Burgers oursourced

Normally I don’t think too much about outsourcing, mainly because it is a fact of today’s life. If you can’t do it efficiently at the right price, find somebody else who can. Then again, man has always wanted to profit from life and will take every short cut possible. Some gain and some will lose at the end of the day, whatever said & done. That’s it in a nut shell. Also, I agree, I have also been prey to some real terrible call centre support staff (they didn’t solve the issue at hand in those cases or wasted a lot of my time) out there in my mater-land, but it is ok with me, these things would & should take a while to stabilize.

But some days ago, when my wife told me that the drive in lane of burger outlets was getting outsourced, it was a revelation. I have always avoided drive in ordering, my 2nd son says it is cool to order drive-in, but I find it better to walk up to the counter and explain what I want. In any case, I always do better, face to face, without the American accent…BTW I have still not mastered ‘mayonnaise’.

This funny video that some bright chap uploaded on Youtube is quite interesting, worth checking out. See the ‘now hiring’ board prominently posted.

But here are the facts, BK outsources, but not the drive in line as you see on the video.. It all started with a Desi who took over as CIO of Burger King.

With annual revenues of over $2 billion, Burger King is the world’s second largest fast food hamburger chain. Since taking over as CIO in March 2005, Rajesh ‘Raj’ Rawal has drafted in help in the form of MindTree – a mid-tier India-based outsourcing company he had previously used when CIO of the Cendant Car Rental Group, owner of the Avis and Budget brands. What they do is - Aside from their involvement in several specific projects, they provide typical [software] maintenance and support activities & they have already saved millions for BK.

Mc Donald’s and Wendy’s both competitors to BK on the other hand, outsource their ‘drive in’ counter, but to call centers in USA (as of now).

Mc Donald’s – The call center’s job is to take orders and relay them back to the relevant restaurants through the Internet. Santa Maria-based Bronco Communications handles calls from 40 Mac restaurants scattered around the country, while Illinois-based Verety has hired home-based agents to do the job. McDonald’s claims this system decreases the time between orders by a few seconds & the agents are paid only the minimum wages. Their system flashes the number of minutes they were away on a break, and they have to click on a pop-up that appears every now and then in around 1.75 seconds to show that they are on the job.

Wendy’sAn order took just 66 seconds to be delivered! Wendy's says the call center is paying off. Drive-through sales jumped 12 percent at the six stores that installed multiple drive-through lanes that are connected to a call center, according to Kevin Fritton , executive vice president of 256 Operating Associates , which runs the call center and 14 Wendy's restaurants in New Hampshire and Vermont. The call-center employees, who earn about $8.50 an hour, are trained to urge customers to add items to their order and are timed on how long each call takes. It also helps reduce robbery via the drive in window.

“When I thought about call centers, I thought about how I'd wait for hours on hold with someone in Bangladesh trying to get computer help," Fritton said. But Fritton eventually agreed to fly to Colorado and sit for an hour in a rival's parking lot and see what the technology could do. He watched car after car zoom through a McDonald's drive-through at a rate he'd never seen -- more than 125 cars during lunch hour. At the time, Fritton's stores were doing about 85 cars an hour during lunchtime – anyway he made the switch.

So that was a bit about the outsourced burger, but well, when you read that childbirth has been outsourced to surrogate mothers in India, you do end up rolling your eyes. Child rearing had from historic times been outsourced to nannies by some, this is another story though!!


narendra shenoy said…
Nice post, Maddy. Loved the video. Here,in Mumbai, I often feel the urge to speak with the people at AIRTEL, our cellphone company, so that I can yell at them. They are the only people I can yell at, you know. Can't yell at my customers (need their business), can't yell at my suppliers either (need their service). Can't yell at my employees (tough enough retaining them). Can't yell at the kids (they're smarter than me) and though my insurance covers multiple fractures, can't yell at the wife either (no guts). But its real easy to work myself into a froth because the AIRTEL call center people seem to be on some kind of mind numbing medication. They are so daft they would make hillbillies look like a master race. I was recently on the phone with them because I wanted to change my plan, an exercise that left me with a few dozen busted blood vessels. I can sympathize with the guy in the video.
Vidhya said…
Hi Maddy, Nice post, and cool video too.

I called the American express TC division to report loss of TC's. I was a little flustered since I had lost just about every single dollar I had and was lucy enough to find my passport in the trash can. Feeling lost in a foreign land ( New York airport ), I dialled the number and received the response soon enough "Thank you for calling American express, my name is Shiva, how may I help you today?'" I immediately felt at HOME!!
Pradeep said…
Those guys who take the call, need amazing patience... unique breed they have to be... Good video!
LOL at the video. Watched it twice.

I too remember reading about the outsourcing of the McDonald's and Wendy's drive-ins.

What I cannot understand is this: drive-in ATMs have been around for over 15 years now. Why can't they have similar touch screens with icons for the food, and eliminate the need for a human order-taker? It will be a lot less stressful and a lot faster.
Happy Kitten said…
LOL Maddy.. u had to end it with Surrogate Mothers....
Maddy said…
One thing I can tell you, the new Airtel ad of the two kids on I guess the Gaza strip is fantastic!!

Thanks for dropping by..In the old days names like Siva could not be used, but it had to be Tim or Jim or some such name!!

You are quite right there, they I am told get bored soon and drift off to other jobs,

I think I have seen such a touch screen somewhere, but I guess it is the bright light that glares off the screen in the mornings.

Yup, just made a mention of the wombs for hire..that is a topic by itself!!