The Free Enterprise System

The Free Enterprise System and Happiness

I had a great experience at McDonald’s today.

It’s been 4+ years since I’ve been inside a McDonald’s. It was my first time using a self-order kiosk. It was easy. I noticed there was only one person working the register while the rest of the team was preparing and delivering food. The service was smooth and quick. The employees calm and engaged; not overwhelmed or stressed. The customers seemed happy and calm also.

Odd considering it was 7:00 AM; typically a day part full of mayhem.

I was so mesmerized that I returned at 9:15 AM after Toastmasters and simply observed. 3 cash registers were gone since my visit 4 years ago; the counter now spacious and open invited employees and customers to interact. It was a sight for sore eyes. I could not remember ever seeing a fast food employee smile and/or interact with a customer short of reading back the order.

Less chaos, greater efficiency, happy employees and customers; what’s going on?

Maybe customers like placing their own orders and feeling in control? Maybe making change for a $20 bill on a $4.39 meal takes too long? Maybe having 3 less employees on the floor provided more personal space? Maybe having 3 less employees allowed the franchisee to pay higher wages and/or hire a higher quality employee? Maybe the free enterprise system works.

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