Once upon a time, McDonald's bragged about its Speedee Service System, although in those days the speed was a consequence of Fordist standardized manufacturing techniques in the extreme: the hamburgers already cooked, the fries fried, some milk shakes ready in the cooler.  The menus have become more complicated in the interim, and recent analysis of waiting time in the drive-through lanes (something not provided under the original Golden Arches) suggests a connection between that complexity and longer waiting times.  Probably a good thing the study doesn't consider the walk-in trade, as the default setting at most establishments with drive-through lanes is "We're busy with the drive-through traffic, and we're going to ignore you for now."

An InstaPundit guest commentary on the story suggests there's increasing complexity aggravated by decreased competence of the help.
I own a fast food restaurant and the biggest reason service has slowed (other than the growing incompetence of the workforce) is that we are all running our businesses with way fewer employees. We used to have 23 total employees, we now have 9. We used to run a lunch rush with anywhere from 6 to 8 people we now do it with 4.

While business has certainly decreased the biggest reason is probably labor cost. 7.25 dollars an hour for the current functionally illiterate, no work ethic, yet strangely full of so much self esteem they can’t take instruction teenage product of the public schools is also why staffing is low. We hire adults when we can but of course we pay them more thus high labor costs=fewer workers and slower service.
The owner's complaint lays off a lot of the blame for the incompetent help on public policy.  I can't help but wonder whether there's insufficient help as a consequence of downsizing for its own sake.

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