The Service Process of McDonald’s Drive-Thru

Essay, 2008
25 Pages, Grade: none



1. Introduction

2. Literature Review
2.1 What are the key sources?
2.2 What are the origins and definitions of the topic?
2.3What are the key theories, definitions, concepts and ideas?

3. Research Methodology
3.1 Data Collection Methods

4. Research finding
4.1 Secondary research
4.2 Primary research
4.2.1 Customer action:
4.2.2 Understanding employee roles
4.2.3 Service support
4.2.4 Customer questionnaire analysis
4.3 research finding

5. Limitations of study

6. Conclusions and recommendations:



Executive summary

This report aims to describe a specific service process and make a blueprinting to show the relationship between internal and externally-facing processes. The specific service in my report is McDonald’s drive-thru service process. In order to complete the service blueprinting, there must be including that the detailed blueprint thereof, particular attention also to the relationship between internal and external processes and the inputs required to support the processes. The main search methods were combining with primary search and secondary search method. Through my personally taste, I can clearly know what is the general service process then draw a construct a pictures of how the externally-facing processes in McDonald’s drive-thru service. The back-stage information is most from my interview with the manager and employee of McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant. After look through the literature of McDonald’s: behind the arches (John F, 1995), make me know the interrelated information as well as about the McDonald’s supplier, partners and hamburgers. Then connect all the useful information, a service of McDonald’s drive-thru process was competed. Final part is an analysis of the ways in which services might be improved and how to innovation the service effective are alls including in recommendation.


I would like to acknowledge the management and employee at McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant for their ongoing support and assistance throughout the preparation and research involved with this study. And also to acknowledgement the customer who help me to finish the questionnaire.

1. Introduction

The fist McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant opened in Sierra Vista, in 1975. Drive-thru is a new consumer mold. The consumer only need to stay in their owe car then through three windows to complete the whole shopping process. In order to complete a perfect blueprinting it is necessary to go through different steps. Firstly, a look at the literature reviews to understand how such or such documents were used in the research. Following that would be the Methodology and objectives part to understand better why different methods and data were used to do the report and draw a conclusion. Afterwards it would be analysis my research finding to focus on the implication of the relationship between internal and externally processes. Next to draw a final service blueprinting. The limitation of study enables to understand to what extent my research could be conducted and why. Finally, the last part of this report will be the conclusions and recommendations of this study.

2. Literature Review

According to Saunders, ‘to develop a good understanding and insight into relevant research and trends that have emerged’ is the main purpose of a literature review.

In this domain, the aims ate abstract what other authors think about the subject and previously published ideas (Tucker, 2007), in order to make the blueprinted particular and effectively.

2.1 What are the key sources?

The key source of this study includes some academic textbooks as well as service marketing and management (lovelock, 2002) and McDonald’s behind the arches (John F, 1995). Furthermore, among other academic journals which are includes some events and news about McDonald’s. The homepage on-line of McDonald’s and other relative websites was helpful as well, although it was essential to keep objectivity when using that material. All the information is serves to complete the blueprint about the service process of McDonald's drive-thru. But some articles are being published on-line or journals are not greatly in quality and reliability. Maybe it only can be used for this research not concern the subject directly.

2.2 What are the origins and definitions of the topic?

The definition come from internet is: the name of Drive-Thru is given by the McDonald’s service.

As the McDonald’s said: derive-thru going after big, big volume by lowering prices and by having the customer service himself. The consumer only need to stay in their owe car then through three windows to complete the whole shopping process. The consumer drive car enter the first windows to give the order, and then pay the money in second window, followed drive to the third window take meal, then drove off. It is a new mode for fast food service, so that they do not have to get off the car to enjoy delicious food and unique services. The biggest strengths for this new shopping mode is saving time, the time period from all vehicles entering to restaurant to leaving are limited in three minutes.

2.3What are the key theories, definitions, concepts and ideas?


