And franchisees are working to fix them.

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Credit: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

While it's been a weird year for restaurants, it's safe to say that the Travis Scott meal succeeded beyond McDonald's wildest dreams. Recently, they kept the celebrity order momentum going with help from J Balvin, a Colombian reggaeton artist whose meal includes a Big Mac, fries, and an Oreo McFlurry. But to hear the internet talk about it, the meal might be tough to acquire given how often McDonald's ice cream machines break down. 

Those non-functional ice cream machines have been the butt of jokes at McDonald's expense for a long time now, to the point that there's a dedicated app meant to help you find a working one. Now, franchisees are fed up to the point that they're actually going to do something about it. 

At a recent meeting of the National Owners Association, a big group of independent McDonald's franchisees established a National Supply Leadership Council team whose mission will be to find a way to make those pesky soft serve machines more reliable— by any means necessary. According to Tyler Gamble, a National Supply Leadership Council representative who spoke to Business Insider, ''no idea is off the table.''

With a little luck, they won't have to invent a solution from scratch, either. A startup called Kytch recently unveiled a program called Kytch Gold, a bit of smart home-style tech which can help fast food restaurants diagnose problems with their soft serve machines in real time. Not only that, but Kytch also lets ice cream lovers know which fast food spots have an ice cream machine that's up and running, driving business to locations that have their ice cream act together. 

Kytch was given a test run at some Massachusetts Burger Kings over the summer, and certain McDonald's franchisees have given it a go as well. Any official seal of approval from McDonald's corporate headquarters is still pending, though, with the company telling Business Insider that it ''remains committed to providing a restaurant experience that our customers expect, [which] includes being able to purchase the sweet treats they enjoy from our dessert menu.''

Yes, McDonald's franchisees know that their soft serve machines are pretty crappy, but hopefully some help is on the way. Maybe someday in the not-too-distant future, most of them might even manage to work most of the time. Stay tuned.