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T-post Tom
01-26-2009, 01:18 AM
:cuss: Pradeep in India isn't spending his salary on goods & services here in America. And I can't understand his Punjabi dialect. At least I can use hand gestures with the local Spanish ONLY speaking fast food employees. This shit has got to stop...


Drive-through is in Charlotte, but order-taker's not
Jack in the Box tests outsourcing
Jen Aronoff - The Charlotte Observer
Published: Sun, Jan. 25, 2009 12:30AMModified Sun, Jan. 25, 2009 05:23AM

CHARLOTTE -- That crackling voice taking your order at a fast-food drive-through may come from a lot farther away than the restaurant: Try Texas, or even overseas.

San Diego-based Jack in the Box has tested outsourced drive-through order-taking since mid-2008 at seven of its 30 Charlotte-area restaurants. Spokeswoman Kathleen Anthony declined to specify the locations.

The technology is intended to improve speed, accuracy and service, freeing up restaurant employees to process orders, accept payment and address other needs, Anthony said. The chain has not reduced staffing as a result of the remote order-taking, and the restaurants can turn the system on and off as they wish, she said.

Still, it has piqued curiosity among Charlotte-area customers who have encountered order-takers with heavy accents, then rounded the bend to find different people handing them food.

"I had noticed it [several months ago], but I just thought the person taking the order was somewhere else in the store where we couldn't see them," said Elizabeth Banks, a Charlotte teacher and mother of three who takes her 15-year-old daughter and her daughter's friends to Jack in the Box for Oreo milkshakes most Friday afternoons. "It never occurred to me they might be out of the country."

At one point the girls asked the order-taker, "Where are you?" There was a pause, Banks recalled. Then, the person on the other end said, "Texas."

"I really don't think that's where they were," Banks said.

The Jack in the Box orders are routed to a Texas call center operated by Bronco Communications, a company specializing in fast-food order-taking, Anthony said. Some may be routed outside the United States, she said, but she wouldn't specify where. [Why the fk not?]

Companies began trying remote ordering in 2005. As with outsourcing in other industries, technological advances -- namely high-speed Internet -- made it possible. When customers pull up to the menu, a call center worker takes the order on a computer. The order pops up on a screen inside the restaurant.

Use not widespread

People have grown accustomed to seeing banking and computer questions directed overseas, but international order-taking is rare in the realm of cheeseburger combos and large Cokes, said Sherri Daye Scott, editor of QSR Magazine, which is dedicated to the quick-service restaurant industry.

A greater number of restaurants, including McDonald's and Wendy's franchises, have tried centralized order-takers within the United States. None has introduced the technology nationally, in part because they've found it difficult to prove it saves money, Scott said. The parent company of Hardee's has conducted a limited test, too.

Representatives of Burger King and Taco Bell said they have not tried it and don't plan to at this point.

The technology has the potential to eliminate language barriers between Spanish-speaking employees and English-speaking customers, said Kate Mosteller, marketing director of Massachusetts-based Exit 41, which focuses on off-site order taking.

Yet time zones and regional dialects also can present hurdles.

"You want someone who's friendly and articulate and who can understand ... different nuances," Mosteller said. "[Otherwise] you're going to know you're somewhere else, and that's exactly what you don't want to do."

[B]Jack in the Box's Anthony declined to discuss the results of the Charlotte trial, noting that the company doesn't speak in depth about its tests. "It is something we're testing, not something we're necessarily committed to at this point," she said.

Though the Charlotte run is wrapping up soon, Jack in the Box will continue to try the approach in other markets "here and there," Anthony said.

Customers such as Banks say the system can sound a bit distant: After all, fast-food order takers aren't always the easiest to hear even when they're around the corner, let alone around the world. But it hasn't posed any other issues, and the speakers are very polite. Then again, Banks said, that was the case with the old method, too.

"It would be nice to understand what the rationale was behind [the change]," she said. "It seems like an awful lot of trouble."

Rain Man
01-26-2009, 01:27 AM
As the article mentions, McDonald's tested this out a couple of years ago. I've got a half-read book sitting at my bedside that described the experiment. Seems kind of odd, but whatever.

Valiant
01-26-2009, 01:37 AM
Personally I would love to see citizen's wise up and start boycotting all companies that outsource jobs..

And from what I have read companies do not really see a profit since turnover is so high..

Crush
01-26-2009, 02:13 AM
This makes my blood broil.

BigRedChief
01-26-2009, 06:12 AM
This makes my blood broil.
Why? It's the American free enterprise system at work. Each individual company does what is best for its bottom line not whats best for the USA.

