McDonald's ice-cream machines slammed for always being broken – but their 'repair racket' scandal explains why

MCDONALD'S is constantly being slammed for having broken ice-cream machines, but a "repair racket" scandal may give some insight into the issue.

The ice cream machines were allegedly so problematic that a tech start-up company attempted to find a soft-serve solution, but they ran into some trouble along the way.


The great mind behind the machine that may or may not provide you with a McFlurry is an Illinois-based company called Taylor.

This company has exclusively provided McDonald's with its soft serve machines for decades, CBS reported.

Their utility is up for debate, however.

People are constantly turning to Twitter to announce frustrations like the machine being "broken for a month now."

There's even a site called McBroken that was designed to track which stores reported their machines as broken.

This figure is as high as 26.53 percent in New York City and 19.15 percent in Washington DC, as of this week.

McDonald's claims the machines' breakdowns are highly exaggerated, but the cultural punchline remains relevant.

After allegedly being burned by Taylor's products, two founders of a line of frozen-yogurt kiosks came together to find solutions to the machines.

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The founders, O'Sullivan and Taylor, used their knowledge of Taylor's machine to create Kytch, a tiny computer that can be attached to the front of the soft-serve machine.

"It decrypts very complicated messaged that your typical employee may not understand," Nelson said.

The tech start-up founder said that the computer can allow employees to do some troubleshooting rather than having to reach out to Taylor for help.

They claimed that McDonald's owners loved the product, and they even got a thumbs-up from the head of the franchise owners' equipment team.

However, Kytch said that Taylor had been apparently developing their own similar device that can "do the same thing Kytch is doing," a Taylor executive allegedly said.

At the end of 2020, O'Sullivan said McDonald's sent out a mass email saying to not use Kytch.

McDonald's claimed in the memo that a Kytch remote control could start the machine while an employee was working on it, potentially causing injury.

The co-founders denied the legitimacy of this claim.

Nonetheless, Kytch stopped getting clients, their business dried up, and they're suing Taylor and McDonald's for millions of dollars.

"There is a bunch of stuff in here that is super-illegal. You can't say something is dangerous when it's not dangerous," O'Sullivan said.

Nelson said, "It's mainly about false advertisement, interfering with out business expectancy."

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McDonald's apparently called the lawsuit "meritless" and Taylor said it is "built on false allegations."

However, Taylor stopped work on their own device until the lawsuit concludes, CBS said.

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