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Here’s why the McDonald’s ice cream machines are never working

All we want is an M&M McFlurry

A customer walks in a McDonald's restaurant, in London, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. McDonalds says it has pulled milkshakes from the menu in all 1,250 of its British restaurants because of supply problems stemming from a shortage of truck drivers. The fast-food chain says it is also experiencing shortages of bottled drinks. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A customer walks in a McDonald's restaurant, in London, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. McDonalds says it has pulled milkshakes from the menu in all 1,250 of its British restaurants because of supply problems stemming from a shortage of truck drivers. The fast-food chain says it is also experiencing shortages of bottled drinks. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

When you go to McDonald’s, you almost expect the ice cream machine to be broken. The problem is so persistent that many don’t know when they will be able to get their next McFlurry.

So, why are the machines always broken?

An article by The Wall Street Journal tells us that the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached out to several McDonald’s franchises over the summer to find answers. McDonald’s owners expressed that the ice cream machines are overly complicated and not easy to fix when they break down.

These machines require a nightly cleaning cycle that can take up to 4 hours and if the cycle fails, the machine requires a repair technician to get it up and running.

McDonald’s has said that they understand the frustrations and are introducing new solutions such as new training for employees and regular maintenance checkups. However, some McDonald’s locations that need their machines fixed urgently have started paying employees for training on how to fix the machines.

A Taylor Commercial Foodservice LLC representative told the WSJ that, “A lot of what’s been broadcasted can be attributed to the lack of knowledge about the equipment and how they operate in the restaurants.”

According to the WSJ, the FTC wants to know how McDonald’s reviews suppliers and equipment, including the ice cream machines, and how often restaurant owners are allowed to work on their own machines. Owners are allowed to repair equipment as they see fit, but the warranty on the machines isn’t valid if they fix machines on their own. One franchisee said wait times for repair have grown during the pandemic.

For the time being it looks like customers will have to keep waiting for their beloved McDonald’s McFlurries unless they find a location with a working machine.


About the Author:

Kamryn Buza joined 10 News as an intern in September 2021.