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A Drive-Through Lane to the Next Time Zone [View All]

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andyjackson1828 Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:13 PM
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A Drive-Through Lane to the Next Time Zone
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By MICHAEL FITZGERALD

Pull off Interstate 55 near Cape Girardeau, Mo., and into the drive-through lane of a McDonald's next to the highway and you'll get fast, friendly service, even though the person taking your order is not in the restaurant - or even in Missouri.

The order taker is in a call center in Colorado Springs, more than 900 miles away, connected to the customer and to the workers preparing the food by high-speed data lines. Even some restaurant jobs, it seems, are not immune to outsourcing.


The man who owns the Cape Girardeau restaurant, Shannon Y. Davis, has linked it and 3 other of his 12 McDonald's franchises to the Colorado call center, which is run by another McDonald's franchisee, Steven T. Bigari. And he did it for the same reasons that other business owners have embraced call centers: lower costs, greater speed and fewer mistakes.

Cheap, quick and reliable telecommunications lines let the order takers in Colorado Springs converse with customers in Missouri, take an electronic snapshot of them, display their order on a screen to make sure it is right, then forward the order and the photo to the restaurant kitchen. The photo is destroyed as soon as the order is completed, Mr. Bigari said. People picking up their burgers never know that their order traverses two states and bounces back before they can even start driving to the pickup window.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/18/business/yourmoney/18...
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