Photo/IllutrationA special “omotenashi” (hospitality) worker helps customers choose their food outside the counter at a McDonald’s Japan outlet in Shizuoka. (Akifumi Nagahashi)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

To enhance “omotenashi” (hospitality), McDonald’s Japan on April 10 started new services that will help customers avoid waiting in line or balancing their food precariously on trays.

The fast-food giant deploying special staff members at its 75 outlets in Shizuoka Prefecture and plans to cover 1,500 restaurants, or half of its outlets in Japan, by the end of this year.

The staff members help customers choose their food items before they get in line at the counter and guide the customers to their seats. The staff members will then bring the orders to the customers’ tables.

An average of five omotenashi workers will be stationed at each outlet on a rotation basis.

In another new service that removes the need to place orders and receive meals over the counter, customers can place advance orders through a smartphone app, as well as specify the preferred outlet and the time they want their meals served.

Although the food-service industry is known to promote labor-saving in customer service, McDonald’s Japan will hire additional staff in an effort to increase contact with customers and raise the number of visitors to its restaurants.