The Truth Behind Why McDonald’s Ice Cream Machine Always Broken

McDonald’s has been serving ice cream since the late 1940s, and since then, there have been many upgrades done to the ice cream’s recipe and flavors. You can try various flavors of McFlurry besides your plain ol’ Sundae. You can check the menu prices and order some for yourself.

Oftentimes when people order their favorite flavor, the ice cream machine is broken. There have been many complaints regarding the McDonald’s broken ice cream machine, yet McDonald’s has done nothing significant to fix it.

McDonald’s has been bashed by people so often on social media that there are full-time memes, especially on broken ice cream machines. With the number of complaints increasing, the curiosity about the broken machine is also growing.

It might sound a bit intimidating, but McDonald’s ice cream machines are usually not broken or down. Even a McDonald’s employee cleared out that they often need cleaning, but the customers always get the broken machine reply.

According to The Wall Street Journal, around 3% of McDonald’s revenue is generated from selling ice creams. If we calculate the 3%, it will come to around $7,650,000 a year. 

So, why is McDonald’s not doing anything about the broken ice cream machine when it contributes so much to its profit? Is it really broken, or is there some hidden truth behind this? 

Let’s reveal the truth and close this nagging question many of us have been asking at McDonald’s.

Real Reason Why McDonald’s Ice Machines Are Always Broken

McDonald's Ice Cream

When you go to McDonald’s and order McFlurry, you might get the broken machine answer, but often the machine is not broken. A post by one of the McDonald’s employees on Quora stated that either the machine needs maintenance or is in a heat treatment cycle. 

There can be chances that the device is overheated from overuse or simply needs cleaning of the machine. 

One of the employees also clarified that the McDonald’s ice cream machine takes long hours to clean, and this is an everyday task. 

When the machine is being cleaned, no ice cream can be served. Most of the time, the employees are juggling between so many orders that they cannot find time to clean the machine and usually reply that the machine is broken.

Another interesting fact related to the McDonald’s ice cream machine is that there is a secret passcode called a jumper, where the cleaning of the machine can be skipped.

Taylor, the ice cream machine manufacturer, has said that even though the cleaning process is long, they do not want to compromise the process and serve unsafe products to the customer. He also referred to skipping the cleaning process as a grave issue. 

McDonald’s announced that they would replace the soft serve machine with something which takes less maintenance cleaning time, but there has yet to be anything done for the same.

Not only cleaning but if the machine is overused, it gets heated, and the first thing for an ice cream machine to work is to be cold enough to freeze the ingredients. If, in any case, the machine is actually broken, then that is a massive problem. 

The specialty of the McDonald’s machine is that it can be fixed only by the technicians from Taylor’s company. This is also a big reason why McDonald’s ice cream machines take longer to fix.

How Are McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Different?

We have already learned that Taylor Company manufactures McDonald’s ice cream machines. Therefore the functioning of the McDonald’s ice cream machine is different from other ice cream machines.

The main components in the soft serve machine are a hopper, a barrel, and a scraper blade. Many sources state that the ingredients used in making the ice cream go through the hopper into the barrel, where they are frozen.

Then the barrel spins, and thin sheets of frozen ingredients are pulled by a scraper blade which is repeatedly mixed to reduce the ice crystals. After this, ice cream is passed through the nozzle and comes out from the machine from where it is served on the cone. 

Now, McDonald’s has a little different function. It is much more advanced than regular ice cream machines. The McDonald’s machine has two barrels and two hoppers, along with a pump that can serve not only ice creams but milkshakes. 

This also helps McDonald’s to sell around ten ice creams in just a minute. The machine is made from many interconnecting parts which need to be disabled, sanitized, and then assembled again.

In one of the interviews with Wired, one of the McDonald’s employees responsible for cleaning the McDonald’s ice cream machine said that he has done this cleaning process 100 times, but only 10 of the times did it work properly on the first attempt. 

Now, you can understand that it is not just cleaning but assembling the machine parts in the right place that is very crucial. If anything is missed or misplaced, then the machine can go crazy or not function at all.

In 2022, McDonald’s Got Sued Because Of Their Ice Cream Machines Being Broken

McDonald's Ice Cream

Yes, you read it right. McDonald’s got sued because of their ice cream machines being broken.

When everyone was tired of hearing about broken machines while ordering McFlurry or other ice creams, a technology startup developed a device that could help the ice cream machine operators monitor the machine, reducing the machine’s downtime. 

Then the co-founder of this startup company, Kytch, has sued McDonald’s for around $900 million.

This happened because the company Kytc Developed this device in 2019, promoted this to most of the McDonald’s stores, and was used by the owners of the McDonald’s restaurants.

However, an official email sent by McDonald’s recommended pulling off the Kytch device as it was harmful. The email by McDonald’s claimed that the device violated the warranties of the machine and intercepted confidential information.

