It happened. AGAIN. Rarely do I have a craving for a delicious vanilla cone or mouth-watering Oreo McFlurry, but on the occasion I do I am usually met with the same frustrating 6 words that all of us have heard WAY TOO MANY TIMES:

Our ice cream machine is down

Really? It's down again? It's down more than Disturbed with the sickness. The Mcdonald's shake machine is down more than Chumbawumba gets knocked down and gets back up again.

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But why? Why is it that the nation's number 1 fast food company can master the art of fountain pop, french fries, and turn chicken into amazing nuggets of yum yum isn't able to keep an ice cream dispenser operating during business hours?

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Why the Mcdonald's Ice Cream Machine is Always 'Down'...Maybe

Remember a few years back, when angry McDonald's franchisees demanded a fix for the frozen treat makers? The issue they faced is that Taylor Freezer Company, the maker of McDonald's ice cream machines, have a 4-hour cleaning process. This procedure has been the butt of internet memes and punchlines for comedians and late night hosts for years. There's even an app devoted to showing the locations throughout the United States where McDonalds shake machines are out of order.

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Easy, you think. Just have the 3rd shift start the cleaning cycle and it will be ready by the morning. Right? You'd think so, but the issue they faced was the automated process could stop in the middle, near the beginning, or almost at the completion of the cleaning protocol and produce an error. An error meant that the entire 4-hour operation needed to start all over again. Why? Because the Taylor shake machines didn't provide a readout of what went wrong.


Enter a small company by the name of Kytch, which developed software to talk to the machine and provide a message via an app to tell you where it went wrong. Armed with this knowledge, they could start the process from where it errored. Great! Problem solved.

Not really. You see Taylor told McDonald's that using the app would void the warranty. Kytch lost the deal, and Taylor developed their own app and it works as well as the shake machines. Not very well at all. A lawsuit was filed by Kytch in 2022, for the amount of $900 million dollars. Part of the lawsuit alleges that a Mcdonald's franchise gave Taylor access to the start-up's software, allowing them to copy it.

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Oh, forgot one other little nugget. No other company other than Taylor is allowed to provide maintenance for the machines.


Is this a case of big business looking out for big business? Is McDonald's protecting a partner and losing revenue daily? Johny Harris, an internet vlogger, did an in-depth dive into the conspiracies surrounding Mcdonald's failure to fix a seemingly easy problem. If you have 30 minutes to spare, watch it below:

I'm not sure what your response is to "Our ice cream machine is down", but mine is "I'm sorry to hear that, please cancel my order". Then it's off to Culvers or Wendy's, whose ice cream machines have yet to fail me.

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