A New Device Promises to Keep McFlurry Machines Up and Running
McDonald’s detractors can always find things to complain about, but among McDonald’s fans, one complaint always seems to rise to the top: broken McFlurry machines. The issue is so prevalent that, in 2017, none other than The Wall Street Journal—that apparently soft-serve-addicted business paper—ran an investigation, “Why Is the McFlurry Machine Down Again?” Well, here’s something else the WSJ can tell you: If you want to make money, find a demand and fill it—and apparently, that’s exactly what a software company has set out to do: fix the McFlurry machine, along with other fast food soft-serve machines, too.
Kytch is a new platform from Frobot, a company that developed fully automated soft serve machines that can be operated from a smartphone. On its website, the company explains, “Now, we’re making it possible for everyone else.” To put it another way, in lieu of selling whole machines, Kytch is a small add-on device (a mini computer, really) that “connects to your ice cream machine and provides remote control, real-time data & analytics, and AI powered predictive maintenance,” the brand explains. “Everything comes back to being connected,” cofounder Jeremy O’Sullivan told Business Insider, which spoke to the company about the device.
Importantly, Kytch doesn’t actually alter the soft-serve machine in any way. It’s simply able to provide feedback; feedback which can potentially deal with some of the biggest issues McFlurry machines have—from making sure they’re cleaned at the right time (it’s a four-hour process) and addressing the all-important element of human error. “We can tell if the machine is overfilled or underfilled,” cofounder Melissa Nelson added as an example to BI.
Kytch was reportedly first rolled out in May of last year, and BI writes that it’s currently being used at “a number of McDonald’s locations across multiple franchisees and in a number of Burger King restaurants”—though neither company was willing to tell the business site just how many of the add-ons have been added. Currently, the device is reportedly only being implemented by individual store owners at their own discretion. “Providing a restaurant experience that our customers expect is among our top priorities” was about all a McDonald’s spokesperson was quoted as saying.
However, those individual franchisees seemed far more enthusiastic. “After not having it, it’s almost scary to think about having shake machines without these or soft-serve units without these devices,” a Burger King franchisee told Business Insider. Hey, now you know how McFlurry lovers feel when you take their McFlurries away!