The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Burger Order-Taker

Matt Richtel’s NY Times piece today on burger joint call-center was fascinating. While I shouldn’t have been surprised, I had no idea that some McDonald’s were using remote call-centers to take drive-through orders. Admittedly, there is no inherent reason that order-taking needs to be local, but it’s still a little unnerving, like finding out that Mturk is behind the whole thing.

So, where is the next economic place that virtualization of a heretofor local service will take place? Restaurants? Plumbing supplies? Other? Inquiring minds want to know.

Related posts:

  1. I-Neighbors and Local Distance
  2. What Begat Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
  3. Google’s Analyst Day For Sale
  4. Why Don’t People Nurse Lamb Vindaloo?
  5. So Long, and Thanks for All the Options


  1. Actually Mickey D got the idea from a franchisee which did it over a year ago…

  2. When you think about it, anything that only involves information transfer could be virtualized and offshored. As a friend mentioned to me the other day, with the internet, we can make everyone work in a veal pen…we’ll dangle feeding tubes and give them antibiotics so they won’t infect each other (spin: Mickey D has a new medical benefit plan!).
    His take is that the real progress will occur when they can apply this technology to the customer. Much like a cochlear implant, they’ll do for taste what has been done for hearing. Dial up a burger on your cell phone and like digital rights management, your implant will be reached wirelessly and the collection of vitamins and anti-depressent capsules you just threw in your mouth will taste just like a Big Mac.
    Progress, but progress for whom?

  3. Franklin Stubbs says:
    Dystopia here we come!
    (Amusing food for thought anyway)