Skip Towne
01-26-2009, 06:17 AM
This makes my blood broil.

Broiled blood?

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 06:24 AM
Eh, I think people are overreacting a bit too much.

People in this country demand low prices, and if this could enable a company to substantially decrease labor prices and pass that savings onto the consumer, why is this so awful?

Outsourcing has been going on for decades, and it certainly hasn't destroyed our economy like the naysayers predicted.

tmax63
01-26-2009, 06:30 AM
Maybe we wouldn't of "had" to bail out the auto makers if their labor costs were competitive with even the other foreign makers here in the US much less the rest of the world. It applies to other areas as well such as customer support or now taking orders at the drive-thru.

Lzen
01-26-2009, 07:09 AM
Why? It's the American free enterprise system at work. Each individual company does what is best for its bottom line not whats best for the USA.

Sarcasm? Blood broil?


I think this is a bad idea. It annoys me to no end when I have to talk to someone in India for tech support. If I have to talk to someone with a heavy accent at my local fast food, I may go nuts.

memyselfI
01-26-2009, 07:26 AM
Has anyone in the KC area tried calling to order a pizza from Pizza Hut lately? The last two times I've called I spoke to Indian order takers. I hung up on one of them and called back again because she could not understand anything I was saying. The second call was to another person who could understand but also was Indian sounding. This was a couple of weeks ago.

It could have been coincidence but I'm not ordering from Pizza Hut anymore if it's not.

memyselfI
01-26-2009, 07:28 AM
Why? It's the American free enterprise system at work. Each individual company does what is best for its bottom line not whats best for the USA.

If it's the 'AMERICAN' free enterprise system then what is best for each individual company SHOULD be what is best for the USA. That in turn would strengthen the relationship between the consumer and business, IMO. Otherwise it's just free enterprise.

I do not understand how offering a frustrating customer service experience is good for business anyway.

MGRS13
01-26-2009, 07:34 AM
Why? It's the American free enterprise system at work. Each individual company does what is best for its bottom line not whats best for the USA.And yet if you talk badly about the wide open free enterprise system in America you are unpatriotic and a socialist. I do love the USA and do think that companies that thrive because they were started here do have a responsibility to do whats best for the country.

BigRedChief
01-26-2009, 07:46 AM
Sarcasm? Blood broil?


I think this is a bad idea. It annoys me to no end when I have to talk to someone in India for tech support. If I have to talk to someone with a heavy accent at my local fast food, I may go nuts.
No sacrasm. You take the bad with the good. You have companies that put their own sweat and toil into their individual goals that are their goals not the USA's goals. If they are successful they create jobs, pay taxes, provide health benefits etc to Americans. But they can also offshore their jobs to other countries and continue to sell their product to americans and make more profit.

jiveturkey
01-26-2009, 07:55 AM
I would prefer that my fast food order taker speak with a heavy Spanish accent.

DaFace
01-26-2009, 08:10 AM
Doesn't bother me, honestly.

lazepoo
01-26-2009, 08:27 AM
My question is how do they verify if you claim that your order was delivered wrong? Do they have a burger metric that they check the workers against? The idea seems pretty silly since the minimum wage is so low anyway and the savings has to be pretty minimal if anything. Outsourcing doesn't make sense in this situation which is why places like McDonald's tried it and let it pass. This is only news because someone found out before the project got shelved for another five years.

DaFace
01-26-2009, 08:34 AM
My question is how do they verify if you claim that your order was delivered wrong? Do they have a burger metric that they check the workers against? The idea seems pretty silly since the minimum wage is so low anyway and the savings has to be pretty minimal if anything. Outsourcing doesn't make sense in this situation which is why places like McDonald's tried it and let it pass. This is only news because someone found out before the project got shelved for another five years.

In my experience, they already just take your word for it in fast food restaurants. It's much less trouble for them to just fix it than try and argue with you about it, regardless if it's some dude in India or a minimum wage high school student who took the order.

grandllama
01-26-2009, 08:36 AM
Personally I don't like dealing with Bob in Bangladesh, but I could see a legitimate business use for technology such as this.

In the large cities, at least before the recession hit, it was not uncommon to see fast food advertising 9 - 10 an hour on their marquees trying to get anybody with a pulse to come to work. Most of the kids whether they spoke native english or not were / are simply unintelligible over a fast food speaker (and sometimes at the counter as well)....

So, why not outsource the customer facing employee, but not to a foreign country. There are regions of the USA that have no accent, oh, say out in Western Kansas where I'm from. Open a call center and staff it with farm wives making $6 - $7 an hour plus benefits. I believe the concept is called 'Rural Sourcing'

Brock
01-26-2009, 08:43 AM
You should be able to just drive up and push menu buttons or something anyway.

