Monday, October 22, 2012
Imagine sitting at a train station. The speaker has just announced your fate: the train is late. Ten minutes is not a big deal, you think. But delays are nasty creatures at Central Station in Warsaw. They tend to grow longer and longer. McDonald's owns a store near the station and although there was not much we could do about the delays, we thought we could have some fun with the waiting times and be informative, too. In collaboration with PKP (Polish State Railways), we programmed a special timetable and installed it on the way to McDonald's. It tells you departure time, destination, platform and waiting time measured not in minutes or hours but in hamburgers, cokes and fries you could eat before your train leaves. The longer you wait, the more menu items show up on the screen. If your train is delayed (you bet it will be), the timetable adds menu items accordingly. Passengers started to use it immediately and now spend more time at the local McDonald's. Within just a month the timetable attracted 4,500 extra customers. It is still receiving unexpected amounts of publicity: front pages of local newspapers, Polish and American TV, and countless blogs and sites.