Two weeks ago today I posted a blog that was critical of McDonalds. Specifically, I voiced my frustration that drive- thru staff up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia consistently forget to include the sweet & sour sauce in my order. I think most who read the piece would agree it was kindly critical rather than a ‘hell hath no fury as a sauce deprived lunatic’ vitriolic spray.
Anyway, a week later I received a courier delivery from McDonalds HQ in Thornleigh, NSW. It was a full box of sweet & sour sauce! Yep, 250 individual 28 gram sachets accompanied by a cover note – albeit unsigned – that started, “I believe we owe you some sauce”.
The box was addressed to The Craig Pack (you’ll have to read the article) and made other clever references to my sauce related issues.
Very cool Macca’s I thought and made a mental note to pen a follow up article about the power of social media and how to respond to online commentary about your brand.
But then it got even more interesting.
Two days after my lifetime supply of sauce arrived,and before I’d had a chance to put pen to paper, I received a phone call from a senior member of the training team at McDonalds who told me my little rant had been forwarded to a number of executives at McDonalds.
She informed me that she was finalising content for a four day conference to be attended by a select group of Restaurant Managers who have been identified as future stars of the business and are nearing the end of their Business Leadership Program.
And then she invited me to give a presentation.
If I agreed, I would be the only external (non McDonalds) presenter on the conference schedule.
So this morning, two weeks to the very hour that I posted my sauceburst (an outburst about sauce), I attended the Charlie Bell Management School, an impressive training venue tucked in behind the Thornleigh restaurant, and gave a one hour presentation about my experience as a regular and occasionally disgruntled customer.
My presentation covered my personal experience as a consumer, lifelong student of brands and former owner of a customer facing business (newsagent) as well as some science and statistics regarding consumer expectation and tolerance levels, the value of loyal customers and the penetration of social media.
It was followed by an enthusiastic Q&A session where I was challenged on some of my assumptions and thanked for my constructive feedback.
As an added bonus I finally discovered why the sauce is often missed … it’s to do with where it appears on the screen. Unfortunately it carries the same status as a napkin or extra salt so it sits at the very base of the order, often off the first page on screen if the order is sizable.
If nuggets are ordered the sauce still appears in the same place however, staff are ‘trained’ to look for the sauce preference when they place the nuggets in the bag. If sauce is ordered as an extra, the nuggets don’t serve as a prompt.
I know it was keeping you up at night too!