McDonald's sees fewer customers, sales disappoint

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  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    I have always disliked visiting McDonald's. I really hate their way of letting customers swarm around the counter and elbow their way forward while other fast-food places like Burger King and Wendy's have civilized lines where people can wait their turn by the order in which they arrive.

    But I was in Europe recently and I popped into several McDonald's in France and was very pleasantly surprised. The food was much, much better than in the U.S., although they still used that same insane style of letting customers crowd around the counter and fight their way forward.

    Interestingly, in the Paris McDonald's I saw computer kiosks where you can order your meal from a touch screen and maybe even pay by credit card. No lines, and you can wait in peace while your order is prepared. I read later that this may be due to harsh French laws on employment, which make it hard to create a job and almost impossible to fire an employee. I bet we see more of these kiosks in U.S. McDonald's soon.