Faster Food

Order at a drive-through, and there's a chance--a small but growing chance--that the voice coming back through the speaker is miles, or even states, away. Fast food has met the call center, and for that you can thank Steve Bigari, a McDonald's franchisee and part-time inventor in Colorado Springs, Colo. For the past two years, customers at seven of his restaurants have chatted with call-center workers across town who key in orders and then shoot them back to the restaurant, where computer monitors tell the grill guy what to grill, a drinks-and-fries person what else to grab and the window worker...

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