Besides offering healthier food options on the menu, there’s something else local McDonald’s sites want to emphasize: speed.
Tampa Bay’s largest group of franchised sites are expanding a program that promises drive-thru customers that they’ll have their food in 60 seconds, or receive a coupon for a free sandwich on their next visit.
Each customer even receives a small 60-second sand timer to hold as they roll through the drive-thru lane.
McDonald’s has always strived to hit the 60-second goal, so the timers are really more of a physical and memorable manifestation of that promise, said Blake Casper, chairman of Caspers Co., which operates 53 McDonald’s sites in the Tampa Bay area.
Much of that promise depends on how the 60 seconds are counted. Rather than start the clock at the moment a customer is done speaking their order at the drive-up menu, the clock starts when the cashier makes change at the first window and hands the timer to the customer.
Casper said they regularly make the 60-second mark throughout the whole ordering process. (During a noontime test this week, the total order-to-bag time was 57 seconds.)
Local restaurants nearly always stay under 60 seconds at breakfast when orders tend to be simpler. The times tend to stretch out as the day goes on and people order more elaborate meals and complicated coffee drinks like lattes and smoothies.
The Caspers Co. first bought 5,000 timers for the project, but found customers tended to forget to give them back, so they bought another 5,000.
The Caspers sites began the timer guarantee earlier this summer, and have now extended the promotion through the end of 2014. This week, other Florida markets like Jacksonville, Miami and others are adding the promotion.