The layout that made McDonald’s become the fast food reference

McDonnald’s is one those brands that doent’s need much introduction. It was founded in 1940 by the McDonald’s brothers as a small burger restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

With a small success in their main product and experience with their customers, which were people interested in eating during a car stop, they realised that the customer was waiting too much time to receive their product. So since one of the brothers (Rick) was a numbers focused man, he found that they had to improve their product preparation so that customers’ orders could be delivered earlier. That internal process of transforming a complete system sounds easy, but it comes as a part of a complete mindset change, that led them to deliver burgers in thirty seconds instead of thirty minutes, which ended in the invention of fast food.

How they become a fast food restaurant?

In the movie The Founder, we can see how this innovative process layout was made. They met with their kitchen employees in a tennis court and mapped out with chalk, test and redesign their restaurant layouts to find the most efficient workflow by applying a lean method to food preparation.

It is interesting to see how just the layout change could have affected their whole business. For example, their facility, suppliers and strategy changed to become a fast-food restaurant. At that time, they didn’t realise the potential of their idea of fast food, until Ray Korc entered the game and transformed that franchisable pre-made process into one of the most profitable franchises in the world. This layout also gave them a competitive advantage among its competitors, not just because of the flavour or the meal quality, but also for the process and achievement of what their customer highly valued as part of their quality service: delivery speed. As a sign of their innovative philosophy, they still keep introducing and testing new layouts in their restaurants, as the indoor seating, play areas, self-service kiosks or grab and go place.

Currently, we could see how the focus on the same customer satisfaction strategy, with the optimization of delivery time, has become one of Amazon’s competitive advantage and positioned them as a reference in terms of logistics.

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