform their job well, the company executives should not hire them simply for the sake of having personnel at their prominent department store.
Ray Kroc, Grinding it out: The Making of McDonald’s, 1977
Wal-Mart 2006 Annual Report, 2006
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