McDonald's Manager Claims That Each Ice Cream Cone Should Have Only 2.5 Swirls

McDonald's workers are expected to count how many soft serve swirls they make when preparing ice cream menu items, according to an employee's video.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Jun. 13 2023, Published 4:56 p.m. ET

McDonalds ice cream cone

If you’ve ever gone to McDonald's for an ice cream cone and were turned away because the ice cream machine was allegedly broken, you are not alone. All across the country, people have had this same exact experience. It seems that no matter which McDonald's location you visit, there is always a decent chance that the ice cream machine will be down without a valid explanation.

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For years, this absolute tragedy plaguing fast food consumers has been a topic of constant conversation on social media. As one user wrote on Twitter: "Why is the #McDonalds ice cream machine always broken? I can never order a sundae."

In fact, the problem became so bad that the Federal Trade Commission allegedly started looking into the chain's ice cream defunct machines in 2021, per the Wall Street Journal.

Given all this controversy regarding McDonald's ice cream machines, you might be inclined to think that McDonald's doesn't put too much effort into preparing their ice cream menu items. After all, burgers are their specialty.

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person being handed food at McDonalds drive thru
Source: Getty images

But according to a TikTok posted by an employee, the fast food giant actually has painstakingly specific protocols regarding ice cream menu item prep — or at least in this one location, they do. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the TikTok below. Apparently, employees are expected to have each item down to a precise number of swirls.

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Video claims that each McDonald's ice cream menu item is supposed to have a certain number of swirls.

TikTok user @documentingmylifek shared some incredible insights about the guidelines McDonald's employees are expected to follow when serving ice cream to a customer.

@documentingmylifek, who claims to work at the chain, started off her video by showing a photo of a McDonald's soft-serve vanilla cone that she made at work.

"Me showing off my cone I made for myself to the groupchat," she wrote, noting that she sent a photo of her admirable cone coworkers in a group chat.

But apparently, she didn't get the feedback she was hoping for.

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Her video then shows a screenshot of what looks to be a post from a private Facebook group that was shared after she sent out the ice cream photo. The post appears to have been written by a higher-up at the McDonald's location she works.

"Do we know how many swirls go on a cone, sundae, and McFlurry?"

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mcdonalds vanilla soft serve cone
Source: McDonalds

It continues: "The amount of swirls is vital in our stat used and correct sundae consumption. The fact that we are losing a lot of sundae mix is heavily due to people not making the products properly."

The post then goes on to list the expected amount of swirls each ice cream menu item should have. Brace yourself.

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For cones, there should be 2.5 swirls above the top of the cone. For small sundaes, the number increases to 4.5 swirls. And for large sundaes and McFlurries, there should be 5.5 swirls.

TikTok, of course, got a kick of this.

"I would've laugh reacted" chirped one user.

Another wrote, "This can't be real."

And one user said that the same thing happened to them when they worked at McDonald's.

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tiktok comment
Source: tiktok

For the record, it is currently unclear if these numbers were just one manager's expectation for their location or if it was the company's expectation for all restaurants.

However, it is pretty ironic that there are such specific guidelines for soft serve in a place where the ice cream machine is notoriously broken. Not to mention, these numbers sound pretty low. I mean, 2.5 swirls for an ice cream cone? Please McDonald's, we need McMore!

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