Also, McDonald’s claimed that the machine could be unsafe and cause severe human injuries.

In response to the email from McDonald’s, the company dismissed all the allegations and said all the claims were baseless and false.

He also mentioned that McDonald’s used those emails to promote a new machine with its partner company Taylor which will have similar features to the device developed by the Kytch company.

According to Wired, the co-founder of Kytch company, Melissa Nelson, said that these emails have not only resulted in McDonald’s ice cream machines being broken but also downgraded the company’s name and scared away the customers from using their devices. 

She also claimed that McDonald’s knew that there was nothing wrong with their device but still refused to use it so that they could give benefits to the producers of ice cream machines. 

Melissa also said that McDonlad’s lied about the new product they were supposed to release.

Wired also mentioned that in a few interviews with the outlet owners, they agreed that the device developed by Kytch solved their problems and helped them save a lot of money.

In this case, there have been allegations on both sides of the parties. McDonald’s not only asked franchises not to use the device but also warned other big companies to stay away from this unsafe device. 

In return, Kytch claimed that if they had not sabotaged their business with false allegations, then the worth of the company would be around $900 million. That is why Kytch is seeking $900 million from McDonald’s. 

How McDonald’s Can Fix Their Broken Ice Cream Machines?

McDonald's Ice Cream

As of now, we understand that McDonald’s uses a specific machine manufactured by Taylor company. It is also important to note that if there is any error or the machine is not working, then only Taylor’s technicians can fix the machine.

 One more thing which has been noticed is that the employees of McDonald’s have different machines, and when the technicians from the Taylor company visit, they carry other secretive machine manuals. 

So, it is evident that there are a few things that the manufacturers of the machine want to keep from knowing. This directly helped the machine company to earn money from repairing the machines. The charges are not paid by McDonald’s but are borne by the franchise owners. 

The very first step for McDonald’s to fix its broken ice cream machine is not to let Taylor misuse the repairing process.

The device developed by Kytch was also a helpful device that could save a lot of time and money, but McDonald’s needed to show more faith in the device.

In a post by Medium, it is mentioned that Taylor has intentionally set the machine to fail so that the workers from its company can repair the machine and generate revenue.

If McDonald’s seriously wants its customers to have the McFlurry or ice creams without any disappointment, then they should really work with the machine manufacturer to solve the issues related to the machine. 

How Can You Check If Your Nearest McDonald’s Ice Cream Machine Is Working?

We are still determining when McDonald’s will solve the broken machine problem, but there is a way to check if your nearest McDonald’s ice machine is working. This will save you time, and you can have your McFlurry whenever you want. 

A 24-year-old boy launched a website that can tell you if your nearest McDonald’s outlet’s ice cream machine is in working condition or not.

The website has a map of the United States covered with dots. The green dots mean that the machine is in warning condition, and the red dot tells that the machine is down or not working. 

The website is created by reverse engineering the McDonald’s API. Rashiq, who has developed this website, tweeted that he places the order rods worth $ $18,752 every minute at every McDonald’s in the US and figures out which locations have a broken ice cream machine.”

He also mentioned that no order is executed, and no ice cream is wasted.

This website has helped many people and has become a significant development. You can also simply visit the website and check whether your nearest McDonald’s ice cream machine is working.

Conspiracy Theories Regarding McDonald’s Broken Ice Cream Machine

McDonald's Ice Cream

One of the famous conspiracy theories related to McDonald’s broken ice cream is that many times there are errors that are intentionally embedded so that the employees are forced to call Taylor’s technicians to repair them.

Many posts and articles have claimed that McDonald’s franchise owners are bound to use Taylor’s machine only. Their franchise will likely be canceled if they use any other company’s machine. 

Another theory stated that only Taylor’s technicians could fix the machine.

This meant that Taylor generated money through repairs and repair services. In response, Taylor clarified that no profit was generated from the repairs.

However, according to the company’s own requisition, it was stated that 25% of revenue came from “recurring parts and services business.”


Nobody is sure whether the McDonald’s ice cream machine is going to be fixed or not. From time to time, McDonald’s is assured that they are working on repairing the machine and bringing in some new technology to avoid such problems.

However, all these have been false promises till now. 

Even if you are not able to enjoy McFlurry, you can try McDonald’s coke because it tastes better than the regular ones. If you want to know the reason behind this, then check out our blog here.

Also, many McDonald’s fans are finding some logic behind the fact that Sprite in McDonlad’s tastes so good. So, try out these two drinks when you visit McDonald’s and know it yourself. 

We will be back with more interesting facts and information. Until then, try your luck ordering some ice cream from McDonald’s.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a McFlurry cost at McDonald’s?

The price of a regular Oreo McFlurry is $4.99.

Is McDonald’s ice cream machine always broken?

No, many times, either the machine is not cleaned or not cold enough to freeze the ingredients; therefore, the employees simply answer that it is broken.

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