Why McDonald’s ice cream machines are always broken

By: Toby Martin-Kohls

There are many globally recognized symbols, such as the peace sign or a heart. There are also many globally recognized brands such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Mcdonald’s.

The Golden Arches are a worldwide recognized symbol. In 2019, Mcdonald’s had 38,695 restaurants in 119+ countries.

They pride themselves on the consistency of their food. Fries at one location should, and will, taste exactly the same at a location 3000mi away.

However, one item stands out as an exception from this philosophy; there always seems to be a broken ice cream machine at Mcdonald’s. The issue has been so widespread it has become a joke and a meme of sorts.

Several mainstream fast food companies such as Wendy’s, Burger King, In-n-Out, and Chick-fil-a use ice cream machines from the same company McDonald’s uses, but only McDonald’s seems to be the ones that never work.

Mcdonald’s uses the model C602 machine made by a company named Taylor. McDonald’s and Taylor go way back and have been business partners since each was established. Even their headquarters are close to each other in the state of Illinois.

93% of McDonald’s restaurants are franchised. This means that they are owned and operated by independent local business owners. This means they are left to pay any repairs needed.

When you become a Mcdonald’s franchisee, you sign a contract with McDonald’s agreeing that you will abide by their rules and regulations and make sure the restaurant is standardized to the rest of the brand.

In 2003, McDonald’s put in their agreement that all franchisees would be required to use the C602 model from Taylor.

Ice cream is dairy, and it is needs to be stored correctly in order to be safe to consume. The machine has a bunch of pipes that run through it all day with ice cream. So once a day, a cleaning cycle must be completed.

The cleaning process takes about 4 hours and is usually the first reason you are given as to why the ice cream machines are not working. Because the process takes so long, it makes sense to run the cleaning cycle overnight.

The first employees coming in the next day would see one of two messages on the user interface. The heat cycle was complete and that the machine was ready to use or that the cycle failed. The machine does not tell you what the problem was, and only that it failed.

It is worth noting that the machine cannot be used until it runs a cleaning cycle. It is locked until it has been completed. So the employee tries to run the heat cycle again. This takes another four hours during operating hours of the store.

So, a franchisee must call a repair technician from Taylor if they want their machine fixed. Taylor is the only company authorized to repair or maintain these machines for Mcdonald’s. If they called anyone else to fix it, it would void their contract.

According to invoices from some Mcdonald’s franchisees, the repair technicians are quite expensive. One can expect to pay around $150 for the first half-hour of labor and travel and hundreds more dollars for each additional 15 minutes of extra labor.

This is the decision franchisees must make. They can deal with angry customers who want ice cream, or they can fork over tons of money to get their machine fixed that very well might break again soon.

According to an acquisition pitch from Taylor, they stated that 25% of their revenue comes from recurring parts and services business. Taylor can rely on machines breaking and having income from McDonald’s.

Taylor provides an instruction manual to the restaurants for the machine but provides a different use for exclusively Taylor technicians. The information needed to fix the machine effectively is only given to technicians.

Jeremy O’Sullivan and Melissa Nelson set out to create a product, the Kytch device, that would help restaurants diagnose problems easier from the intentionally tricky UI. They succeeded and was a hit, as many restaurants started using their product. McDonald’s then sent out a memo that “McDonald’s and Taylor have recently determined that the Kytch device creates a potential very serious safety risk for the crew or technician attempting to clean or repair the machine.” They strongly recommended that franchisees stop using the product and that they will void their warranty if they don’t.

McDonald’s is in contact with another approved company to solve the same issue Kytch solved. Their partner is Powerhouse Dynamics. Well, good thing it’s not Taylor. Well, just on the outside. Powerhouse Dynamics is owned by the same company that owns Taylor. Their device takes the place of Kytch and still gives the user frustrating interfaces so that they can make money off repair services.

Taylor has no incentive to improve their product because they hold a monopoly in the ice cream maker business and again, make 25% of their revenue of on repair services. McDonald’s is okay with this because the financial burden falls on the restaurant franchisees.

Kytch is currently suing McDonald’s for 900 million dollars. They are also suing for defamation.

If you want to see if the McDonald’s near you, or anywhere, has a broken ice cream machine, you can look at mcbroken.com.