L.A. Chieffan
01-26-2009, 08:53 AM
as long as i get my two tacos 2.7 seconds faster than before, i'm cool.

ClevelandBronco
01-26-2009, 08:59 AM
This is a great idea that can be made to work.

Crush
01-26-2009, 09:06 AM
This makes my blood broil.


Um... this was my lame attempt at a joke.


Personally, if fast food companies want to scare away their customers with foreign food takers then they should not whine when they start closing down local affiliates.

Frazod
01-26-2009, 09:31 AM
No company that does this will get my business.

Groves
01-26-2009, 09:40 AM
as long as i get my two tacos 2.7 seconds faster than before, i'm cool.

And this, my friends, is why the masses will continue to not care about jobs being outsourced. Nearsighted much?

Cave Johnson
01-26-2009, 09:44 AM
We've landed on the moon!

Seriously, this was mentioned by Friedman in "The World is Flat".

boogblaster
01-26-2009, 09:45 AM
Yu wont pesiie .. Ye hov kok ...

Bowser
01-26-2009, 09:47 AM
You should be able to just drive up and push menu buttons or something anyway.

Here's the cost effective way of doing it.

InChiefsHell
01-26-2009, 09:52 AM
You should be able to just drive up and push menu buttons or something anyway.

Holy shit, that's genius! Seriously. Then you can't blame them for getting the order wrong, you don't have to worry about not understanding them, and it would probably go a ton quicker.

...that is genius.

Brock
01-26-2009, 09:54 AM
Holy shit, that's genius! Seriously. Then you can't blame them for getting the order wrong, you don't have to worry about not understanding them, and it would probably go a ton quicker.

...that is genius.

It discriminates against the blind, but other than that.

BigRedChief
01-26-2009, 09:55 AM
Holy shit, that's genius! Seriously. Then you can't blame them for getting the order wrong, you don't have to worry about not understanding them, and it would probably go a ton quicker.

...that is genius.
that was attempted before but the public screwed it up so bad that is it cost them more man hours than before plus the set up costs.

Have you ever looked at the self serve lines at Wal-Mart? Idiots screwing it up constantly.

I don't want to sit in some long ass line while someone argues with the cashier that they didn't order those onion rings.

ClevelandBronco
01-26-2009, 09:55 AM
It discriminates against the blind, but other than that.

The blind use the drive-thru?

BigChiefFan
01-26-2009, 09:57 AM
Start buying AMERICAN PRODUCTS.

Demonpenz
01-26-2009, 10:04 AM
Holy shit, that's genius! Seriously. Then you can't blame them for getting the order wrong, you don't have to worry about not understanding them, and it would probably go a ton quicker.

...that is genius.

Oh you can blame and argue and waste peoples time. You may be wrong, but you sure can waste their time complaining.

Brock
01-26-2009, 10:05 AM
that was attempted before but the public screwed it up so bad that is it cost them more man hours than before plus the set up costs.

Have you ever looked at the self serve lines at Wal-Mart? Idiots screwing it up constantly.

I don't want to sit in some long ass line while someone argues with the cashier that they didn't order those onion rings.

It was attempted before the technology was up to speed.

Brock
01-26-2009, 10:06 AM
The blind use the drive-thru?

I guess if I have to explain it, I fail.

Demonpenz
01-26-2009, 10:07 AM
I will have to say one thing. One thing that is pretty sweet is redbox.

Saulbadguy
01-26-2009, 10:09 AM
It was attempted before the technology was up to speed.

It would most likely violate ADA compliance standards if it were the only option. Plus morons and old people would not be able to figure it out.

Saulbadguy
01-26-2009, 10:12 AM
Doesn't bother me, honestly.

Seems like it would improve service. How much of a conversation do you hold with the order taker at the speaker? Hell, half the time you can't understand what the hell they are saying anyways because the speaker quality is bad.

It would free up the one person taking orders from the drive thru window, because usually they are doing other things than just taking orders.

Brock
01-26-2009, 10:13 AM
It would most likely violate ADA compliance standards if it were the only option. Plus morons and old people would not be able to figure it out.

You have to push a button at Sonic, I'm not sure what the difference is from a drive up ATM.

memyselfI
01-26-2009, 10:13 AM
What is really ironic about this is that these jobs used to be laughable last resort or high school kid jobs but now they are a means for some people to make a living or to help make ends meet and now you have educated middle aged folks working at these places.

