A TikTok user named Johnny Harris has broken down the real reason why McDonald's' ice cream machines are constantly broken and unable to serve guests the frozen treat they want. In a TikTok video (via @behindthebrands) Harris explains that longtime conspiracy theories about McDonald's employees messing with customers aren't true. In fact, the inconsistency in McDonald's ice cream service can be explained by a much simpler reason: bad machinery, and inconvenient servicing. As you can see in the TikTok video below, the company that supplies McDonald's with its ice cream machines has some pretty unreliable protocols in place that end up robbing consumers of the chance to get their desserts.
Taylor Company is the supplier of McDonald's ice cream machines. One main janitorial function of the Taylor ice cream machines is their daily self-cleaning process - which takes no less than four hours to complete! If that wasn't already a major impediment to consumers getting their McDonald's ice cream, it's stated that the Taylor machines often get stalled by mysterious errors during their four-hour cleaning cycle - forcing a whole new cleaning cycle to begin. Even worse, if a Taylor machine outright breaks down during a cleaning session (which happens all too frequently), then a McDonald's location has no other choice but to call a Taylor Company technician in, as the sole person qualified to fix and reset the machine. Additional insights from McDonald's ex-employees have gone viral - such as one who stated that Taylor's machines also are so high-priced that each McDonald's location only gets one. That one ice cream machine can quickly overheat if too many customers put in orders, causing temporary shutdowns in addition to the longer ones caused by cleaning.
The TikTok video is careful in its wording, but the unspoken implication is definitely there: Taylor Company actually profits from these machine failures, and therefore it may be a part of the business model. Taylor technicians can apparently cost over $300 for every 15 minutes they're doing repair work; repair service and replacement parts on machines also reportedly account for about 25% of Taylor Company's revenue.
The question of McDonald's failing ice cream machines has become an outright cultural phenomenon, at this point. There are now actual apps that track McDonald's locations with working ice cream machines, to help diners circumvent disappointment. That app got so popular that McDonald's own National Supply Leadership Council equipment team member (and franchise owner) Tyler Gamble had to make a public pledge last fall to fix things:
"I will not feel that my tenure as your equipment lead has been a success unless we find a way to ensure that McDonald's is no longer the butt of the joke, even with their own social media team,” Gamble said, according to Business Insider.
How do you feel about McDonald's ice cream machine problem? Is it time for a new vendor?