New invention could make “broken” McFlurry machines a thing of the past

Illustration for article titled New invention could make “broken” McFlurry machines a thing of the past
Photo: McDonald’s

Last fall, McDonald’s released a new Cinnamon Cookie Latte, which we offered our unvarnished opinion on. A Snickerdoodle McFlurry was also released at this time, which I did not review, because the ice cream machine at McDonald’s was broken. I stopped in every single day for a week, and every single day, I was told I could not have a Snickerdoodle McFlurry. This is not an isolated issue. McDonald’s—the largest restaurant chain in the entire world—has not yet managed to ensure that all locations have a functional piece of equipment to produce an item that has been on the menu since 1997. So, the news that someone is at last attempting to fix this issue is a very, very big deal.

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According to Business Insider, a software company called Kytch has developed a device that can be added onto McDonald’s existing soft serve machines that is able to quickly correct any minor malfunctions and give employees detailed system information when the machine (inevitably) breaks down.

One of the more common issues with the soft serve machine is its automated cleaning cycle, which can take up to four hours to run. Kytch’s device ensures that this process launches when it’s supposed to, while also fixing any issues caused by human error, such as over-filling or under-filling the machine. The device is designed to collect and store data to better predict when the machine is on schedule to do its usual “breaking down for no good reason” thing, and is able to tip off employees before disaster strikes.

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Though the device was introduced in May 2019, McDonald’s has not been requiring any of its franchisees to adopt the new device. Hopefully, these franchisees will decide to do so on their own, because Shamrock Shake season is nearly upon us.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

I had always heard the reason the machine was “broken” was because it required periodic cleaning (every few days, I’ve heard 4 as the interval) and it was a PAIN IN THE ASS to clean. So rather than cleaning it, employees would just say it was broken and carry on.