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Is McDonalds Outsourcing their Drive-Thru Windows?
The rumor I heard was that McDonalds would be outsourcing the job of taking orders at the drive-thru window to some company in North Dakota, because the minimum wage in North Dakota is only $5.15, whereas it's higher in other states, so they figure they can save some money. In other words, you could be going through a drive-thru in San Diego and giving your order to some guy in North Dakota. This struck me as very odd. But it appears that the story is basically true, except that McDonalds denies that its reasons for doing this has anything to do with trying to pay their employees less. They claim that when employees have to take orders over the drive-thru mic and deliver food at the same time, they start making a lot of mistakes. So this is just an effort to make the system more efficient. Maybe. But I've read Fast Food Nation so I know that McDonalds is one of the worst companies in terms of underpaying their employees, and I'm guessing that they are hoping this will reduce labor costs.
Business/FinanceFood
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 18, 2005
What is this obsession that McDonald's has to do right by the community? McDonalds has no obligation whatsoever to the community. Of course they advertise a friendly and community-based atmosphere, they do need employees, after all, and they have to make the jobs appear rewarding.

It's irrelevant that there is a net negative effect on the community thanks to large business, because, so long as the community continues to spend money with that business, they turn a profit, and that is all that matters. All companies are simply engines for deriving profits, and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, what is it that you are talking about by paying more than minimum wage - deriving higher profits for the employees. Everyone wants more profit, what's the distinction between an employee and a company?

On another note, the idea that McDonald's shouldn't pay minimum wage, even when they can get all the employees they need at said wage, is ludicrous. You're suggesting that, instead of people making themselves valuable to the community, and as such earning a higher wage, the system in which they work should give them a higher wage simply because they have some sort of right to be paid well. I do remember a country popping up once that claimed that people shouldn't have to work hard to earn a higher wage, that they should simply be given it off the bat. Which country was that, again? Oh, yeah, right, the USSR.
Posted by Wyatt  on  Sun May 06, 2007  at  11:55 AM
Wyatt said:

"I do remember a country popping up once that claimed that people shouldn't have to work hard to earn a higher wage, that they should simply be given it off the bat. Which country was that, again? Oh, yeah, right, the USSR."

Do you honestly not know the difference between people needing to earn a living wage and communism? Wow.

You sound like a libertarian. Can you point to any country that has ever been run on libertarian principles? In my opinion, libertarianism is one of those things that sound nice, but can't work in the real world--like communism, oddly enough.

Yeah, it would be great if people automatically got higher wages because they are good, conscientious, workers. With the rise of very large corporations like McDonalds and Wal-Mart, however, that can no longer be assumed.

A Wal-Mart internal memo surfaced recently in which they talk about how more experienced workers are undesirable because they make more pay. Basically it discussed ways to get rid of people who have worked for Wal-Mart for some time in place of new workers who make less. That of course is the direct opposite of the way you suggest things should work.

Libertarian theory sounds nice, but it doesn't work in the real world we live in.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun May 06, 2007  at  04:45 PM
Look, I'm sorry about my comment on communism, it was uncalled for, but my reasoning stands:

All of your arguments state that people deserve to earn a living wage, they have some inherent right to it. On that point we differ. So far as I'm concerned, it's up to the employee to make themselves valuable enough to pay well. I think the world works best when everyone only looks out for their own best interests, because that's what we as humans are best at - looking after ourselves.

It seems reasonable that Wal-Mart would want to avoid experienced workers, after all, they are being paid more to do work that could easily be done by someone without the experience. It's similar to the argument that people should be replaced by machinery, it's simply more efficient. Cost-cutting is vital to any organisation, and it's unreasonable to expect them to stop, since they only, and should only, have their interests in mind.

Asking corporations to avoid their cost-cutting, a major section of which would occur in personnel, would be akin to asking you to pay as much tax as you can muster. Sure, you could do it, and society would benefit as a result due to the extra tax dollars available to spend, but I can't see you agreeing to it.
Posted by Wyatt  on  Mon May 07, 2007  at  05:43 AM
Wyatt, first you say that people should elevate themselves through hard work through which they will tend to earn more money.

Then you say, "It seems reasonable that Wal-Mart would want to avoid experienced workers, after all, they are being paid more to do work that could easily be done by someone without the experience."

Um, see a contradiction there? I do.

Since, as you say, people tend to watch out for their own self-interests, why should any Wal-Mart employee expend more than the minimal effort at their job, knowing that the company will want to lay them off once they start to make more money?

Before you say, "So what, it's only Wal-Mart," let me point out that Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in America and second overall only to the government. Their policies directly affect millions of Americans and indirectly affect millions more. Since so many other companies do business with Wal-Mart, it's reasonable to think that some of them will follow Wal-Mart's lead in this policy of letting go longer-term workers.

Through its low wages, Wal-Mart forces many of its employees to apply for public assistance. In fact, the company hands out pamphlets on how to apply for food stamps, etc. to employees. This would be the "working poor" you occasionally hear about. By paying as little as possible, Wal-Mart is ultimately subsidized by your tax dollars.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  05:26 AM
I don't see any contradiction at all. This is simply two separate entities both protecting their own interests.

