Food Theory: McDonalds WANTS It Broken! The Secret of McDonalds Ice Cream

Food Theory: McDonalds WANTS It Broken! The Secret of McDonalds Ice Cream

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Have you ever gone to McDonalds dreaming of some cold, satisfying ice cream only to find the machine is BROKEN? Theorists, I sense something is afoot here. Today, I’m getting my metaphorical hands dirty and wading into the melty mess to find out if something shady is going on. I don’t think anyone is prepared for what we are going to find…

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Credits:
Writers: Matthew Patrick and Tom Robinson
Editors: AbsolutePixel , Jerika (NekoOnigiri), and Danial “BanditRants” Keristoufi
Assistant Editor: Caitie Turner (Caiterpillart)
Sound Editor: Yosi Berman

#McDonalds #IceCream #McFlurry #McDonaldsIceCream #FastFood #FoodTheory #MatPat #GameTheory #FilmTheory

Research:

https://mcbroken.com/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/mcdonalds-customer-hurls-objects-staff-19010250
https://www.wired.com/story/they-hacked-mcdonalds-ice-cream-makers-started-cold-war/?utm_brand=wired&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&mbid=social_twitter&utm_social-type=owned&s=03
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/02/327284967/frobot-creator-taking-frozen-yogurt-where-its-never-been-before?t=1619604048506
https://people.com/food/mcdonalds-franchisees-say-new-device-helps-employees-manage-ice-cream-machines/
https://kytch.com/landing
https://www.mashed.com/135144/the-real-reason-mcdonalds-ice-cream-machines-always-seem-to-be-broken/
https://www.facebook.com/Chickfila.MontroseCrossing/photos/our-ice-cream-machine-needs-some-love-this-morning-come-and-get-that-special-fir/906228262904766/

https://www.franchisedirect.com/foodfranchises/mcdonalds-franchise-07030/ufoc/

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws
https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/6-632-8692?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1831
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Vehicle_Owners%27_Right_to_Repair_Act#:~:text=The%20Motor%20Vehicle%20Owners
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronics_right_to_repair
https://static-pt.com/modelManual/TAF-C602_spm.pdf?v=1562905832341
https://www.repair.org/stand-up

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29 Responses

  1. Just Some Guy without a Mustache says:

    I always thought McDonald’s always has their ice cream machine broken, because it was never working in the first place.

  2. OwO says:

    The Ice Cream Machine is like a unfinished monster in a video game. It’s always broken, and yet terrifying.

  3. Emmett Ilnicki says:

    Once again, Matpat has come through with another reason to not take notice of the Golden Arches as you drive past all the fast food places on your way to your grandparents house. P.S can you do an episode on brain freezes, in the spirit of the ice cream machine and the cold weather

    • Ashton Neu says:

      Brain freeze is a simple autonomous action the human body undergoes when something you eat is to cold and hits nerve endings in your gums and causes your brain to interpret it as pain. You don’t need a theory episode on something that’s a fact.

    • Velvet Butterfly says:

      @Ashton Neu I believe it’s more specifically the upper back of the throat? Or there are multiple points. Inhaling cold air can also trigger it if your internal temperature is substantially different from the temperature of the air

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  4. littlechief 312 says:

    Wierdly enough I’ve never had this to me happen and I thought it was just a meme. I’ve gotten Ice Cream from McDonald’s a lot but never gotten told it was getting cleaned or it was broken. Also Matpat the Ice cream machine, well where I’m at, is usually in the front of the restaurant.

  5. Marijn Peppelman says:

    You’re forgetting one important detail on the repair service stuff Mat: McD does not pay Taylor, the franchisee does.

    Enforcing the use of Ice-cream machines with frequent breakdowns costs McD corporate literally nothing, but brings their partner Taylor more revenue.

    • Stan110 says:

      That is also the reason why some locations have broken machines for a long time, because they are not willing to spend another bucket of money on a machine that they would have kicked outside of it wasn’t for the rules.

    • Craxin01 says:

      Such a massive conflict of interest. Corporations are incentivized to serve their shareholders and not their customers, in this case their franchisees, which make us, the end customer, even less served. We need business to be incentivized to provide satisfaction to their customers and not people who have nothing to do with the day-to-day operation of the business.

    • Jannik Heidemann says:

      That is not a free market, nor efficient use of labour or capital.
      Even by free market capitalist standards that is just scummy.

  6. Void_Hunter 94 says:

    The other reason, at least in my experience from working for McDonalds, was either A. lazy workers/managers, or B. customers not understanding that the machine is on an automatic timer.

    A. I had a manager that refused to make shakes or ice cream, & would resort to telling customers that the machine was broken or being cleaned. After a while of having our sales drop, I retorted what was really going on, & that manager was fired for it.

    B. Every night, the machine automatically shuts off at 2 am for the heat cleaning. Occasionally, we would have customers that would refuse to take no as an answer, or understand that the machine was about to shut off. Unfortunately, if we’re in the process of making ice cream or a shake the very second the machine shuts off, it’ll lock up the machine & result in us having to call the machine specialist

  7. M'lady says:

    Right to repair is really, really important, especially when big companies like Apple are notoriously bad at fixing their own products, but your local small repair shop downtown which is a jack-of-all-trades can not only do it faster and cheaper more often than not, they may also treat you less like an idiot and more like an actual human being.

    • Shiny Delcatty says:

      Agreed. Unfortunately, I found out recently firsthand at a local repair shop that Apple can straight-up tell your devices to perform worse if they detect parts that didn’t come directly from them.

    • Jannik Heidemann says:

      @Shiny Delcatty I’m not uninclined to believe that and it wouldn’t suprise me at all.
      But before I let my confirmation bias delve myself into believing it, I have to ask for an actual measurement supporting that claim.

  8. Marcelo De Freitas says:

    As a McDonalds employee, I can attest to the stupid O rings. Literally had our machine stop working 3 times in a month because the O ring kept breaking. We had to wait about 4 days each time for a technician to come in.

  9. ur boi uncle JOE says:

    I’ve worked at a McDonalds for about 7 months now and I can confirm that it’s usually just because new mix got put in the machine and it’s still just ice cream soup. I’ve seen people try to serve the super liquidy stuff in shakes and people get pretty mad about it. It’s just easier to explain that it’s broken rather than not ready yet.

  10. Tinkle Me 4 [S]E.X says:

    The other reason, at least in my experience from working for McDonalds, was either A. lazy workers/managers, or B. customers not understanding that the machine is on an automatic timer.

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