If you get frustrated when you make a special trip to McDonald's only to find out the ice cream machine is broken, you are not alone. Internet memes about the perpetually disappointing McDonald's ice cream machine have circulated forever, but it appears that someone is finally taking those jokes seriously.
Rumors of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into the malfunctioning machines have hit the web, so we could finally have the answer to the age-old question: Why is the McDonald's ice cream machine always broken? Read on for everything we know so far.
The FTC is seeking details on reported issues with McDonald's ice cream machines.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 1, 2021, that the FTC has sent the franchise owners of McDonald's a letter requesting more information about issues with the ice cream machinery. Previously, The Hill noted that McDonald's owners have said the machines are "difficult to repair and require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can fail, requiring technicians to make the machines work again."
The report also explains that the FTC specifically wants to know about the suppliers of the ice cream machinery and whether or not restaurant employees are allowed to work on the machines. While the repeated breakdowns of the ice cream machines have been the cause of online petitions and a website known as McBroken, not much has been done to alleviate the issue.
A statement from McDonald's USA to The Hill denies rumors of the FTC investigation, saying there is "no reason to believe we are the focus of an FTC investigation." They also added, "Nothing is more important to us than delivering on our high standards for food quality and safety, which is why we work with fully vetted partners that can reliably provide safe solutions at scale."
However, McDonald's does recognize that the repeated frustration from customers has raised an issue, and they have established a team to address the broken machines. The company also says they have plans to help with the machines by doing two things. First, it will implement new training for employees to better address issues with broken machines, and second, it will provide more consistent maintenance checks on the machines themselves.
McDonald's promises are heartening, but until milkshake and McFlurry fans see results, it might seem too good to be true. Many users on Twitter have commented on the McDonald's ice cream machine situation, adding in their own experiences and thoughts on the matter. "They're not broken. No one wants to clean them," one user says.
Another user suggested a theory that could provide additional insight into the reason the FTC would want to investigate the machines. "The company that makes the machines purposely makes them poorly and with software that is prone to breaking, then takes a cut of all repairs," one user grimly states.
The faulty repairs theory is elaborated on further by another user, who claims, "McDonald's has an agreement with a company that makes the machines, named Taylor. McDonald's franchise owners can't call anyone else to come to fix those machines but a Taylor technician. It's literally in their contract. A quarter of Taylor's revenue comes from fixing McDonald's machines."
Could we be watching the next McDonald's scandal unfold? After all, McMillions wasn't too long ago...