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McDonald’s guarantees your order in 60 seconds or you get free burger

60 Comments
By Steven Simonitch

From Jan 4 to Jan 31, McDonald’s Japan will run a marketing campaign they’re calling “Enjoy! 60 Second Service”, where customers who are made to wait any more than a minute for their order during the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. will receive a coupon for a free McDonald’s burger of their choice.

Even if staff are able to prepare the order within a minute, all customers who visit during the 4-hour time frame will receive a coupon for a free small-size Premium Roast Coffee.

To prove that the campaign isn’t all talk and no substance, staff at each of the 3,300 participating McDonald’s restaurants will be required to flip over an hourglass measuring one minute each time an order is placed.

Two McDonald’s restaurants, the Roppongi Hills store in Tokyo and the Midosuji-Suoumachi store in Osaka, have introduced the hourglass system early to help promote the campaign.

Japanese website Gigazine visited the Osaka location on Dec 21, the opening day of the trial campaign, to see what the service looked like in action.

Like many other chain restaurants in the country, McDonald’s has a reputation for great service in Japan and it seems like the staff will be on the top of their game for the duration of this campaign.

Gigazine’s reporter writes that the Osaka McDonald’s staff claim that not one free hamburger coupon had been given out since the promotion started — granted it was still the first day.

Naturally, because the internet is such a nasty place, Japanese netizens are already putting their heads together to think of ways they can beat the system.

On popular Japanese message board 2channel, one user claiming to work for McDonald’s writes that at smaller restaurants with less staff, you’re almost guaranteed to wait for more than a minute if you order a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

According to his logic, if you use this method to score a free hamburger coupon and then use that to order another Double Quarter Pounder, you can, in theory, create a never-ending cycle of free McDonald’s hamburgers (until the promotion ends in February).

We doubt there are any Japanese people who are actually going to try such underhanded tactics, and even if they do, they’ll probably end up paying more overall than they would have had the promotion never existed in the first place — which is exactly what McDonald’s wants.

The real losers here are undoubtedly the McDonald’s staff, who will have to spend four hours a day watching sand trickle down an hour glass as merciless customers gaze upon them, silently praying that they screw something up so they can get a free lunch.

Source: Gigazine, McDonald’s Japan, Hima Soku

Read more stories on RocketNews24. -- McDonald’s Japan Giving Away Free Hamburgers (Again) -- 9 McDonald’s Secrets Guaranteed to Make Your Life Better -- Kids Cause Mayhem at McDonald’s, Challenge Themselves to Eat 60 Servings of Fries in One Sitting

© RocketNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


60 Comments
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I love the double quarter pounder with cheese! But I won't eat any more of them until they come with Lipitor sauce, because I love my clear arteries more.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"We doubt there are any Japanese people who are actually going to try such underhanded tactics" What are you trying to say? You expect only gaijins to do it? What about those places where Japanese shoppers cram and balance insane amounts of produce or other items into plastic bags because they are priced per bag? Or the all-you-can-eat (with a time limit) sushi restaurants where customers order stacks of otoro and crab leg sushi making the owners lose money? Shall I continue? I am sure there will be many Japanese who will try those "tactics" at McD's, especially the younger crowd.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

60 seconds or not, they have lost my business over 8 years ago after watching the docu-drama, "Supersize Me."

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Prize or punishment - you be the judge!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The double quarter pounder (which oddly should be called the half pounder) is better at cleaning something internal other than your arteries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thanks, but take your time, and make me a nice hamburger carefully. You can have 2 minutes, if you like. Admittedly, the last time I ate there was about 3 years ago. It was fun, and the coffee is usually pretty good. I do wish you could have half and half instead of the fake cream, but overall, it's nice to have a Big Mac set once in a while.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We doubt there are any Japanese people who are actually going to try such underhanded tactics

Why are you limiting the statement to only Japanese people?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I feel bad for the staff at McDonald's.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

On popular Japanese message board 2channel, one user claiming to work for McDonald’s writes that at smaller restaurants with less staff, you’re almost guaranteed to wait for more than a minute if you order a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese it is!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Insutanto ba-ga-

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do we need to bring "Stop watch"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

like many other chain restaurants in the country, McDonald’s has a reputation for great service in Japan

I order drinks without ice to save on plastic: No ice means I don't need a straw and I don't need a plastic lid. I tell them, "No straw, no lid." They have never once got this right.

