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Fast food gets put into express lane

By Stephen Son, staff writer
On February 17, 2014

  • Music majors Stephanie Rios (right) and Selenne Hernandez (middle) are showcased on the latest album by Jazzanova and JAZZ-ology titled “Starting Here, Starting Now.”. George Morin / The Advocate

Many fast-food industries have seen a hike in sales since the recession and many are trying out new ventures to keep customers coming back.
One of those is the idea of express fast-food or fast-food on demand.
Seasons of Japan, a fast-food Japanese restaurant, had a successful grand opening on Jan. 6.
There was a line of customers curious as to what this mysterious restaurant was about and what it has to offer.
"My food came out before I even finished paying," one customer outside said, "Service was fast, great and the food was awesome."
"When you see a line of customers," Toshi Hirata, the son of the CEO of the entire Seasons of Japan franchise said, "they stand there for 20 minutes just on their phone, not minding at all that they are standing there for 20 minutes before they get to the front of the line. But as soon as their wallets come out, their 'patience clock' starts ticking."
Hirata said, "So they are pleasantly surprised when they get their food right away. But get them to stand around for 20 minutes after they paid and you'll be sure to receive some complaints."
Even Chipotle, a branch of McDonalds Corp. one of the leading fast-food industries in the world, uses a similar business model and has had great success.
The best part of restaurants, like Seasons of Japan or Chipotle, is not only the friendly and speedy service but the quality of the ingredients of the food.
They use products from free-ranged farmed animals, no added chemicals to dairy products and all prepped, cooked and ready to serve to each order.
If that's not what a customer is looking for in fast-food dining, I don't know what is.
I've noticed that fast-food giants like McDonald's and Burger King have gotten a lot slower.
I believe that part of the reason being is that the menu has gotten more complicated with not much nutritional benefit added.
Too many new items are added and there is too much for anyone to look though while in line.
Furthermore, the employees have to keep learning new recipes causing production speed to decrease as well.
Almost every time I order from McDonald's, I have to check my bag to see if they got my order correct.
The level of service at these fast-food restaurants is far from exceptional. Compared to other places that value customer service like restaurants like Seasons of Japan.
If McDonald's reverts back to its more simple menu as it did in the early 90s, then all it would have to do is concentrate on making the food right and getting the order right.
Production speed will increase and people will be going back to being confident with a coke, some fries and a cheeseburger because that's all they want to order.
Hopefully with time these fast-food restaurants will see the value of their old ways. 

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