Essay: Fast Food Restaurant: Mcdonalds

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[. . .] However, we overlooked what appeared to be the most significant coordination mechanism: the presence of two floating workers on the floor, who stepped in to keep traffic flowing. These workers engaged in various tasks, such as taking orders out to waiting cars if there was a delay in the drive-thru, cleaning up a spill in the restaurant area, and opening an additional register when the line became too long.

Not surprisingly, the restaurant utilized a significant amount of technology. We were correct that the cash register seemed to have buttons that allowed for complete customization of orders. One exception to this was that if someone wanted a regular sized cup of water with their value meal order instead of a soda, the cashiers did not seem to have an option for that. Instead, the default appeared to be a smaller cup. The register was linked to an overhead coordinated order board, which put the order up on a screen for those in prep. Finally, we were correct that the tools used for cooking were somewhat automated. The fry machine had a set time and beeped when fries were finished. Different buttons seemed to indicate the appropriate times for different foods.

Finally, our hypotheses about the stakeholders seemed founded. We hypothesized that the stakeholders with the lowest stakes (customers) will bring the highest demands to the business, and that did appear to be true. We considered the customers to have the lowest stakes because, in almost all circumstances, the results of getting a fast food order incorrect or having to wait an additional 3 or 4 minutes for an order are not life-changing. In comparison, the people working at a fast food restaurant during the week tended to be older people and college-age students. Although we did not interview them, they seemed as if they were working because they needed the money. The manager did, as well. Honestly, we were surprised at the level of rude behavior exhibited by many customers. Many of them spoke on their phones while placing orders and failed to use basic courtesy, such as saying "please" and "thank you" with the workers. We also witnessed one woman, who had been speaking on her phone when she placed her order; berate the cashier because she gave her the wrong order. However, the cashier had given the woman exactly what she ordered. We probably wouldn't have noticed that if we had not been intentionally observing the exchange, but it made us wonder how many "incorrect" fast food orders are due to customer error.


Our observation revealed that fast food restaurants are very highly-structured organizations, which are only able to provide such fast service because they operate in a highly-efficient, highly-structured manner. However, we also saw the importance of human beings in the job; while the jobs may be automated, it seemed clear that the floating employees made the automated systems function much more smoothly than they would have without these additional employees. It made us remember that people are an important part of any customer service experience.

The observation also revealed that the relative value of a person's stake in an organization is not necessarily linked to the person's expectations at that business. Fast food customers are low-stake stakeholders. They can always go to another fast food restaurant, and competition is plentiful. However, they seemed unreasonably likely to get angry at cashiers and other restaurant workers. Moreover, customer error was much higher than we would have expected, probably due to the fact that many customers were multi-tasking while placing their orders. It made us reevaluate our opinion that fast food workers had to be low-skilled. Though the job description, itself, may not require significant advanced training, the observation made it clear to us that the workers were highly skilled at… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Fast Food Restaurant: Mcdonalds.  (2013, October 17).  Retrieved August 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Fast Food Restaurant: Mcdonalds."  17 October 2013.  Web.  20 August 2019. <>.

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"Fast Food Restaurant: Mcdonalds."  October 17, 2013.  Accessed August 20, 2019.