McDonald's Manager Shows Why Ice Cream Machines Break So Often

An alleged store manager has shown the lengthy process involved in setting up a McDonald's ice cream machine after cleaning, which he described as the main reason they're so often not working.

McDonald's seemingly ever-broken ice cream machines have long been a cause of frustration for customers. In fact, Richard Adams, a consultant to McDonald's franchisees, told the Wall Street Journal that a survey he conducted once estimated that around 25 percent of the restaurants weren't selling ice cream because of broken machines.

Popular site even tracks the outages of the machines across the U.S., showing live updates on whether or not they're working.

Using the TikTok account @essentialmcdonalds, the manager has shared various behind-the-scenes looks at the stores and how they're run, including a recent viral video on the difference between round and folded eggs.

Two days ago, the anonymous manager shared how the machine is re-assembled after being cleaned, in a lengthy process whittled down to a two minute video.

For just the shake side of the machine, 24 parts were used. "The first step here is you're going to insert your controls for your pumps so these basically are on motors and they'll make the pumps run," he continued.


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Various pieces were added into the machine's pump, before it is placed into the machine and attached to the motor. The assembly process continued, including adding scrapers. After a long line of other pieces and steps, the handle is attached at the end. "Then you just fill it up with ice cream and then it's done," he summarized.

The video can be seen in full here.

According to the alleged store manager, the complete assembly took a total of "about four hours" and that "even after assembling it perfectly and filling it, it is not working."

Customers responded with regret for ever being annoyed at stores or employees for being unable to fulfill orders because of the machines reliability problems. One user wrote: "On behalf of all McDonald's customers, we apologize for talking sh*t, under our breath, about all workers that say 'the ice cream machine is down.'"

According to investigations, another major cause of problems with the ice cream machines are vigorous cleaning routines, along with a nightly four-hour heat clean to get rid of bacteria.

A company called Taylor produces the machines, and a report by Wired in April 2021 revealed that the firm does not provide information on the inner workings of the machines or how to fix them to McDonald's stores. This means that only approved distributors are able to repair the machines when they do break.

Recently, a startup called Kytch sued Taylor, alleging that the company had conspired to copy one of its devices to sabotage business. Kytch created and sold a small device that intercepts the date of the ice cream machines, helping McDonald's restaurant owners to diagnose their errors themselves and make the machines work efficiently, without the need of an outside provider.

Newsweek has contacted McDonald's for comment.