Watch CBSN Live

Bad Recipe: Why McDonald's Shouldn't Use Nintendo To Train Staff

It's a great headline, "McDonald's Uses Nintendo To Train Staff," but don't be fooled. The real story is more fad than future. Here's Gizmodo:

...McDonald's Japan [developed] a $2.2 million DS "game" called eSmart that is designed to "cut training time by half." How? Unclear. Perhaps there's a frialator attachment we're not seeing yet.

Bloomberg just confirmed the training is happening in 80 percent of McDonald's Japan locations (with Nintendo DS video here).

But is it a good idea? Or, to put the question another way, would you use a Nintendo game machine to train your food-service staff? The problems are simple to understand:

  • No communication: I yell at my virtual cooking video games all the time. Luckily, they have no feelings -- or ears. A real restaurant environment, with real co-workers, requires real teamwork to succeed. In the real world, food service is never done in single-player mode.
  • No actual cooking: This is the big problem. Classic studies say people learn four different ways: Spatially (visually), Auditory-Musical (aurally), Linguistically (verbally) and Kinesthetically (physically). The visualizers don't see fake fries, the audiophiles most likely hear unrealistic noises, the verbals don't hear their co-workers' or customers' orders, and doers -- which is my group -- don't perform the same "muscle memory" actions.
McDonald's Japan doesn't purport to train using only the Nintendo DS software, but it's clear that the software will replace some more hands-on training techniques -- which is the whole point. From my books it should be clear that I'm a huge proponent of deploying technology in the workplace. But there are also some things that a specialized video game simply can't do.
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.