My Name is not #321

McDonalds Restaurant
Zebulon, North Carolina
July 6th, 2014

Dear Mr. McDonald,

I’m the guy who shows up at your Zebulon, North Carolina restaurant to buy a Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad every now and again. I’m not a big fan of your food but I work in an area that doesn’t have a lot of lunch choices. Okay, it has almost no place to eat. This small town 30 minutes east of Raleigh isn’t something to yelp about. The big news in the last few years was a new Subway opening in the Wal-Mart.

But I’m not writing to complain about a lack of restaurants choices. I thought you might like to know that my name isn’t #321. It is Jeff.

On my recent visit, the cash register spat out a receipt with a big number on it. It efficiently makes my order clear to your staff. I get it happens automatically. 

Would you mind if I share a marketing suggestion? 

It is a radical marketing approach and one that may not fit with your business model. But since McDonald's earnings have been way off recently and slipping globally, my idea might be helpful to try and get human beings back into your often empty stores.

Imagine when my order is ready that instead of screaming order #321, you call out my name. 

A radical idea. Use my name not a number
"Jeff, we got your order ready."

I know. 


People not numbers
Just think of how much nicer it would be to hear that Jose, Harriet or Henry have their McWhatever ready to eat. It is part of what I like to call H2H marketing. (Human to Human). Lots of restaurants use my name when they speak to me like Boondini's in Raleigh. Perhaps you forgot about the people in your quest to drive up your numbers. It happens. 

My idea would slow things down and make you less efficient. 

You would probably add a few seconds to every order and that might conflict with the fast part of your fast food business model. Sorry. I feel your pain. 

But you do need human beings coming to the restaurant. Right?

Calling us by name instead of number is a small idea but one that you might what to consider next time you wonder why people feel things are a bit impersonal in your quick services restaurant. 

That’s all for now, Mac. Thanks for listening,


(not #321)

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