Why is McDonald’s McFlurry machine always broken? US government investigates

The McFlurry machine at McDonald’s is broken so often that the Federal Trade Commission now wants to know why. Photo by Shutterstock.

If you walk into a McDonald’s, the ice cream machine is probably broken. That happens so often that it’s approached meme status — fodder for late night hosts, conspiracy theories, and catchy TikTok songs. Now the Federal Trade Commission is involved. They want to know why the machines are always broken — and why there’s so much tension between McDonald’s, its franchisees, and dessert lovers everywhere.

According to Wall Street Journal restaurant reporter Heather Haddon, the machine’s cleaning process is so complicated that it can take hours to clean. She says that’s led to interest from the U.S. government. 

“This appears to be [that] the Biden administration is more and more interested in right-to-repair issues. So that's everything from your iPhone to a Deere tractor. Can the owners of these equipment actually repair them themselves? And part of the issue is if you have to always go to a certain company whose services [are] very expensive, you might not always be able to get a service person when you need to. And this presents antitrust and anti-competitive issues “ 

She notes that so far, no parties have been accused of wrongdoing and there is no official legal case. 

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