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Spontaneous Business Wisdom at Mcdonalds last night
Old 09-06-2015, 01:40 PM   #1
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Spontaneous Business Wisdom at Mcdonalds last night

Going thru the drive thru things seemed a little slow, and the order screen was not working. At the pay window, something amazing to see . The computer system was crashed , server putting sales down on a paper notebook !!!, order to cooking line verbally! Adding on paper and calc. tax, or at least a good estimate

Must have been a franchise, not a Co. owned location. Bravo to whoever manages this location. I have never seen a modern retailer able or willing to operate when things go outside the box. Must have been a serious computer problem, and a real P.I.T.A. entering order data after the fact.

The good: no pissed off customers , no lost sales. The bad, sucks to be whoever had to enter data for sales for that downtime.

Just astonishing , a businessman who can still think !!!!

When Starbucks had a systemwide computer crash, they gave away everything for a couple of hours, then closed ALL locations for the remainder of the day. A small financial disaster IMO.

I doubt I'l see this again in my lifetime.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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Why such low expectations of businesses? Not sure it's warranted.

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Old 09-06-2015, 01:58 PM   #3
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Make it happen. That's the key. Frankly I am surprised to see a fast food franchise get on the ball and continue under these circumstances. On the other hand I see this method of operation work very well at delis and food stands from the Bronx to Key West. Old school customer service is not dead when your livelihood is in the balance.
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
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Why such low expectations of businesses? Not sure it's warranted.

The average high school student should be able to perform simple math. Like adding up a few items, then calculating sales tax, and figuring out the total bill.

I'm willing to bet that if you walked into any fast food establishment these days, you'd be hard pressed to find ANYONE that would be able to do that correctly in an efficient manner.

That, combined with the corporate attitude of "the computer system is down, I can't figure out a solution on my own without someone telling me what to do for every minute, without a manual". Granted, I realize that manuals and procedures exist for a reason....but nice to see that there are some people who are still able to adapt and figure things out in a variety of occupations.
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Why such low expectations of businesses? Not sure it's warranted.

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Local sonic shut down for half a day because of computer related issues.
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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It's more than just the bills.

Things go directly into their ERP system i'd guess. It's inventory management, sales targets, management information, possibly employee time ..

But yeah, kudos to the guy keeping it going.
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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Going thru the drive thru things seemed a little slow, and the order screen was not working. At the pay window, something amazing to see . The computer system was crashed , server putting sales down on a paper notebook !!!, order to cooking line verbally! Adding on paper and calc. tax, or at least a good estimate
Good for them. I'll bet the folks working the register did math (subtracting the amount owed from the money provided, then counting out the bills and coin to make the result). This would be the way someone would do things if they'd never made change manually. It's much faster and more accurate to work the other way--start with the amount owed, sequentially get coins and bills from the drawer to add up to the amount of money presented by the customer. That's the way it used to be done.

And I wonder if they were taking credit cards. I haven't seen a manual card imprinter in a LONG time.
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Old 09-06-2015, 04:48 PM   #8
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I was a swing shift manager at a McDonalds back in the 70's. We used to actually train cashiers to count back change. Now most don't have any idea how much change to give the customer if the computer fails. Human evolution...
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:39 PM   #9
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When I worked in the two gas stations in HS we used cash registers. At least they were electric - I've seen hand-cranked ones. So it was a normal part to be able to do that in my head.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:57 PM   #10
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I was shopping at a department store last week and their computer system went down. I couldn't pay with a credit card so I offered to pay with cash since the system was down. They couldn't take cash!


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Old 09-06-2015, 06:40 PM   #11
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The average high school student should be able to perform simple math. Like adding up a few items, then calculating sales tax, and figuring out the total bill.
They should be able to. But to be fair, a lot of "tax added" situations now almost need a computer. Some items are taxed, others not on the same order.

In my state, ONE baguette from the local bakery is taxed as a 'meal' but two isn't taxed at all because it's considered groceries. In some places, meals tax applies if you take it to the table but not if it's to-go.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:48 AM   #12
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I was a swing shift manager at a McDonalds back in the 70's. We used to actually train cashiers to count back change. Now most don't have any idea how much change to give the customer if the computer fails. Human evolution...
I worked at a friend's father's fast-food restaurant when I was in high school, and that's one thing we had to know how to do - count back change.

We didn't have registers with buttons for each items, so we also had to memorize each item's price.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:18 PM   #13
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Eh. I fail at figuring out a simple 20% tip every now and then. Put some funky 8.9% state/city tax in there and I'm needing to limber up the cell phone calculator. Speaking of which, are we to believe the clerks where the computers were down didn't have their cell phones ready to hand for calculations?

Of course mistakes get made - vivid memories of leaving a 20% tip, going home to make the entry in Quicken, and finding an 18% tip had been pre-added to the bill. ACK!
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:14 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be surprised if some companies have a policy of closing if the systems aren't operational, regardless if the employees on duty could keep going. I imagine some VP at HQ deciding a manual operation would cause poor cash controls, inventory inaccuracies, employee theft, failure to automatically reorder items and falsified timesheets - therefore better to sell nothing and inconvenience customers than to mess up the grand automated systems.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:23 PM   #15
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I wouldn't be surprised if some companies have a policy of closing if the systems aren't operational, regardless if the employees on duty could keep going. I imagine some VP at HQ deciding a manual operation would cause poor cash controls, inventory inaccuracies, employee theft, failure to automatically reorder items and falsified timesheets - therefore better to sell nothing and inconvenience customers than to mess up the grand automated systems.
I think the above is SOP with most. I must be a relic from a different era. The customer is supposed to come first .
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