McDonald's Might Finally Be Fixing Its Ice Cream Machines

The ice cream machines at McDonald's are broken so often, they have become a meme. Twitter users who are out of cash are "as broke as a McDonald's ice cream machine." Emotionally vulnerable people on Twitter might say, "Just call me a McDonald's ice cream machine because I break down a lot." A U.S. senator recently tweeted that he would call on the Senate to take a break until next month. In response, @jschaeff23 said, "You guys work as much as the McDonald's ice cream machine." You get the idea.

McDonald's own Twitter account sometimes replies to complaints about the ice cream machines. The standard response is, "Our ice cream machines are cleaned daily. ... Sorry for any inconvenience." At least once, though, McDonald's Twitter got in on the McRibbing about the dysfunctional machines: "We have a joke about our soft serve machine but we're worried it won't work." McDonald's announced more than three years ago that it was replacing its notoriously disabled ice cream machines (via Business Insider), but the chain hasn't said anything since then about installing upgraded equipment.

Some independent restaurant owners aren't laughing at the jokes, and they aren't holding their collective breath for new machines either. Instead, they want to fix McDonald's ice cream machines, once and for all. (After that, they'll be ready to tackle world peace.)

A team of McDonald's owners is on a mission to fix the ice cream machines

A man in charge of McDonald's equipment at the national level said a new team of restaurant owners and suppliers is devoted to solving the ice cream machine problem. "We won't stop until we get this right," Tyler Gamble said. According to a report from Business Insider, some problems with the machines happen when they are underfilled or overfilled. Also, the ice cream machines require heat cleaning that can take up to four hours.

Some restaurants have made progress on the ice cream-machine problem with a software called Kytch that makes the machines smarter. They can tell when a machine is too full or not full enough, when a part is on the verge of breaking and when an employee is using the machine wrong (via Business Insider). The software can also make sure the automatic heat cleaning happens at the right time. That fix alone might prevent tweets like this one from Matt Vensel: "Everyone knows every McDonald's on this planet ... shuts down its ice cream machine at sundown."

Gamble, the guy from the special ice cream machine team, said the Kytch software would help but was "no silver bullet." We'll see what else the team comes up with. Meanwhile, Twitter has some ideas of its own. One idea is so simple, it just might work. "Why doesn't @McDonalds just have two ice cream machines and end this national nightmare," @childeharr tweeted.