"I"ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Wimpy"s refrain, made famed in the Popeye comic strip, has been rotate on the head by savvy rapid food chain that have somehow convinced customers come buy prepaid "gift cards."

For Wimpy and also his creditors, Tuesday to be a day that would never come. Restaurants that problem such cards count on that also - yet in reverse.

Right now the cards are taking off in a huge way in the fast food business. The increasing popularity of McDonald"s Arch Card and those of other franchises have turned Wimpy"s speak upside down. Customers now seem happy to pay this particular day for food they will not buy till Tuesday - or maybe never ever at all.




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In researching exactly how the fast food organization is utilizing (and frequently not totally leveraging) information technology, i was surprised to discover that the McDonald"s Arch map is the company"s most financially rewarding new technology. Only in the last few years have rapid food restaurants mounted card readers and begun agree credit and debit transactions. Some 20 years behind their sleeve counterparts in this regard, the chains have only now found that simply allowing credit and debit payment increases the lot of the average transaction. (Quick, what is the most popular fast food upsell that customers choose? I"ll tell you the prize in a minute).

Now prepaid cards space sweetening the transaction further. The worth of prepaid cards space all upside because that the restaurant and downside because that the customer. The restaurant gets your money. You acquire a piece of stylish plastic the transforms your money into a form that have the right to only be redeemed because that McDonald"s food. Or Wendy"s food. Or burgess King food. Purchase the cards transfers your money from cash- i m sorry is transferable and accepted all over - to a gift card, i m sorry is not. You space locked in.

Fortunately for McDonald"s, its customers likewise appear come have tiny understanding of the time worth of money, which says that the existing value the a dollar menu burger ordered tomorrow is worth less than one dissension if prepurchased today. Till you purchase something with that gift card, McDonald"s it s okay the usage of your money because that free.

But the biggest reason why these cards are so rewarding for the margin-sensitive rapid food organization is due to the fact that a significant percentage that gift cards approve are never redeemed. If you lose a card part restaurants will worry you a new one - if girlfriend still have the receipt. However in most instances when world lose lock the restaurant just pockets the money. Big money.


They would gladly market you a gift card today for a hamburger tomorrow. However there"s naught in it for the consumer.

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So why are we so glad to oblige?

So what is the most famous sandwich upsell in ours overweight, aging society? It"s bacon, that course.


Robert L. Mitchell writes on a wide selection of topics, including analytics, arising technologies, eco-friendly IT and data centers.