The trouble here is that experience doesn't make people valuable members of the Wal-Mart employ. Simply advancing yourself in an arbitrary direction, such as gaining experience, isn't what I'm talking about, I'm saying you need to consider what your employer is likely to want, and develop those skills. Tangentially, note that it isn't actually experience that Wal-Mart wish to avoid, it's the higher wages that experience incurs. If those employees didn't demand higher wages (and why should they need to, they're doing the same amount of work), they shouldn't lose their job.

You ask: "Why should any Wal-Mart employee expend more than the minimal effort at their job?", in response to my comment about protecting your own interests. Quite simply, I don't think they should. I think they should work hard enough that they don't lose their job, while not so hard that the experience gained loses it for them.

I don't see any reason to work harder for your employer than is absolutely necessary to keep your job, after all, the job market isn't the place to do favours for people, unless it will benefit you in the long run.
Often, it is beneficial to do more work than is necessary, as it promotes your image and you would be considered a more important member of staff, resulting in greater job security, but this isn't necessarily the case.

Finally, in regards to the fact that employees end up taking government welfare payments, I do find the situation unfortunate as it drains from the funds that the government could spend on other projects, and, personally, I would prefer that Wal-Mart paid their employees more, preventing this from occurring. However, as I've mentioned in my previous messages, it's not Wal-Mart's place to care about my well-being, only its own, and I don't expect it to, nor think it should, do otherwise.
Posted by Wyatt  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  06:20 AM
Take a look at this:

http://consumerist.com/consumer/walmart/confessions-of-a-former-walmart-manager-207196.php

"However, as I've mentioned in my previous messages, it's not Wal-Mart's place to care about my well-being, only its own, and I don't expect it to, nor think it should, do otherwise."

That's a lovely little Darwinian world you're
espousing there. Sorry, but I think that human rights supercede corporate rights.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  07:11 AM
That article isn't about bad company policy, it's about a company attempting to extract as much gain as possible for as little cost. Given this is the same way most of the people I know operate (that is, work as little as possible for the most pay) (and don't get on your high horse about slack employees, think how many people participate in the lottery - a prime example of attempting to derive high gain from low input), I expect it of a company. Certainly, the shareholders would.

No-one forced an employee to work 22 hours straight (Also, the fact that it was directly after their maternity leave carries no weight, it is reasonable to expect an employee to work as hard on any given day of their employ, if it were during her maternity leave, that would be a different matter), the employee simply decided that her job at Wal-Mart was important enough to her to work for 22 hours. She could have left, that is her right, but she didn't.

So far as I'm aware, while most people believe that slavery is a violation of human rights, the right not to work overtime has a smaller following.
Posted by Wyatt  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  07:51 AM
Plus, I don't know about where you are from, but over here Walmart pays their employees a few dollars above the minimum wage. They don't have too, but they do. That's more than if they were working at McDonalds, which is what this thread is suppose to be about. So, McDonalds then...
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  01:07 PM
The fact that they don't have to pay just above minimum wage is beside the point. As I stated earlier, Wal-Mart volunteering to pay higher wages despite the fact that they can get all the work they need done at their current wages is akin to you volunteering to pay higher taxes.
Posted by Wyatt  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  01:18 PM
I think your entire philosophy is summed up by something you said earlier:

"What is this obsession that McDonald's has to do right by the community? McDonalds has no obligation whatsoever to the community. Of course they advertise a friendly and community-based atmosphere, they do need employees, after all, and they have to make the jobs appear rewarding."

In other words, McDonalds (and by extension, every other company) owes NOTHING to it's community or country even thought they lie to the public to make it look as if they believe that they should and do contribute to society.

Lying and deception is perfectly acceptable because it's needed to be as profitable as possible.

Wow.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed May 09, 2007  at  05:14 PM
A little oversimplified, perhaps, but yeah, that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

I say oversimplified as, while as a general rule I don't think anyone should be attempting to deceive anyone else, there is a line that has to be drawn between marketing and outright lying. Promotions of somewhat ambiguous qualities, such as a community atmosphere, can't really be disproved, since there is no qualitative or quantitative measure of them, so I disagree that this is a lie, maybe a misrepresentation.

The line is also blurred by the fact that people have developed to take all advertisements with a grain of salt. Anyone who truly believes in the community of McDonald's simply due to their advertising, is, well, more na
Posted by Wyatt  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  12:21 AM
"Promotions of somewhat ambiguous qualities, such as a community atmosphere, can't really be disproved, since there is no qualitative or quantitative measure of them, so I disagree that this is a lie, maybe a misrepresentation."

I've noticed over the years that it's the companies which have the worst real world reputation for paying a living wage and treating their employees as something other than disposable items who most often run those "warm and fuzzy" "we're a family" ads. I'd say that's because they know that people would not look kindly upon them if they were more honest about their actual attitude. This suggests to me that humans don't actually appreciate being treated like crap. Go figure.

