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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Outsourcing at McDonalds

Ordering a Big Mac via Fargo? McDonald's ponders call centers for drive-thrus

By Jennifer Waters
March 10, 2005

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Call centers for McDonald's drive-thrus?

That's on the menu as the world's largest hamburger chain looks at ways to speed up accuracy and timing for drive-thru customers who contribute more than half of all restaurant sales. Instead of being on site, the liaison between customer and cook could be thousands of miles away from a local Golden Arches.

At an analyst conference in New York on Thursday, McDonald's executives said they are testing the use of call centers -- with professional order takers who have strong communication skills and do nothing other than take orders down.

At this point, it's not likely the order takers will be in Bombay or Bangladesh, but they won't be behind the window. Some, however, may be fluent in foreign languages, regardless of where they are.

"So if you're in L.A. and you hear in a year or so a Spanish-speaking person taking your order in a North Dakota accent, you'll know what we're up to," Chief Executive Jim Skinner said.


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