Monday, March 23, 2009

“Do You Want Fries With That?” Outsourcing in the Fast-Food Industry

Outsourcing is commonplace in some industries, such as high-tech and services. However, one industry that seems like an unlikely candidate for outsourcing is fast food. Yet, several chains such as Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are either experimenting with the idea or have implemented the idea in their drive-through windows.

These companies see many advantages to outsourcing such as improved speed and accuracy of order taking, in addition to freeing up restaurant employees to do other jobs such as take payments. Another major benefit of outsourcing for the industry has been the elimination of the language barrier that sometimes occurs between a native English speaking customer and a non-native English speaking employee. “According to Hudson Riehle, SVP of Research for the National Restaurant Association, remote order-taking can shave drive-through time by milliseconds, which can add up to millions for the fast food industry.”

So the next time you go through the drive-through at your favorite fast-food restaurant, be aware that you may be speaking with someone half-way across the globe.

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