December 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Incentive News

FAST-FOOD GIANT ROLLS OUT INITIATIVE TO BOOST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION McDonald’s Adds Rewards Supersize incentives: Managers can win cash.
Supersize incentives: Managers can win cash. For the first time in its history, Oakbrook, Ill.-based McDonald’s is adding a carrot of sorts to its menu in an effort to improve service and boost business in the highly competitive fast-food arena.

Under the direction of U.S. division president Mike Roberts, the firm has rolled out a formal two-tier incentive program aimed at the management of its company-owned restaurants in the United States.

The first tier rewards managers on a quarterly basis for meeting criteria in areas such as quality of service and cleanliness of facilities, as determined by “mystery shoppers” paid professionals who pose as customers. Amounts of cash awards are tied to the score. (The company would not reveal the dollar range involved.)

The second tier rewards the management teams of restaurant “patches” groups of four to five McDonald’s restaurants in a region with company stock options. The criteria: achieving the best patch scores (in the top 20 percent) over a year.

Strategies are based on “the realization that we have an opportunity for improvement,” said a spokesperson for the firm. “We see incentive programs as an investment. We hope to see results where customers feel welcome and choose to return more often.”

The program covers only company-owned restaurants about 15 percent of the McDonald’s portfolio. While the corporation can’t dictate management practices to franchisees, many are adopting the same program or launching their own incentive and recognition initiatives to boost customer satisfaction.

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