Have you ever hit up Mickey D's hoping for an ice cream cone, a sundae, a McFlurry, or even a shake, only to be told no, you can't get one because our soft-serve machine is down? Of course you have, since McDonald's ice cream machines are always broken, or so it seems. What is up with this? McDonald's has supposedly been serving up ice cream in some form or other since 1940, so that's 80 years of disappointment! Why is this?
Supposedly, while the machines themselves may occasionally malfunction, in most cases "the machine is down" means that the extremely lengthy and labor-intensive cleaning process that each machine needs is either underway or the McDonald's crew members don't have time to go through the whole four-hour ordeal or even, at times, that the crew has just finished cleaning the machine and they don't want to dirty it up again quite so soon. Basically, the more downtime the soft-serve machine has, the less of a pain in the rear it is for employees tasked with keeping it clean.
Well, all that is maybe — finally! — about to change. While McDonald's has not invested in replacing all of its ice cream machines with newer, easier-to-clean versions as they once promised to do, they have made available to franchisees a certain piece of equipment that will supposedly make it simpler to keep the old machines clean and functioning as they should.
How a new device can help old McDonald's ice cream machines
This new piece of equipment was developed by a software company called Kytch, and is being referred to by People simply as "the Kytch device." According to its developer, this device will be able to ensure that the cleaning cycle takes place when it's scheduled to happen.
It can also correct human errors such as under- or over-filling the machine, and can even collect data that will allow it to anticipate if part of the machine is about to break. In such a case, it can warn the employees and even — this should be fun — narc on them and tattletale about any issues that may have been caused by one of the crew members.
What will this mean for McDonald's customers?
As far as McDonad's customers go, though, it may mean that nothing is changing. While McDonald's has made the Kytch device available to its franchisees since May 2019, the company isn't pushing any locations to adopt them. Nor does the device actually reduce the amount of time needed to clean the machines, and — most importantly — it is certainly not going to ensure that employees are actually telling the truth about whether the machine is up and running.
Still, should your local McDonald's have implemented the Kytch device, this indicates that management is at least going to expect a certain level of ice cream availability. In this case, there's less likelihood that the store will be able to get away with claiming that their soft-serve machine is always offline. At any rate, it might mean you might actually have a chance to try the new Oreo Shamrock McFlurrys! If your Mickey D's doesn't have one of these new devices, though, you may have as much chance of scoring a Shamrock Shake as you do of finding leprechaun gold.