These fast food jobs could end up in high demand if all of these companies keep laying off and the economy tanks like some think it could.

Saulbadguy
01-26-2009, 10:17 AM
You have to push a button at Sonic, I'm not sure what the difference is from a drive up ATM.

I think in conjunction with a voice system it would work well.

BigChiefFan
01-26-2009, 10:31 AM
BOYCOTT companies that pull this shit-don't buy their products.


People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY.

Brock
01-26-2009, 10:35 AM
BOYCOTT companies that pull this shit-don't buy their products.


People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY.

I agree with what you're saying in principle, but these fast food jobs are worthless anyway. We should be worried about providing real opportunity for people to work at real jobs that have a future.

Skip Towne
01-26-2009, 10:42 AM
Let's take this outsourcing one logical step farther. Let's out source the customers to places that don't pull this shit.

Saulbadguy
01-26-2009, 11:13 AM
BOYCOTT companies that pull this shit-don't buy their products.


People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY.

ROFL

Wow, do you actually believe that crap?

Stewie
01-26-2009, 11:19 AM
Have you ever looked at the self serve lines at Wal-Mart? Idiots screwing it up constantly.

They yanked those out at the Walmart near my house. It was always screwed up. They replaced them with two new toothless hotties.

Bacon Cheeseburger
01-26-2009, 11:26 AM
It would most likely violate ADA compliance standards if it were the only option. Plus morons and old people would not be able to figure it out.

Morons and old people still have problems when a human is taking their order. It always kills me when some old prune can't decide what they want...IT'S FUCKING MCDONALD'S, THEY'VE HAD THE SAME MENU SINCE 19-FUCKING-72 FOR CHRISSAKES.

InChiefsHell
01-26-2009, 12:10 PM
Morons and old people still have problems when a human is taking their order. It always kills me when some old prune can't decide what they want...IT'S ****ING MCDONALD'S, THEY'VE HAD THE SAME MENU SINCE 19-****ING-72 FOR CHRISSAKES.

I dunno, they keep adding and taking away the delicious McRib sammich...

mikeyis4dcats.
01-26-2009, 12:18 PM
Wendy's also does this.

L.A. Chieffan
01-26-2009, 07:29 PM
And this, my friends, is why the masses will continue to not care about jobs being outsourced. Nearsighted much?

there are a lot more important problems than sri lanka to worry about

KCChiefsMan
01-26-2009, 07:34 PM
this isn't that big of a deal. If you want to help America, boycott Wal-Mart.

BigChiefFan
01-26-2009, 07:39 PM
ROFL

Wow, do you actually believe that crap?Yes, I actually believe this. This is what I stated earlier "People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY."

If you don't see the correlation between millions of Americans buying foreign products and seeing those economies grow as a result, you might want to open up an economics book and read up a little.

banyon
01-26-2009, 07:44 PM
Yes, I actually believe this. This is what I stated earlier "People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY."

If you don't see the correlation between millions of Americans buying foreign products and seeing those economies grow as a result, you might want to open up an economics book and read up a little.

This and we value low prices over say jobs, communities, and customer service.

Median wages are finally falling after decades of this relentless corporate propaganda. Maybe when it's their job that gets axed or wages slashed they'll finally start to realize we may be in this thing together.

beavis
01-26-2009, 08:09 PM
Yes, I actually believe this. This is what I stated earlier "People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY."

If you don't see the correlation between millions of Americans buying foreign products and seeing those economies grow as a result, you might want to open up an economics book and read up a little.

Hi, I'm globalism, have we met?

Bearcat2005
01-26-2009, 08:09 PM
Personally I would love to see citizen's wise up and start boycotting all companies that outsource jobs..

And from what I have read companies do not really see a profit since turnover is so high..

LOL! Well start boycotting everything......
Its creative destruction.

Bearcat2005
01-26-2009, 08:10 PM
Hi, I'm globalism, have we met?

This.

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 08:13 PM
Yes, I actually believe this. This is what I stated earlier "People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY."

If you don't see the correlation between millions of Americans buying foreign products and seeing those economies grow as a result, you might want to open up an economics book and read up a little.

But this thread has absolutely nothing to do with buying foreign products, so why are you even posting it?

Jack in the Box is an American company; outsourcing the ordering will decrease labor expenses, which increases the bottom line.

Since they are an American company, that extra wealth is distributed to shareholders, which are primarily American.

Bearcat2005
01-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Yes, I actually believe this. This is what I stated earlier "People still can't put two and two together and realize why the economy sucks-hey, here's your clue, maybe it's because you buy FOREIGN PRODUCTS and that money goes to THEIR COUNTRY."

