Monday, April 17, 2006


Given their reputation for both reflecting the Zeitgeist and quickly Taylorizing all aspects of the social rituals around the consumption of meals, I have been surprised to see how slow the fast-food business has been to adapt to the virtual age. Part of this may have to do with basically being at odds with the culture of online life: affluent digital citizens would rather have food delivered like old-school hackers, or they choose to hook into the Matrix at their local chain coffee establishment where wireless and laptops are the norm.

Although, less attuned to customers, perhaps, the fast-food industry is certainly conscious of the digital habits of their employees. One burger-flipping employee who posted a photograph of the president of the company on MySpace was actually accused of identity theft. (He also discovered that his e-mail was being monitored by supervisors.)

That said, Water Cooler Games reports that Burger King has made a deal with Xbox, based on projections done by Greenfield Online, specialists in virtual market research. Customers could purchase Xbox's at their local BK and then buy special games that show the hamburger monarch racing, fighting, and exploring exciting virtual environments.

In addition to capitalizing on interactivity, the fast food business is also taking advantage of the Internet's distributed networks. A recent New York Times story, "The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast Food Order," reports that call-centers are now handling drive thru-traffic from remote locations.

In related news, according to a recent Los Angeles Times story, "Terrorists Seen Turning to Campuses for Skills," Morrocan students attending a university in Montpelier were actually honing their skills at generating mayhem. Maybe they might consider distance learning more attractive now!



Post a Comment

<< Home