How would you rate the service you received from quick service restaurants? We guess most people think that the service is poor because of their low-level services. However, low-level services do not mean failure in services. Actually, there is no direct relationship between level of services and success in services. Even a quick service restaurant can be success in service if it can focus on the guest, understand the role of the guest-contact employee, weave a service culture into education and training systems, emphasize high-touch instead of just high-tech, and thrive on change. We will use McDonald’s, the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, to illustrate how a quick service restaurant can be success in services.
Success in Service
- Focus on the guest
McDonald’s focus on the needs and wants of the customers. It adopted localization on its food products in order to fit the taste of local customers, for example McDonald’s Hong Kong included twisty pasta, rice in the menu. McDonald’s follow the market trend and offer different diversified foods and beverages to suit different type of customers. In 2015, McDonald’s collaborated with The Minions, a new popular animated comedy film, and offer special menu and toys collection for the customers. Besides, McDonald’s trates food safety as the first concern. They appointed SGS, an independent, internationally recognized inspection, verification, testing and certification company, to test selected ingredients on a monthly basis in order to ensure the food quality. The above shows that McDonald’s is working hard in serving quality food with excellent quick service to the customers and meeting their needs.
- Understand the role of the guest-contact employee
Service providers know how to make different types of guests happy and satisfaction. Due to the unique nature of the quick services restaurants, customers may only have three requirements, which is CHEAP, QUICK, and DELICIOUS in order to resume their works. Service providers know their roles and responsibilities, try their very best to take the order accurately and deliver it to the guest as soon as possible.
- Weave a service culture into education and training systems
McDonald’s company is keen to strive their best in serving their guests. In fact, the one who interact with the customers are the face of the company and reflect the organization values and culture. McDonald’s company has been set up a code of guideline to instruct what the service provider should do from time to time in order to show their service culture in front of the guests. Locally, McDonald’s company uses different methods to train up their potential staffs and to tell them what the service culture in McDonald’s company is. These methods include self-study, on the job coaching, and some training courses. Internationally, McDonald’s company sets up a Hamburger University in United States, which aims to focus on consistent restaurant operation procedures, service, quality and cleanliness. The above measures aim to incorporate the employees into the service culture and let them become a professional staff in one day.
- Emphasize high touch instead of just high-tech
In these day and age, it is hard for a corporation to ignore the information technology. McDonald’s company continues to use information technology to smooth their operation like point-of-sales systems, electrical display board. On the other hand, staffs at McDonald’s company still put much emphasis on interaction with customers. Service providers greet the guests before ordering the food. They will use the appropriate gestures and postures to show their sincere, respectful to their guests. They will also carry a fatal weapon, smile, when they meet the guests. Although the duration of the service delivery is a little bit too short in quick-service restaurant, it is a combination of high-touch and high-tech.
- Thrive on change
In an attempt to attract a more diverse customer base and to stay fresh on customers’ minds, food menu is updated with great market responsiveness. Remember the banana pie with super cute Despicable Me Minion wrapping? These special kinds of food are offered for a limited time, usually for movie promotions. People who want to try new things are being served as a result. One more attention-getting example would be the ‘Create your taste’ menu. Introduced in Hong Kong in 2015, this enables customers to design customized burgers with a huge selection of fresh ingredients, along with a brand-new McDonald’s table service. In addition, starting from 2014, breakfast menu is served all day to cater the needs of die-hard fans of McDonald’s breakfast! Besides the constant update on food menu, innovative types of services are also being introduced in the Hong Kong market. The 24 hours delivery service would be one example, backing up by the mobile application available on IOS and Android. This one is not innovative enough? The following one sure is – McDonald’s wedding party service. For those brides and grooms who never lose their childlike sense of wonder and fun, McDonald’s provides them with full wedding party packages including customized venue decoration, games and gifts for guests.
Still think companies with ideas of popularization are bound to offer ordinary service quality? Think that again!
Our History: McDonald’s Hong Kong. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2015, from http://www.mcdonalds.com.hk/en/about-us/our-history.html