If you don't see the correlation between millions of Americans buying foreign products and seeing those economies grow as a result, you might want to open up an economics book and read up a little.

Creative destruction.......money is always moving to more cost efficient sectors of the economy. Actually it is a normal function of our post industrial economy.

beavis
01-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Since they are an American company, that extra wealth is distributed to shareholders, which are primarily American.

Obama loves big cheeseburger.

Bacon Cheeseburger
01-26-2009, 08:15 PM
But this thread has absolutely nothing to do with buying foreign products, so why are you even posting it?

Jack in the Box is an American company; outsourcing the ordering will decrease labor expenses, which increases the bottom line.

Since they are an American company, that extra wealth is distributed to shareholders, which are primarily American.
Not really.
The chain has not reduced staffing as a result of the remote order-taking

banyon
01-26-2009, 08:16 PM
But this thread has absolutely nothing to do with buying foreign products, so why are you even posting it?

Jack in the Box is an American company; outsourcing the ordering will decrease labor expenses, which increases the bottom line.

Since they are an American company, that extra wealth is distributed to shareholders, which are primarily American.

That's great for the upper 10% who own 90% of all stocks, but what about the other 90% who are trying to earn wages and stuff?

Bearcat2005
01-26-2009, 08:17 PM
But this thread has absolutely nothing to do with buying foreign products, so why are you even posting it?

Jack in the Box is an American company; outsourcing the ordering will decrease labor expenses, which increases the bottom line.

Since they are an American company, that extra wealth is distributed to shareholders, which are primarily American.

Exactly, if you don't have ownership in something how can you dictate the decisions made. Some have a hard time grasping the concept of private property. Hell, b/c of this I might purchase some stock in JitB.

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 08:18 PM
Not really.

Huh? The sentence you conveniently didn't quote that was right before the one you did:

The technology is intended to improve speed, accuracy and service, freeing up restaurant employees to process orders, accept payment and address other needs, Anthony said.

Do you seriously think they're implementing this program without the goal of eventually decreasing expense?

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 08:21 PM
That's great for the upper 10% who own 90% of all stocks, but what about the other 90% who are trying to earn wages and stuff?

:spock:

Only 10% of Americans own stock? We're in worst shape than I imagined.

Bacon Cheeseburger
01-26-2009, 08:21 PM
Huh? The sentence you conveniently didn't quote that was right before the one you did:



Do you seriously think they're implementing this program without the goal of eventually decreasing expense?

The reason I didn't quote that sentence is because it wasn't relevant. It doesn't say the goal is to save on labor costs.

As far as what their motives truly are, I have no idea.

beavis
01-26-2009, 08:22 PM
That's great for the upper 10% who own 90% of all stocks, but what about the other 90% who are trying to earn wages and stuff?

Retrain, adapt, get better jobs.

... or go running for a hand out.

banyon
01-26-2009, 08:24 PM
Exactly, if you don't have ownership in something how can you dictate the decisions made. Some have a hard time grasping the concept of private property. Hell, b/c of this I might purchase some stock in JitB.

Because they are publicly chartered entities and get those benefits from us, the public?

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 08:25 PM
The reason I didn't quote that sentence is because it wasn't relevant. It doesn't say the goal is to save on labor costs.

As far as what their motives truly are, I have no idea.

Really? Common sense doesn't tell you what their motives are?

I think it's fairly obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge in finance.

banyon
01-26-2009, 08:25 PM
:spock:

Only 10% of Americans own stock? We're in worst shape than I imagined.

Did you read my post? Because that's not what I posted.

eazyb81
01-26-2009, 08:28 PM
Did you read my post? Because that's not what I posted.

I don't know what you want me to tell you banyon. Maybe we should spread the wealth? :hmmm:

banyon
01-26-2009, 08:29 PM
I don't know what you want me to tell you banyon. Maybe we should spread the wealth? :hmmm:

Maybe we shouldn't exalt stockowners over the rest of the public for no reason?

And why not spread the wealth? Weren't you advocating doing just that a couple of months ago when I think you were the only person on this site pushing for the bank bailouts?

Bacon Cheeseburger
01-26-2009, 08:29 PM
Really? Common sense doesn't tell you what their motives are?

I think it's fairly obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge in finance.

Oh, trust me, I'm as cynical as they come, but I don't speculate as to why anyone makes any type of business decision. The possibility does exist that they are simply trying this to operate more efficiently, it's not like fast food joints have an employee that does nothing but take orders that they can eliminate by doing this.