Nothing can make your day better quite like a McFlurry. Coming from McDonalds, one of the biggest fast food chains in the world, with over 38,000 locations in 100 countries, the McFlurry is an exceptional treat. Along with their Hot Fudge Sundaes and Milkshakes, the desserts are a must get. Unfortunately for people all over the world, acquiring a delicious McDonalds treat can be a difficult because McDonalds soft serve machines are often broken.

Photo: New York Times
The McDonalds Ice Cream Machine functions properly.

This problem is so pervasive that software engineer Rashiq Zahid created a website that tracks the status of McDonalds ice cream machines across the world. This website, called McBroken, uses bots to place mobile orders of ice cream to see what locations can fulfill its request. The groundbreaking results of the McBroken studies were a shock to the McDonalds community.

The rates vary widely from place to place. Across New York over a quarter of machines are not working, whereas in San Jose only under four percent of machines are broken. Fortunately, the number of working machines in Atlanta is promising with around 95 percent of machines churning out the frozen, creamy delight.

The reason for the malfunctions in the machines is their daily self wash. If there is an error following the wash, the machine will display an unclear sign on their screen that employees don’t understand. In order to fix these Taylor Co. machines, a Taylor employee must be hired to fix the problem. This costly process is time consuming. 

Fortunately, solutions to this problem have come up. A device called a Kytch was developed to send instructions for repair directly to an owner or manager’s smartphone allowing for quicker repairs. In response to the Kytch, McDonalds told its franchisees to pull the Kytch device, claiming that it was dangerous. Now Kytch founders Melissa Nelson and Jeremy O’Sullivan are suing McDonalds for 900 million dollars on the basis of defamation.

So when you are craving a McDonalds treat, use McBroken to make sure that your nearest McDonalds location has a working ice cream machine in order to avoid wasting your time and disappointment.

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