To get a free burger, simply customize your order: no mayo, no ice. It throws the staff for a loop.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Let me go to the busiest one then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hate this kind of idiot promotion. It just puts extra pressure on already stressed staff and sets up a tension between the customer and the server that makes everyone uncomfortable. Take your time and do it right and I'm happy to pay properly.

If you're in so much of a hurry, just by a couple of onigiri at the local conbini.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I agree with concentratedsin. I too feel sorry for McD's staff.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I remember when they did this a while ago. Why only do it for such a short period? If they're so interested in customer service, they should do it all the time, not just a certain times, for a certain period.

It's just a ploy to get people to go there hoping for a free burger.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's usually fast enough.

What gets me into their restaurants is the FOOD and the prices. If they normally took a long time, I'd understand this promotion.

Like Serrano, lucabrasi, and concentratedsin say, it puts unnecessary pressure on an often friendly staff.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The only way they can do this is to undercook the meat and make people sick or cook the meat before you order, letting it sit around, thus making infection more likely. Either way, the customer loses.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The only way they can do this is to undercook the meat and make people sick or cook the meat before you order, letting it sit around, thus making infection more likely. Either way, the customer loses.

Obviously you haven't been to a McDonald's restaurant before.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What gets me into their restaurants is the FOOD and the prices. If they normally took a long time, I'd understand this promotion.

People who go to McDonald's realize that it normally takes about 60 seconds anyway. They are trying to attract people who don't is my guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The coffee is pretty good in macca. Don't care too much for the junk "food", free burger or not...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So, I guess they will be stockopiling the patties in prep for the rush...I would rather have a fresher more delicious burger.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The lunch hour crowd will be appreciative of the efficiency. Less time in line, more time to eat before you're back on the clock.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you have to spend a few minutes standing in line before ordering (the norm at lunchtime at most places) then does the difference between 60 and say 90 seconds really matter that much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is going to kill the staff in smaller restaurants, and I guarantee that they won't make the minute mark in many cases once this campaign gets into swing. The idea is that it's a PROMOTION for the food, so it stands to reason they want it to be busier than normal. I'm going to go for it, not that I'm a huge McDonald's fan. I don't think I could stand to choke down a double quarter pounder, though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow. I was just conversing with a friend about bad service being the rule at McDonald's. The fact is, the only way to get a cheeseburger here, without cheese being colder that the burger, is to special order. Tell them to hold one of the pickles, should you order at any McDonald's home in the states. Incidentally, this doesn't effect the wait you would have had in the first place, had you ordered off the rack. If you want fresh hot fries instead of throwing darts, you order them without salt. This is not the experience of visiting the same store, again or again. And it wasn't always like this. To hear of this promotional stunt is laughable. That promotion here, would celebrate nostalgic service.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The staff too is going to prepare more hamburgers and menu items ahead of time than they had previously to ensure that they can deliver on time. I'd rather they take a little more time and get my order right and fresh rather than stale.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru: While you are probably correct, I doubt they're going to prepare THAT much more beforehand, as they are pretty strict on freshness I've heard. Either way, I hope the staff are treated well and get a bit of a bonus when the campaign is over if sales go up and they did not have to give too much away.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Brace yourselves for some cold hamburgers ... and what if the french fries take longer than a minute to prepare? So the whole order is served cold?

And can you bring your own hourglass ... just for comparisons sake?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yubaru: While you are probably correct, I doubt they're going to prepare THAT much more beforehand, as they are pretty strict on freshness I've heard.

Consider this, it takes longer than 1 minute to properly prepare certain food items on McDonald's menu, and the only way that they can keep to the 1 minute or less campaign is to prepare ahead of time. Now there is some guess work involved, educated guess work I would imagine, in knowing what items move during what times, but it is predictable and very possible that people are either going to get cold food or the free burger coupons.

I hope the staff are treated well and get a bit of a bonus when the campaign is over if sales go up and they did not have to give too much away.

Interesting idea, giving part time staff, of which there are legion at Mc'D's, a bonus. If they do happen to get one I hope it expands to other professions as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you want fresh hot fries instead of throwing darts, you order them without salt.

Or go to Freshness Burger or Mosburger, where things are made to order and not in advance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think 1 will change my order like 10 times. :p

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

60 seconds or not, they have lost my business over 8 years ago after watching the docu-drama, "Supersize Me."

So before that, you thought eating McDonald's on a daily basis would lead to a long and healthy life?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If you have to spend a few minutes standing in line before ordering (the norm at lunchtime at most places) then does the difference between 60 and say 90 seconds really matter that much?