"The line is also blurred by the fact that people have developed to take all advertisements with a grain of salt. Anyone who truly believes in the community of McDonald's simply due to their advertising, is, well, more na
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  04:07 AM
yes hello-btw- I work at mcdonalds and we do have low wages with no expectations of raises. Also-yes I know it's inhumane too, with no rest. On your feet all day and if you have a 2 minute breather, especially drive-thru, which I work, then you are made to clean, keep busy, etc, constantly! Where I work, 1/2 hr. break (which is standard I think) but you get it so darn early, sometimes 1 hr. after you clocked in, and then 7 hrs. on your feet before you clock out. You really don't know until you work there how it goes. Yes, some employees are rude, don,t do as much, talk, goof off, etc.-but not all of us do that.
Posted by maggie  in  new mexico, usa  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  03:56 PM
benefits? where are you? Wages-I don't think $7.00 is a good wage either in 2007! We are given 90 seconds from the time the order is taken til the time it's handed out! You don/t even get that service at the bank-yet you can call or complain to that person, who actually has nothing to do with it. I work 2nd drive-thru-where I hand out the food, smile, and give you ketchup, salt, etc. I wish (yes I have some good regular customers) but please don't make my day a BAD day just because your'e hungry-I have waited many times myself at restaurants too, but not made that person feel little. We are all human and all deserve respect, wer'e also not uneducated.
Posted by maggie  in  new mexico, usa  on  Wed Jun 06, 2007  at  04:09 PM
I read page one of 3, and i'll continue, but I say that at least McDonalds is keeping jobs in america instead of paying some 12 year old in india a nickel a day to do the same job.(or maybe technology isnt quite that advanced yet for a fast food chain).

But i came to these posts looking, because my girlfriend works at McDonalds, and has for somewhere around a year and a half. shes just turned 18 in October, and in Michigan, a minor's minimum wage is $6 an hour, but an adults is $7.15 an hour. she had a raise previously(at McDonalds you're supposed to get a raise precisely 1 month after starting, and they refused to give it to her until around a year) to $6.15 an hour. Now that shes 18 she should be making $7.15 an hour now, and (at McDonalds you get paid bi-weekly) her first check stub she got since she was 18 said 6.15 still, they said they hadnt gotten it switched yet (she was still 17 for part of the pay period). Her next stub said $7.15(i'm still pissed they didnt keep her raise) and now her 3rd check they lowered it back to 6.15 and said "they will reimburse her" bull, they have been a terrible company. I dont know where to report this to, i've checked the better business bureau, but it doesnt seem that they handle this type of thing, and i need some direction for this matter. thanks.
Posted by Justin  in  Michigan  on  Tue Dec 04, 2007  at  02:40 PM
I haven't read every page yet either but I acctually work for the company that some McDonalds have outsourced their drive-thrus to. I just wanted to add some information to the conversation. We aren't paid ND minimum wage, we make essentially the same as any employee in the stores. So McDonalds isn't doing it to pay less for the same work. Because our main focus is on the ordering, there are fewer mistakes the drive thru is more efficient and the customers are happier, and that translates to more business and more money. I like that they choose to outsource the work to an area in the U.S. that has less job opportunities. Besides I get to work from home, not a call center, which cuts way down on gas and other expenses related to working outside the house. And I don't have to drive in the ND winter weather to get to work!! It would be nice if other companys provided that opportunity as well. It could really cut down on pollution, traffic and maybe even a little of the U.S. consumption of oil.
Posted by Amber  in  North Dakota  on  Mon Jan 07, 2008  at  07:58 PM
Amber, if McDonalds isn't doing the outsourcing to save money by putting the jobs in a state with a lower minimum wage, why then don't they just have someone in Oregon take the orders? Obviously, if they can have you in North Dakota do it, they could have someone elsewhere in Oregon do it. The effect of having a person devoted completely to taking orders would still be in effect.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Jan 08, 2008  at  03:00 AM
CMG, they could absolutly have someone in Oregon take the orders but I believe the CEO of the company is from this area and wanted to start in an area that really needs the extra jobs, his home state. I've heard that they will eventually expand to other states that could use the jobs as they grow. ND is a state with very few job opportunities and mainly rural areas. For many the nearest town with employment is 50 miles away or more each way. Also, in higher populated areas such as Oregon, there are many more jobs to choose from and most adults do not want to work for a fast food chain so it is left to the teenagers who mostly could care less about the service they give to the customers. So if they can have people taking orders who know what they are doing and care about their service then the customer will ultimately be happier and come back to that store again instead of the one down the street because they know it will be faster and accurate.
Posted by Amber  in  North Dakota  on  Wed Jan 09, 2008  at  11:24 AM
McDonald's, Service is really very good, That's great news tey can offer very faster service hope future if they did it.
Posted by Amanda  in  USA  on  Sun Sep 14, 2008  at  08:58 AM
They should just outsource the rest of it and get it over with.
Posted by Tom  on  Tue Jan 27, 2009  at  02:43 AM
When are we going to wake up and stop this crap? Now they are in Ohio. How long until they ship it to India? We deserve what we let happen to us.
Posted by weneedhelp  in  USA  on  Mon Apr 13, 2009  at  01:20 PM
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