Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Economics Of McDonald's
I've not been to Brunei for a long while. It's rather refreshing to be in BSB again. It's a pity I've no time to go trekking or explore the seas- that would have been very enjoyable.
It was quite odd that I had a craving for McDonald's at BSB. I was curious to check out The Big Mac Index on all fronts. Ummm....I profess to reasonably conclude that the economy and culture of the country can be more or less summed up in the 1.5 hours at the only McDonald's in the country.
It was CRAZY man. The 2 levels of the fast food outlet were packed out. People were ordering McD's like there's no tomorrow. There was a giant children's party upstairs which probably had like 100 Happy Meals sent up. The trolley that headed upstairs came in and out of the kitchen 5 times, fully stocked. I stood in a queue that had 8 persons ahead of me for a good 35min. WTF! I was more amazed than miffed at the long waiting time. Granted, I was there at 1pm, smack in the middle of lunch, but still, the degree of slowness in the counter service was incredible, along with the onslaught of orders people made. Each person didn't just buy 1 or 2 meals. They bought 5, 8 and 10 sets! There was a couple of orders for 15 and 20!
I spent most of that 35 minutes observing humans, listening to their conversation topics, preferred language used among family and friends, looking at their accessories, shoes, watches and whatnots. It was most enlightening. In very stark contrast, the adjacent Jollibee outlet was near empty.
When I finally got to the counter to place my order, I saw that the kitchen was churning out food really fast. The bottleneck was at the counter. It wasn't really a matter of insufficient humans. It was just the staggering amount of orders that landed in their hands. Also, the staff painstakingly wrote the orders on paper in longhand, calculated it and then punched it out on the ancient cash register.
Yah, I sound damn suaku. But hey, it's quite mindboggling to equate such a rich nation with a complete dichotomy when it comes to its people and culture; pace of urban development and aspirations of its citizens. Don't ask me to check out the not-the-only Restoran KFC at The Mall next door. I is no like chicken.
Oh, and my upsized meal of fish fillet burger costs $4.45. It costs $6.10 at home. Tasted the same though.