At the airport this morning I stopped at McDonald’s to get a healthy breakfast… O.K., to get something to eat while waiting for my flight to Oregon. After I got my food I commended the young employee for her excellent work. She looked surprised. So I said, “Well, you completed all of the six steps flawlessly. Well, except for Step #, but I understand that one has been dropped. But to make up for it, you still did the Bag Principle – so I give you extra credit. When I was a McDonald’s Corporate Spy, I would have noted your name this store number from that plague over there and recommended a bonus for you in your next pay check.” The manager over heard me and came over and said I’ve always wanted to meet a McSpy and shook my hand.
You see, when I was a McDonald’s employee I heard about this McSpook’s myself. I think I can confess I got to be a McSpook for awhile without killing anyone – since I was honorable discharged over twenty years ago. But let me back up. You might be wondering what the “Six Steps” are and the Bonus Bag Principle are? (If not, I’ll tell you anyway. Back in the day, McDonald’s trained it’s employees in the following Six Steps:
- Greet the Customer “Welcome to McDonald’s”
- Take the Order w/ an Up-Sell or Suggestive Sell Up-Sell is if they order fries, “Large size?” or suggesive sell is saying at the end, “Would you like an Apple Pie with that?”
- Take Their Money
- Assemble the Order
- Present the Meal: Bag Principle: Fold the Bag Twice Arches Toward the Customer
- Thank Them and Ask them to Come Again
I have learned that they have sinced dropped the “Up-Sell” or “Suggestive Sell” – at least requiring it of their employees. Which I think is a mistake. For my economics class in high school, I got permission from my manager to do an experiment for a week and do it alternatively only with every other customer for a week and the results affirmed that the success of this principle had a dramatic impact on sales. Over 70% of customers responded to the Up-sell or suggestion and took my suggestion! (Or was it just my Jedi Mind Control?) Perhaps in this economy they should bring it back!
When did I become a McSpook? Way back when the McKid’s stores launched, I was hired as the McKid’s Store Magician – and would go to the mall, walk around with a puppet promoting the in-store show and then do a magic show. It was a lot of fun. They had a nice set up for a show with seating around a giant TV screen they had set up for entertainment in the store normally while moms shopped. It was primarily a McClothing store. Unfortunately the brand failed. Hopefully it wasn’t my fault! Anyway, part of my gig was that when I was on the road, I could eat at any McDonald’s and “spy” the location – turn in a report and get reimbursed for my meal. I could be a difficult customer even and report on how they responded. Change my order, order unusual things, or ask for odd combinations. But mostly, I just checked if it was clean, courteous and followed the corporate expectations. Though usually my trend coat and shades tipped them off. (J/K!) It was fun to be a spy, while it lasted!
The fun ending to this encounter was that this employee asked me, “What do you do now?” Wanting to inspire her, I said, “I now run my own business – so keep doing those steps and someday you’ll be writing the steps.” She smiled and said, “I will!”
The Point? Standards work, they get results, and they create leaders. And when you’ve walked a path – don’t forget to encourage those who are behind you on the same path so they see the path is worth staying on. In other words, don’t be ashamed of the fact you once worked at McDonald’s. It was good training!