Fast food location’s Smile Improvement training is keeping an extremely close eye on employee conduct.
While many businesses promise “service with a smile,” McDonald’s Japan takes that pledge particularly seriously. For years, McDonald’s branches in Japan have listed “smile” on their menu boards, priced at zero yen, to let customers they can always expect the cashier and other employees to give them a cheerful welcome.
However, when Japanese Twitter user @makotopic stopped by his local McDonald’s, he saw a notice on the wall that he thinks is more heartless than heartwarming, and took a snapshot to share with his followers.
まことぴ (@makotopic) May 30, 2017
The paper reads:
Thank you for your continued patronage of McDonald’s.
Between May 29 and June 30, as part of the employee development training associated with our Smile Improvement Declaration, during business hours we will be recording the facial expressions of employees using cameras and the like.
We will take great care that this does not negatively impact the service we provide to customers, and thank you for your kind understanding.
We hope you will continue to dine with us in the future.
– McDonald’s branch management
While most restaurant customers would agree that, all else equal, smiling staff are a nice touch, you’d probably also find a similar consensus that having to work with the knowledge that cameras and unspecified other devices are pointed at your face probably adds a lot of tension to those smiles. @makotopic called the idea “hellish training,” and while it may not quite be on the order of fire and brimstone, the strict regulations mean it might be a nice idea to smile back when the cashier takes your order at McDonald’s, out of appreciation for the tough conditions in which those free smiles offered on the menu are sometimes made.
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