It appears I have been most fortunate in life. At least when it comes to one very important issue. Apparently McDonald’s ice cream machines break down a lot—and I genuinely had no idea! Between only eating the occasional McFlurry (and yearly Shamrock Shake), along with what seem to be some very good luck, I can only ever remember one instance when I couldn’t order one. And that might have been 15 years ago. Just because I have not had to suffer, though, doesn’t mean millions of other diners haven’t had to go home empty handed. Fortunately, someone is finally here to help. A software engineer created a website that tracks every single broken McDonald’s ice cream machine in the United States in real time.
And that way you can avoid a major McDisappointment.
I reverse engineered mcdonald's internal api and I'm currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald's in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine https://t.co/2KsRwAdrMd— rashiq (@rashiq) October 22, 2020
Earlier this year 24-year-old Rashiq Zahid created McBroken (which we first heard about at The Verve). The free website shows a map of every McDonald’s in the country. A green dot represents those locales with a functioning ice cream machine. Red dots indicate a restaurant with a broken one. You can zoom in on the map to your part of the country to see which McDonald’s closest to you can deliver on that sweet promise.
The site also features a statistical breakdown of just how many machines are not operational at moment, including for some major markets.
The system is pretty ingenuous, but easy to understand. Zahid uses a bot to try and order a McSundae on the McDonald’s app from every location. If he can successfully add an ice cream to his cart the location is marked as having a working machine. If it can’t then it gets the dreaded red dot of despair.
He first tried this in Germany, where he rode his bike to personally verify the result of every McDonald’s in Berlin to see if the system worked. When he saw it did he realized he had to bring it to the US. And I sure am glad he did.
I’ve always taken McDonald’s ice cream for granted. But while I’m no longer ignorant of the problem, at least I won’t be disappointed after driving to get one.
Featured Image: McDonald’s