Picked up an interesting article in another blog this week on a topic that I've heard before - the outsourcing of the order-taking at McDonald's burgers.
Basically, when you drive up to the order board of your local 'Mickey D's' in the US and place your order by speaking in to the microphone, the person taking your order actually isn't sitting in the kitchen of the restaurant at all - they are actually in a call centre in California.
Why California? Because of the apparent ability of the customer service reps in that State to sound cheerful all day long, and to upsell easily - to convince you to supersize your meal and add those side orders, increasing McDonalds' profits in the process.
Apparently the service-level of the order takers is some 95 an hour - Adam Smith would be proud his economic theories are alive and well in the modern day service industry. The order is then fed into a piece of software which routes the order back to the kitchen of the store your sitting outside, where the order is made up in the more traditional way for you to collect from the drive-thru window.
Now if only McDonald's can figure out how to make up the burgers by computer too...