“A Service is an act or performance offered by one party to another. Although this process may be tied to physical product, the performance is transitory, often intangible in nature, and does not normally result in the ownership of any of the factors of production.” (2007, S5)

“A Service is an economic activity that creates value and provides benefits for customers at specific times and places by bringing about a desired change in, or on behalf of, the recipient of the service.” (2007, S5)

“Excellent service gives customers non-price reasons to select a company.”(Barbara, 2000)

A framework for making service management decisions will help organize thinking (Figure 1):


illustration not visible in this excerpt

(own illustration adapted from Lovelock, 2002)

Service as a process:

“A process is a particular method of operation or a series of actions, typically involving multiple steps that often need to take place in a defined sequence.” (Lovelock, 2002)

Though this process, we should to know what will be used. As Lovelock to consider: is our service is directed at customer themselves? Whether the service entails delivery of tangible or intangible actions? What played by information?

A Service is a process “Each service can be broken down into parts. Each part can accommodate variability - judgement / chance or choice of sequence. Each system allows for deviation functioning within acceptable limits - in real time” (2007,S5)

Service blueprint:

“To develop a blueprint, you need to be able to identify all of the key activities involved in service delivery and production, clarify the sequence, and to specify the linkages between these activities.”(G.Lynn).The blueprinting clarify the relationship between internal and externally-facing and the inputs required in a specific service processes. As Lovelock illustrate, to development a service blueprint should to clarify the interactions between customers and employees and definition all the important activities involved in a service system and production and specifying the linkages between activities.

“The key components of the blueprint are:

1. definition of standards for each front-stage activities
2. physical and other evidence for front-stage activities
3. principal customer actions
4. line of interaction
5. front-stage actions by customer-contact personnel
6. line of visibility
7. backstage actions by customer-contact personnel
8. support processes involving other service personnel
9. support processes involving information technology”

(Lovelock, 2002:154)

About supply chain

“Supply is the system which including organizations, people, activities, information and resources moving a product of service from supplier to customer. (Figure 2) It activities transform components and raw materials into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. Supply chains link value chain.” (Anna, 2006). The concept of value Chain analysis developed by Porter views procurement as a support activity which contributes to the competitive advantage of a business by adding value. (Figure 3)

Figure 2: network representation of supply chain. (own illustration adapted from Lysons, 2003)

Suppliers producers (plants) distribution customers

illustration not visible in this excerpt

This network is to describe the flow of goods and services from raw sources to their end users. I will use this theory to analysis the back-stage of McDonald’s supply chain.

Figure 3 will show the value chain. (

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The activities of a business unit can be classified into five primary and four support activities, each of which will contribute to the competitive advantage of the business these comprise the value chain. (Lysons, 2003).

Supply chain management is:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4: a simple supply chain (own illustration adapted from Keneeth, 2003)

Raw materials distribution selling point

illustration not visible in this excerpt

3. Research Methodology

This research will provide current evidence showing whole service process of McDonalds drive-thru. Through to review the various literatures which provide upon to conducted the research. This aim of the report is to blueprint a specific service processes which must clearly including the interrelationship between employee roles, operational processes, information technology and the customer interactions. The research will be obtained particularly information will useful to complete the structure. Overall conclusions can then be made from the combination of my secondary and primary research findings.

3.1Data Collection Methods

It will colleted both primary and secondary evidence to produce this report. Relevant previous research on service process and service blueprinting theories, in the form of journal articles and textbooks was used.

Secondary Data

- A pamphlet of McDonalds which display the standard of service management and the rule of service process for employee. Access to results of this standard has been granted for use in this study.
- Through internet, This is the video in the internet to show How to buy a meal at a McDonalds Drive Thru

Primary Data – There are three forms of primary data to be collected:

- Personally taste: it is an effective way to collection the information through personally taste the whole service process. This experience is widely regarded as one of main ways of gaining primary qualitative data because I stay in a consumer view to look the whole process.
- Manager Interview: Interviews will operate by an employee who familiar with the whole service process. These will be on a one-to-one basis using pre-written questions. This research will provide the strong evidence to compete the service blueprint.
- Employee interview: This will be on a sample of existing McDonald’s employees on an unsupervised basis. The information will effective to analysis of the ways in which services might be improved.
- Customer questionnaire: this will be on a sample of existing customer which experiences the drive-thru service of McDonalds. This information will help me to advice how to innovation the service.


Excerpt out of 25 pages


The Service Process of McDonald’s Drive-Thru
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Quote paper
LU HAN (Author), 2008, The Service Process of McDonald’s Drive-Thru, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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