In a recent interview with Fortune Magazine, Jim Skinner, the CEO of McDonald’s is, explains one of his favorite sayings:
It’s a lot harder to make money than it is to count it
He was speaking of finance executives that lack experience in operations. Then he shares a story.
At one time, McDonald’s considered placing deli sandwiches on its list of menu items. But after some testing, they rejected the idea because sandwiches couldn’t be made within 55 to 60 seconds. According to Skinner,
We talk about hospitality, we talk about friendly relationships, but we live in world of speed today.
McDonald’s customers at the drive through don’t want to be chatted with, and they don’t want to wait two minutes for a turkey sandwich.
This is interesting, especially in comparison with the model Starbucks has chosen to follow in the application of Lean. There, the customer is sometimes interested in chatting and in socializing. With certainty, the McDonald’s customer is not interested in that. So, from a service perspective, service offerings need to account for both types of customers.
In either case, however, speed is critical and plays a vital role in its business strategy.