Anyone who’s been in a McDonald’s drive-through lately knows that the service isn’t always fast. In fact, if you’re so unlucky, you might end up even waiting in a parking spot or two for your not-so-fast food.
McDonald’s, being ever conscious of how fast they need to deliver artery-clogging tiny burgers, has now undertaken a goal to get people in and out of line in one minute. According to BusinessWeek on Wednesday, about 800 locations in Florida say that with a second window added into the pickup process as well as a scaled-back menu, one minute will be all the time it takes to get you your food. They’re guaranteeing that, or you get a free sandwich coupon for your next visit.
But here’s the thing: You have to be there between noon and 1 p.m. only on weekdays until Aug. 29. Also, they’re not saying the whole order, pay, receive food process will take one minute; once you’ve finalized handing over your payment, that’s when the 1-minute timer begins. To prove their point, McDonald’s will hand the driver their sand timer to keep track of that dainty minute limit.
Last year, the customers’ average wait in the Mickey D’s drive-through line was 3 minutes and 15 seconds, though that included time for ordering and paying. However, it was the slowest in the history of QSR Magazine’s Drive Thru Study.
Curiously, this promotion might never make it out of Florida. McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said there’s nothing in the works on the national level and that this promotion isn’t a test for something bigger.
The Wire reports that an international McDonald’s in Singapore tried a similar promotion with McFlurry coupons. Reddit user TravellingMcDs said the promotion didn’t last long since every person in was getting a McFlurry.
Perhaps McDonald’s wants to keep this experiment to a small number for greater control of how many potential free sandwiches they could be giving out.
Or perhaps they don’t want to overwork all of their employees even more. TIME pored over the commenters on their Facebook page, which included current and former McDonald’s employees, and they shared that this idea will cause underpaid workers to be even more overworked and stressed out. Other commenters noted that they’d rather wait the time it takes for the food to be done with accuracy, rather than whatever can be put together in the new time limit.
The “promotion” leaves us with more questions than answers. Why Florida? Why just one state? Why just one hour a day? Why just until the end of August? Aside from becoming a topic of conversation, it isn’t entirely clear what McDonald’s will gain as a company from the super conditional promotion.
What do you think the chain is trying to accomplish?