Monks queuing

Yesterday, I published How a Small Detail Can Ruin Your Whole Client Experience about Mac Donald’s and Quick automated orders. Today, I’ll write from the fast food point of view to explain what may have led to asking the customer credit card at the beginning or the end of the purchase process.

Everything lies in a small, but critical difference Luc Muller pointed out yesterday: At Quick, you can order using the automated terminal and pay either with your credit card or with cash at the checkout. At Mac Donald’s you have no choice but paying with your credit card.

This brings 2 difference here.

First, Mac Donald seems has no choice but asking his clients to insert their credit card before doing anything on the Terminal, unless they want to face thousands users complaining they did not know they could not pay by cash. I don’t say Mac Donald’s clients are stupid, but if smart people can’t read sign, average people won’t read them either.

Second, this implies Quick needs to setup a very complicated workflow compared to Mac Donald’s.

Mac Donald’s workflow is pretty straightforward because it gives the customer no choice. Insert your card, order, pay, checkout, you’re done.

Mac Donald Workflow

Quick workflows is much more flexible, but much more complicated, with 3 decisions step, 2 from the client and 1 from the restaurant:

Quick workflow

  1. Client: Should I pay with my card or with cash?
  2. Client: Which line should I take (even though they end at the same place)?
  3. Cashier: Do I have enough change for that client? If not, I need to ask my colleagues / manager for change. This one happens more frequently than you would expect.

I’m not even sure that Quick giving more options improve the customer experience. Even though I hate Mac Donald’s insert your credit card to see the menu experience, it prevents both their employees and customers from using their brain, except maybe to chose their Sundae’s topping. But from an external and sarcastic point of view, it shows they just consider their clients as brainless cash spending livestock.

Being more complicated than Mac Donald’s, Quick’s workflow can only work with three conditions.

Either Quick has found a wonderful, top secret trick to handle friction during the cash payment process, and they’ve made wonderful automates that turns anyone into a sign savvy genius. I really doubt about it.

Or they need to hire more people to manage the flow despite having roughly the same space behind the counter (or even less than Mac Donald’s). I also doubt about it: my waiting experience at Quick between the moment I pay and the moment I get my food is often worse than Mac Donald’s, even thought this tends to improve.

The only remaining reason lies in the figures. Such a complicated workflow is sustainable because Quick serves less clients than Mac Donald’s.

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