Friday, December 14, 2012

The Netherlands - McDonald Easy Order System

What to do when your tummy rumbles so badly but it's dinner time and there are at least 5 people waiting in every line in McDonalds? Cut the queue. Legally, of course. Life in the Netherlands without a debit card (they call it PIN here; there's a chip attached to the card, which is not very common for a debit card in the US or perhaps Asia) is almost like cashless, especially in my university. School cafetaria and even vending machines don't accept cash. My first week in the Netherlands was tough; we had to buy Chipknip, which acts like a cash card. However, you cannot top it up; you buy those cards in 5 euros, 10 euros or 20 euros, and if you can't finish the balance inside the card, you can't get it out. I have been very fortunate to spend every single cent on my 10 euros Chipknip card three times so I didn't waste any money. Well, now that I have my debit card, I can say goodbye to Chipknips.

This was not the first time I saw the Easy Order machines in McDonalds. I had intended to order my burger the conventional way but the queues were too long and I was dying for a bite of juicy beef patty. Or fries. Anything. I was extremely hungry. So there were two options: wait in the line, or spend some time figuring out how the machine works.

Surprisingly, the machine was very easy to use. Insert a card, select a language (thank God it has English), select the menu from various categories (burgers, specials, drinks, etc.) and indicate how many of each item to order. Press the Pay button, enter your debit card PIN number, and get the receipt.

There is a special corner that says "EASY ORDER", and you just have to go there and pick up your order in less than 1-2 minutes (if the items you ordered are available). I'm not sure if they put top priority for EASY ORDER but I was satisfied with the service speed. And I think I saved about 15-20 minutes (I skipped about 3-4 people on the queue).

Oh, an the monitor above the EASY ORDER counter serves as a monitor for the waiting list, so you know when your turn to pick up the food is :)

This is definitely a really cool system. People might be reluctant to use it because there isn't any instructions nearby (because you really don't need written instructions; the machine is so easy to figure out). 


Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but please comment responsibly :)