On Friday November 22nd we stopped for lunch at a local McDonalds store. What I found inside took me several looks to fully understand and comprehend what the sign said and meant.
First here is a photo of the sign. Take a moment and read the sign. The way I read it this McDonalds limits the time you can spend eating your meal. I cannot understand putting a time limit on a customer who has paid for their food and wants to consume it at your location.
Yes, the sign does say; Time Limit: 30 MINUTES While Consuming Food. No, this isn’t a PhotoShop alteration. The sign makes no mention of a time limit for folks who aren’t consuming food. I’m not sure how it is enforced or what the basis is for starting your visit. Surely they wait until you have at least placed your order.
Now I can understand having a no loitering policy. You don’t want people just taking up space when you are busy and stopping others from using your tables. After all the number of seats are a limited resource.
But the time limit while consuming food makes no sense at all. I sure don’t want to be rushed while eating. Now days it is common to take time and relax while eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. This McDonalds like most of them provides free WiFi. Many folks even stop by a McDonalds so they can work during lunch.
Based on the sign I decided to time my lunch duration. Eating at a normal pace (for me) it took thirty-seven minutes. That meal was a McRib, shared fries and a medium drink (with one self-serve refill).
Does it make any sense to set a tight time limit on the length of a customer visit?
What if, at this McDonalds, the customer found that he or she was still hungry and decided to purchase more food. Does their time limit reset and they get another half hour? Does a single person who buys just a small coffee and a mother with four children and a twenty dollar purchase get the same time limit?
I don’t think that a time limit on your consuming food is what we have in mind when we think of FAST FOOD!
Do you or would you do something like this in your business? Please take time to drop me an email and let me know what you think of this policy as it (or should it) applies to a restaurant or any other business.
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