2 comments on “Timmy Elsewhere

  1. Don’t deride these efforts. I worked for McD’s
    part-time for two weeks 45 years ago to get some extra money for kids’ Christmas presents.

    I was quite impressed at the time with the thoroughness of the training that the manager had received at their “Hamburger U”; the guy, who had no other education past high school, had achieved a position in which he trained new franchise owners, helped them hire and train employees (and from them develop potential managers).

    If you wanted to cavil and nit-pick, you could say he was a cheerleader for MacDonald’s, that he ate and slept MacDonald’s, that MacDonald’s was his religion. But I could see that a firm with people so competent and so devoted to the success of their franchisees could go a long way (and it was all UP). His regular routine spanned testing (and tasting) of product several times per shift, making sure other staff didn’t leave product on the warming shelves (2 minutes and it was either eaten or trashed), that no gross trash remained on the floor either in the dining or kitchen areas, that both were actually scrubbed daily (and more often in the kitchen if needed), observed employees’ demeanor toward customers and each other, checked temperatures in critical places, made notes of problems or potential improvements, and reported to (as well as instructing) the owners two or three times per shift. The regimentation may not be everyone’s cup of tea–but it’s probably indispensable in turning out the uniform, half-decent quality people flock to all over the world, especially with the unskilled, relatively high-turnover employees on whom they must count.

    It’s hard to call MacDonald’s hamburgers “good.” At best, they’re slightly but distinctly below the common hamburger previously (and still) available. But MacDonald’s discovered that there are other reasons than taste that draw consumer loyalty and have exploited those prejudices magnificently. And, to an extent unknown but certain, they’ve provided a model for other, similar business expansions through franchising.

    There are many functions in life that require little or none of what is usually called “education” beyond the “three Rs” but, conversely, there are few if any for which “education” alone is sufficient.

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