For years, consumers have expressed frustration about being unable to get ice cream — particularly a McFlurry — from McDonald’s because of broken or otherwise incapacitated machines. Now, the Golden Arches is working to address the issue by providing restaurants with a new type of ice cream machine.
The Wall Street Journal reports that McDonald’s restaurants across the country — and in Europe — will soon debut new ice cream machines that are supposedly easier to maintain.
The new machines, which come with fewer parts, have already been put to use in some markets, a spokesperson for McDonald’s says, noting that they require less time to clean.
Maintenance and cleaning of the current ice cream machines was often associated with customers’ inability to score desserts — ice cream cones, sundaes, and McFlurries — from the Golden Arches.
Back in January, Consumerist explored the issues, sharing dozens of customers’ complaints on social media and former employees explanations related to the unavailable frozen treats.
“Someone who works at McDonald’s and can explain why the ice cream machine is almost always down,” reddit user balomus posted in 2012. “I am legitimately curious as to why this is always the case at McDonald’s. Is it poor equipment? Do they have a required cleaning procedure that takes an extended period of time and must be performed multiple times a day?”
A poster claiming to be a former McDonald’s employee said part of the issue is indeed the cleaning of the machine, but also lazy workers.
“Truth is, the machine is terrible,” the redditor said. “It is dirty all the time, and after 9, most people get lazy and tear it down early.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s told the WSJ at the time that the nightly cleaning of the machines, which coincides with customers’ desire for the treat, definitely plays a role.
“We regularly service our soft-serve equipment during off-peak hours,” the spokesperson said. “Customers who come in during that time may encounter a longer wait time or soft-serve dessert unavailability.”