McDonald’s Using Out-Of-State Workers For Drive-Through

Hawaii Orders Being Taken By Workers Thousands Of Miles Away

POSTED: 4:50 pm HST June 11, 2008

UPDATED: 11:08 am HST June 12, 2008

HONOLULU — If you ordered a meal from a Hawaii McDonald’s drive-through recently, the person on the other side of the speaker could have been thousands of miles away in another state.

The fast-food restaurant chain is outsourcing its drive-through orders in an effort to save money and time as well as reducing mistakes.

McDonald’s began trying the idea four years ago in Illinois and Missouri. Out-sourcing drive-through order workers began in Hawaii two years ago. Recently it has expanded.

KITV went to one drive-through Wednesday and found the company is still working out the kinks.

At the Keeaumoku Street McDonald’s, the people taking drive-through orders were in another time zone.

“I am currently talking to you from El Paso, Texas, sir,” the drive-through operator said.

There are problems. This customer was trying to order, but the call taker could not hear him.

KITV asked the Texas call-takers if they are having a difficult time understanding people from Hawaii.

“We’ve been out here for about seven months, so it kind of takes me a while just to understand,” the worker said.

The long-distance call-takers send back the orders to the restaurant via the Internet. There the restaurant employees take the cash and hand over the food.

What do customers think? Some say they do not think the call-takers understand them.

“Sometimes they get the orders mixed up, so it gets kind of confusing and you start getting mad because they’re not taking down the right order. Other than that, it’s fine,” one customer said.

Most customers were surprised to learn the people taking their drive-through orders were talking to them from the mainland.

The corporate offices of McDonalds Hawaii were closed for the Kamehameha Day holiday. A spokeswoman said the executive who could talk to KITV about the process was traveling in Chicago on business, but would speak about it later in the week to tell us why McDonald’s here is outsourcing some of its order-takers and how successful it has been.

Posted By Council of Canadians London Chapter to The World Cannot Afford to Wait – Demand an Immediate Moratorium on Drive-Thrus at 6/13/2008 11:14:00 AM

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