I Hate McDonalds, But I Love Their Systems


I Hate McDonalds, But I Love Their Systems

You heard me right.  I hate McDonalds.  The food (not the fries) is mediocre at best.  The seats are hard.  The floors area always in need of a good cleaning (morning or night, it doesn’t matter).

So why the rant?  Why am I knocking the golden arches?

Yesterday my wife called and asked me out to lunch.  I’ve been married over 35 years, so I love a quick lunch with a beautiful blonde (that’s my wife).  What I didn’t know is (1)  she had both of my grandsons (ages 1 and 3); and (2) she was taking me to McDonalds.


Now I’m all for going to lunch with 3 of my most favorite people in the world.  I’m so excited to do it, I even said yes after she identified the restaurant [sic] we were going to.

However, when we got there I remembered why I hate McDonalds.  The burger was mediocre.  The seats were hard.  The floors needed cleaning.  (Have I already said that?)

BUT, I love their systems.  This is why I’m talking about this today.

When I arrived, the person assigned (notice the first key to their system) to great me at the counter promptly step toward the register.

He then asked a questions buying customers long to hear, “What can I get for you?”

He listened carefully to my order (as if he’d been trained to do so).

If he needed clarification he asked (in an interested sort of way).

He then asked, “Will there be anything else?”

He then repeated my order to me.

Look, this is real simple as I’m repeating it back to you.  No doubt you’ve experienced the same.  Probably many times.

But here’s the key that you must understand.  It happens every time, with every customer.


The answer is that McDonalds has developed, tested, tweaked and refined a system for greeting the customer and inviting the order.  They then train their employees on the system.  Then they evaluate them based upon their use of the system.

So what does this do for McDonalds?

1.  It enhances consistency.

2.  It allows for interchangeability of employees.

3.  It makes training easier because its not haphazard.

4.  It creates and reinforces certainty for the customer, thereby building trust.

5.  It permits McDonalds to hire lower paid staff which increases their bottom line.

Now, how does this apply to your law practice?

Ask yourself the following question:  What occurs in my office that is repeated with a high degree of frequency, that if completed in a predicable, consistent manner, would increase the value and profits of my business?

So what did you come up with?

Whatever it is can probably be developed into a system that is documentable, trainable, and repeatable.  For example, do you have a system designed and documented to:

(1)  Attract prospects

(2)  To convert prospects to clients

(3)  To provide service to the clients

(4)  To get paid for helping clients

(5)  To follow up with clients

(6)   To obtain referrals from clients and others

Within each of these “systems” you’ll likely have sub-systems.  All of the systems have the same characteristics.  They are designed so that they can be documented, tested, tweaked, and repeated to achieve a re-occurring event in your business.

If you’ve not created these systems, now is the time to begin thinking about it.

Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

What was the hardest system for you to design and implement?

Photo Credit:  Dylan Kereluk

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Condee August 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

I feel the same way about McDonalds. Never thought about the systems idea as it applies to my law firm. I need to think through that more.

DanScott DanScott August 5, 2010 at 8:57 am


I’ve found that most the time nearly 100% of lawyer’s efforts are spent on production or working in the business. The idea with systems is that you spend some time working on the business so you’ll be more productive and create a business that has value.

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