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‘In The Heights’ movie review

By: Liv Miller

‘In The Heights’ is a musical drama that was released in 2021. It is based off of the Broadway musical written by Lin Manuel Miranda, in which its first performance was put on back in July of 2005. After the musical was a huge success on Broadway, Lin Manuel had the idea to bring it to the big screen.

Some background information on this movie is that ‘In The Heights’ takes place in a community in Manhattan called “Washington Heights” where its population is mainly Latina/Latino. The movie follows certain people in this community, and their lives, family, jobs, dreams, and what they want for themselves in the future.

This movie is very cultural based, and highlights Latino culture through certain styles of music and dance. It also tries to highlight the struggles of a minority community and how they are limited by where they come from and how little opportunities they are given by being a part of that community.

I don’t want to give away much about the movie in my review but I liked how the writers made you feel like you really knew the characters. I got pulled into their stories by the music and by how all of their relationships were written and portrayed. The characters mainly communicated their struggles in the songs which I liked. The writers did a good job with making the viewers invested in the story and feel like they are also a part of the community that is featured in the “heights”. The way the characters all interacted like a family made me sympathize with them and connect with the characters more.

I noticed that at the beginning of the movie most of the characters either were struggling with achieving their goals, didn’t know what their goals/dreams were, or hadn’t made an effort to achieve them yet. Throughout the movie I saw each character gain a better understanding of their dreams, and by the end saw a majority of the characters happy with how their life had turned out.

Overall, I really liked the movie. It was cool to watch because it centered around a type of community that’s never really been highlighted in other musicals and films. I liked that the storyline was very realistic and it’s based off of a real place and real issues that are happening in certain communities. I also liked the music and dance styles they included in the movie, because it highlighted the culture of the people this story was about, instead of just having the classic music and dance styles typically used in other musicals.

If you want to see ‘In The Heights’ it is available on Hulu and HBO Max.

Seed oils are killing you

By: Yussuf Omar

What are they?

Seed oils (or vegetable oils) are highly processed oils derived from seeds. The most commonly used seed oils are: canola (rapeseed), soybean, and palm.

These oils are mainly extracted using hexane. This is due to the efficiency of this method since over 90% of the oil is retained and the substance’s solubilizing ability is kept intact.

The problem with this method is that hexane is poisonous to humans, but the horrors of what’s done to these oils doesn’t stop there. After the hexane extraction, most of the oil becomes rancid and stinks, so manufacturers then bleach and deodorize these oils so consumers don’t have to deal with the smell. Instead, you’re left to deal with the harms these rancid oils do to your body.

Oxidized and Rancid

Seeds oils are full of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and due to their double bond, these fats are very unstable. The improper storage of these oils, by exposing them to heat and light early on, only makes things worse, consequently accelerating the oxidation process. Once these toxic oxidized oils are consumed, they lead to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Oxidative stress and inflammation then leads to an array of diseases.

Another consequence of the overheating of seed oils is the creation of trans fats, the accumulation of this fat is known to lead to heart disease and other illnesses. These oils also tend to accrue in cells in the form of linoleic acid. The storage of these oxidized lipids lead to cells being prone to oxidation and skin cancer.

Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio

Fatty acids are essential to the human body, and since we don’t naturally create them we’re required to get them from our food instead. The ratio between these two fats is ideally supposed to be 1:1, but due to overconsumption recently the ratio is on average 20:1 now.

Seed oils are high in Omega 6, which tends to usually cause a little inflammation, but since Omega 3’s are naturally anti-inflammatory the two are supposed to balance out. Because of the sheer abundance of Omega 6’s in seed oils, the inflammation easily wins out.

Healthy alternatives

After being bombarded with all the negatives regarding seed oils, you’re probably in search of a healthy alternative. The good news is that you don’t have to look far; the ideal alternatives are likely in your kitchen already.

Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are your friend when it comes to cooking oils, these fats are much more stable and can withstand high temperatures without oxidation. Grass-fed butter, ghee, and tallow are all great animal based sources of these fats, while avocado, coconut, and olive oil are great plant based sources. You can find all of these oils with minimal processing, and each one will be exponentially better for your health.

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