Yes. Because the line will now move 30 seconds per person in the line quicker as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or go to Freshness Burger or Mosburger, where things are made to order and not in advance.

And you pay for it in price and time waiting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Consider this, it takes longer than 1 minute to properly prepare certain food items on McDonald's menu, and the only way that they can keep to the 1 minute or less campaign is to prepare ahead of time. Now there is some guess work involved, educated guess work I would imagine, in knowing what items move during what times...

That's how they operate now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brace yourselves for some cold hamburgers ... and what if the french fries take longer than a minute to prepare? So the whole order is served cold?

I doubt it - unless it's a really quiet store at lunchtime, which I've never seen. They use a flow model that makes just enough of burgers based on popularity in the warmer ahead of time. If it's in the warmer for too long it's thrown away.

And can you bring your own hourglass ... just for comparisons sake?

They have their own which you can easily see for yourself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I presume the 60 seconds starts AFTER the customer has stood at the counter for 90 seconds discussing with their kids exactly what they want to order... Waiting for the food once it has been ordered has never been the problem. Waiting in line, or trying to find a place to sit has always been my gripe with McDonalds.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Waiting in line, or trying to find a place to sit has always been my gripe with McDonalds.

The fact that it tastes like a pile of horse dung has always been mine.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They did this in NZ years ago, I remember walking in and the burgers were lined up in racks, already prepared for the lunch hour rush, that's when you start asking to hold the ketchup so you at least got something hot...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rather wait in line 15 minutes (because everybody else is there too) for a better burger.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

you’re almost guaranteed to wait for more than a minute if you order a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

And if you insist that there be no pickles it will likely take closer to two minutes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought this is everyday at MC Donalds in the rest of the world. But it's called FAST food.

Mosburge should introduce something as you always wait 20 or 30 minutes at least if they can get down to 5 min...great

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, for just under a month, they will actually make "fast" food? And then go back to making you wait?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

isnt that bad, meaning they dont cook their food when ordered, bleh, only reason people eat at mcdonalds is because of the cheep food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

60 seconds, huh? Hehe... Since I value my health now, I never eat at McDonalds anymore, but last time I was there I remember waiting 5-10 minutes for a burger if it wasn't ready to go. (Not sure why it took so damn long, it's not like the place in my city was understaffed...).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whenever it's really fast, it's usually cold and tough to chew. I'd rather have a hot burger even if it take 2-3 minutes. I'm never in that much of a hurry.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

who ever eats mc do has no knowledge about food, nutrition etc... do you even know how they produce the stuff you eat there? why would someone eat a burger who is cold. pre cooked in the first place anyway? but advertising and brain washing works still well in 21.century

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If only Burger King would do a "Windows 8 Burger" in 60 seconds. -That would impress me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this is a great PR work! Well done!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Less than 60 seconds to get, 3 minutes to eat and weeks to digest all the chemicals & fat - I'm lovin it... Not!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm not saying it's entirely healthy but having a McDonald's menu item once a week or month, cannot be bad. Of course, I say that since I do exercise daily, and am pretty careful about my daily intake. However, one day to pig out every couple of weeks is not bad.

Although if you're eating McDonalds daily, then there's an even bigger issue...

But this, is pretty interesting... Good luck, you poor souls.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese is all I ever order and have never received it in under a minute. Sign me up for the never-ending cycle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Keep eating those things, and the only ending cycle you'll be on is waiting for the defibrillator to charge.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nessie--

To get a free burger, simply customize your order: no mayo, no ice. It throws the staff for a loop.

You underhanded foreigner you!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Another brilliant marketing campaign from McD's Japan. No wonder they're kicking ass.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You underhanded foreigner you!

Just payback for all the orders they've screwed up.

I blew the minds of some high schoolers when I told them they could customize their orders. Customers should not be afraid of their fast food joints. Fast food joints should be afraid of their customers. Remember, remember the Mac of December!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"To get a free burger simply customize your order"

This isn't "Have it your way" Burger King.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or go to Freshness Burger or Mosburger, where things are made to order and not in advance.

Oh god .... Freshness burger is the single worst thing I have ever had the misfortune of eating. I hate McDonalds but I'd rather eat there seven days a week than have to gag down one more bite of a Freshness burger.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And for every second that their late, knock off a hundred yen from the bill. That'll help the customer pay for the hospital fees from eating that low quality dogfood.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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