Design-led innovation portfolio getting mcdonalds to care about food quality and customers again
As the largest fast-food chain enterprise in the world, customers go to these outlets with very high expectations. They assume that the company became successful because it knows how to attract and retain loyal customers. It has operated for more than 70 years, so many believe that at a McDonald’s, their expectations for good quality food, affordable prices, exemplary service, and outstanding hygiene will all be met or even surpassed. However, the reality is extremely disappointing. First, the McDonald’s enterprise is so large that it cannot control performance in all its restaurants. The report will not only explore customer expectations and demands, but also their concerns and the issues surrounding the business, which frustrate them. The aim of the design thinking process applied here will be to ensure that the company’s goals are attainable and its values are reflected throughout all its outlets.
Design thinking is a people-centred innovation approach that emphasizes visualization of ideas, fast learning, rapid concept creation, collaboration and business analysis to produce working and lasting solutions in a fast-changing world (Liedtka, 2014). Although this report is mainly guided by problems consumers face at Macca’s, workers will be affected by proposed changes because the solution will necessitate higher levels of employee engagement. With a mind map that identifies various areas of opportunity, one key problem will be highlighted as the focus of this report, and an innovative solution will be designed for it. On another day, the fries would be too greasy to enjoy while on another, they would be droopy and overcooked, or in some instances, undercooked. In general, while the company was enjoying the impact of automation, customers were getting bad food and worse service.
Image 1: Opposing effects of McDonald’s automated production process The problem space is characterized by the company reaping the benefits of the new standardized production line through increased profits since the McDonald’s has more control to limit waste and reduce labour costs which is reflected in lower food prices that attract more customers. Over time, however, the promises of superior McDonald’s quality, short waiting times, and reliable service stopped trickling down to the customer in some McDonald’s outlets. The result was discord between the company management and customers because the order standardization process offered McDonald’s numerous advantages that meet its goals while clients were complaining about the poor quality of food. The mind map below shows areas of opportunity to innovate and the customer needs that must be reconciled with the company’s offer.
Image 2: Mind map of the problem space Empathy Research From the mind map, the key problem that will be addressed with an innovative solution in this report is employee training for proper food preparation. However, this process cannot be embraced by McDonald’s unless they hear from disgruntled customers, understand that this is a serious problem, and be willing to do better for their clients. As Liedtka (2014) notes, empathy is an important aspect in design thinking today, and innovators must rely on users’ experiences and their related emotions rather than simply recognizing them. It provides reliable information on what actually matters to the customer so that the business can provide it during future interactions. At two restaurants, there were customers who did not like their food, but they complained amongst themselves rather than notify staff.
For more than half of the cases raised, the staff rectified the mistakes and no customers asked for refunds. After devoting two hours to observation each day, time was spent approaching some customers to inquire about their experiences. One conversation was held with a dissatisfied customer, Leigh, who notified staff about the problem with her order while the other was held with one, Matt, who chose not to complain. The personas of the two customers who were interviewed extensively are displayed below but the conversations held with other clients only touched on how they would rate the food and whether they would be repeat customers. Like Matt and Leigh, however, I keep coming back. Define From the collected data, a point-of-view statement was formulated to encompass the issues raised within the problem space and guide the efforts to find an appropriate solution.
The general consensus is that food quality standards at individual Macca’s do not echo the image that McDonald’s Australia markets as the focus of the company. Customers at Macca’s who come to enjoy the McDonald’s experience in all affiliated restaurants, should be able to get what they pay for and what the company promises through well-prepared, tasty, and aesthetically pleasing items without having to complain about smaller portions, mixed up orders, and faulty advertising. Looking at it from this perspective, the company’s promises are not that different from customer expectations and demands. com. au/about-maccas/maccas-story> McDonald’s Corporation. Annual report for the year ended December 31st, 2018. Accessed 14 September 2019, < https://corporate. mcdonalds. ) and dinner time (6 p.
m. to 7 p. m. The behaviour that was important addressed the following questions: • Was the restaurant clean and did the customers look comfortable to be in the space? • Did the customer notify the staff about something being wrong with their order? • Did the customer ask for their food to be taken back to the kitchen, for a different meal, or for the order to be rectified? • Were issues with wrong orders handled? • Did the manager have to be involved? • Did the customer seem satisfied with how the staff handled the matter? • Did the customer ask for a refund? Reflect on how they might be feeling: In one restaurant, the space was so unclean that some customers had to clean their tables.
Appendix 2 – Conversion Field Research Conversations with three different customers took place every day of the week after the observation exercise was complete at each of the seven locations. There were a total of 21 conversations, 5 with customers who had no problem with their food, 4 with clients who had a problem but did not notify staff, and 12 who told staff about their issues with the food. Problem Space: Training employees so they prepare food that meets customer expectations, adheres to client’s specifications, and delivers the company’s promise for quality food. Open-ended question and answer 1: Q. What is your experience eating at Macca’s? A. Would you eat at another Macca’s location within the city or country? A. thirteen of the respondents had no problem with the idea of finding another Macca’s to eat in.
Most of them hinted at the fact that each Macca’s was run by a different management, and so they knew that there was a high possibility they would get better service and food quality at other locations. A few pointed out that it was poor management to place the burden of finding good food on the customer when the restaurants in question were under one franchise. Open-ended question and answer 4: Q. I have a part time job at a workshop and I like to spend time with my nephews when I want to unwind. What are your goals, and do they fit in with why you eat at Macca’s? Leigh: I aim to spend as much time as possible with my family, and sometimes we have a meal at Macca’s together because this one is close to home and we’ll walk here and back when we’re done.
I put a lot of time into my work, so I get coffee to go during my break, and sometimes order lunch delivered at work if I want to put in more time on an assignment. I’m working towards a promotion in the next two years. With the health information available on the Macca’s app, I can keep track of what I eat and try to stay healthy. Food preparation is the biggest problem for me because I can receive an order that is too bad to eat and on rare occasions it is plain disgusting, I do not understand how it left the kitchen in that state. I prefer to order out or use the drive through because I can come in and find the place too disorganized or littered to be comfortable sitting here.
At those times, I just buy take out. Matt: I know how to work around this particular store when it comes to seating, and the food here is prepared well enough that I do not complain. The food is not exceptional though. Plus, they are mostly in a position to correct certain issues that it is not a big deal. Matt: The newly advertised items are never as good or even close to what is advertised on social media that I can just call the company a liar. I stick to what I know is made well here, and I refrain from trying new items on the menu. Apart from the staff I am familiar and friendly with, some of them can be rude and ignore you for a long time even when you are trying to get their attention.
Did you have a problem with your order this time around? Leigh: Yes. I get bothered when I have to get the attention of the staff to notify them of an issue but it is the only way to get what you came to buy. Needs prior, during, and after the experience: Prior to making my order, I need the staff to be reliable enough to be consistent in what they make so that the process of getting food is hassle-free. During the waiting phase and eating, I do not want to have to stop eating because I found hair or bugs in my food. I do not want to wait too long in line when the service is slow or have to get the attention of the cashier to give my order repeatedly or ask why it is taking so long.
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