Food

There’s an app that lets you know when a McDonald’s ice cream machine is broken

METRO

There's an app that lets you know when a McDonald's ice cream machine is broken
(Picture: Getty/McDonald’s)

If you enjoy food that tastes great but makes you hate yourself a little, you’ll know the pain of making the trek to McDonald’s with your heart set on a McFlurry, only to discover, once again, that the ice cream machine is broken.

Sure, you can always just get fries or an apple pie, but you wanted a McFlurry, damn it. This is the worst.

It’s the letdown that’s so crushing.

So when we learned of the existence of an app that lets you know when a McDonald’s ice cream machine is broken – before you commit to going – we were overjoyed.

Until we downloaded it and discovered there are currently no McDonald’s locations listed in the UK. Ugh.

We reached out to the creator of Ice Check (that’s the name of the magical McDonald’s ice cream machine app), who reassured us that locations in the UK and Canada will be added ‘in the next update’, so at least we have some hope that this app will be useful in the future.

Basically it’s an app that lists all the McDonald’s near your location, and shows whether the ice cream machine there is working or not.

There's an app that lets you know when a McDonald's ice cream machine is broken
(Picture: Ice Check/metro.co.uk)

If the ice cream icon is grey, the machine is broken. If it’s pink, it’s working.

How does the app know? Well, here’s the slightly annoying bit.

For now the app is dependent on visitors to the McDonald’s checking in and turning the switch on or off depending on the ice cream machine working.

The app does tell you when the ice cream machine button was last updated, but if no one who uses the app happens to go to your nearest McDonald’s to check out the machine situation, you’re back to square one, gambling on your ice cream related joy.

In an ideal world, Ice Check would link up with McDonald’s branches so staff could update the ‘machine working/not working’ switch, which, thankfully, is something the creator, Raina McLeod, is working on.

‘That’s the goal,’ Raina tells us. ‘We have some employees helping to update the app now but what I really want is for each location to update their machine’s status for us.

‘There’s a secure owner portal where they can log on, easily update the app, and have total control over the ON/OFF display. Then they can offer our users coupons and incentives to come back when the machine is working. Win/win.’

But for now, the app might be a handy way to slightly lower our risk of disappointment. If you check the app and can see that in the last hour someone’s said the machine at your local Macca’s is broken, you won’t get your hopes up.

There's an app that lets you know when a McDonald's ice cream machine is broken
(Picture: Metro.co.uk/MylesGoode)

And who knows, maybe you’ll be the kind soul trekking around McDonald’s and updating the app for all the other McFlurry hopefuls.

Raina told Metro.co.uk she was inspired to create the app after her own terrible McFlurry experience.

‘One late night I REALLY wanted an Oreo McFlurry, went to McD’s and they told me the machine was down,’ Raina tells us. ‘I’d seen the memes but it had never happened to me before and I was soo annoyed.

‘It was weird that this enormous company could be so casual about having or not having a menu item.

‘So I cooked up a way to solve the problem, since they obviously wouldn’t, and boom Ice Check.’

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Oh, and by the way, as part of her journey developing the app Raina found out that often, when staff say the ice cream machine is broken, it is not.

‘I’ve actually learned that saying a machine is “broke” is actually code for a few things,’ Raina explains. ‘It can mean the machine is being cleaned or needs to be cleaned — it’s a long, required process — and is just “down” until that’s finished.

‘It can mean the employees don’t feel like making ice cream, or it can mean that the machine is actually broken and needs maintenance.’

Good to know.

Raina adds: ‘Last year, McDonald’s announced that they’re getting new machines but even those will still require “down” time so until they figure out how to serve us ice cream 24/7, my app is here to stay.’

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