Tag Archives: Quik Trip

Why McDonald’s Employees aren’t Delivering Service with a Smile

According to an article in today’s USA Today, customer complaints are up and profits are down at McDonald’s. Customers are complaining about rude employees and slow or “chaotic” service and the problem is getting worse. As a slide from a webcast delivered by Steve Levigne, vice president of business research for McDonald’s USA, “Service is broken.”  So what is McDonald’s doing to fix the situation? According to a franchisee quoted in the article, “The new leadership has decided to focus on customer satisfaction as a real driver for us to build the brand and build sales.”  The truth is McDonald’s needs to focus on its employees–they’re not engaged with their work. Right now McDonald’s pays its employees as little as possible, doesn’t train them well or treat them well and hence the rate of annual turnover of its employees is high (the fast food industry average is 60%). No company can expect to deliver high quality service with a smile under these circumstances. McDonald’s would do well to take a look at how Quik Trip, a company in a similar industry, treats its employees and it could solve it’s engagement problem in very short order.

Quik Trip: A Lesson on How to Run a Convenience Store Chain

According to an article by Sophie Quinton which appeared in a March 23, 2013 issue of The Atlantic.com, the average American retail cashier makes $20,230 per year. On the other hand, entry level employees at convenience store and gas station chain, Quik Trip start at an annual salary of around $40,000 plus benefits. As a result, Quick Trip’s sales per labor hour are two-thirds higher than the average convenience store chain and its sales per square foot of store space are more than 50 percent higher.

The article goes on to say, “Entry-level hires at QuikTrip are trained for two full weeks before they start work, and they learn everything from how to order merchandise to how to clean the bathroom. Most store managers are promoted from within, giving employees a reason to do well. ‘They can see that if you work hard, if you’re smart, the opportunity to grow within the company is very, very good,’ says company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.”

The lesson here is that if you want to clean up in the convenience store business, you have to pay above the market so that you can attract and retain good people and you have to take good care of them. Pretty simple stuff.