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Fast Feeders Test Call Center Order Taking

Wendy's, McDonald's and Pizza Hut are experimenting with using call centers as a way to improve drive-through service. Because the call center workers' only job is to take orders, they have time to be friendlier and to speak clearly and slowly--unlike workers who have other tasks to perform. Call-center employees are also trained to increase sales through "suggestive selling," the official term for the classic line "Do you want fries with that?"

When customers pull up to the drive-through at a Wendy's in Lexington, Ky., for example, a call-center employee elsewhere in the city asks for the order and clicks on computer images of each item ordered. Meanwhile, a digital camera snaps a picture of the car and driver placing the order. The order travels back to the restaurant via the Internet and appears on screens in the kitchen and the drive-through window. When the customer gets to the pickup window, the employee matches the order to the picture of the car taken earlier.



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