McDonald’s inability to serve ice cream has long been the subject of jokes, since their ice cream machines are almost always out of order, so you may as well not order a McFlurry. When you do, odds are that the answer will come back through the drive-through speaker, “Machine’s broken.” We have all become used to it, so it came as a surprise to learn that the Federal Trade Commission is looking into why these machines are constantly broken. The short answer that’s been around for years is that cleaning the machine is so complicated, workers often just skip it. There’s more to it than that.
The mystery surrounding the machines has been long documented. They’re notoriously hard to clean, and when their nightly automated maintenance fails, the franchise must wait for a repair technician. There have been some fixes for this. The startup Kytch launched a device that alerts owners to breakdowns, providing them with a clear message for what went wrong. Currently, the machines themselves, produced by Taylor Commercial Foodservice LLC, offer messages that are as clear as a McFlurry with messages like “ERROR: XSndhUIF LHPR>45F 1HR LPROD too VISC.” What a joy it must be to read that message while working a backed-up McDonald’s drive-thru during a global pandemic.
It’s possible to be a little too high-tech, I guess. But somehow, Dairy Queen and other fast food outlets manage to serve ice cream all day long. The real question is what can, or will, the FTC, or McDonald’s, do about it? Read more at the A.V. Club.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.