How To Check Online If A Local McDonald’s Ice Cream Machine Works


A software engineer in Germany created and launched the perfect shortcut to discover if the nearby McDonald’s ice cream machines are working.

It’s now possible to check online if a local McDonald’s has a functioning ice cream machine, thanks to a new website. While the official McDonald’s site can provide information on locations, as well as the menu and related nutritional information, that’s not quite the same as knowing when a hungry customer arrives at a restaurant, the machines will be working. This website looks to change that, albeit just for ice cream products.

There are McDonald’s locations in over 118 countries, including the United States, Canada and Germany. The first restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955. The McDonald’s ice cream machine debuted in 1978. McDonald’s launched its own mobile app in November of 2016. Available on the App Store and Google Play, the app allows customers to order and pay from their phone, or order ahead of time and pick up at the counter or curbside. It also includes exclusive offers, like a free McCafe coffee or coupons offering $3 off any $15 order, as well as the option to order delivery. The app also features a restaurant locator, which enables customers to open up a map and discover what locations are nearby, along with store hours.

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McBroken shows which nearby McDonald’s locations have working ice cream machines and which don’t. The website also features a map of the area where the restaurants are located, along with a percentage list showing what percentage of ice cream machines are working in various cities. According to The Verge, Rashiq Vahid, a 24-year-old software engineer in Berlin, Germany, is behind the website. After visiting a Berlin McDonald’s this past summer, Vahid realized the ice cream machine was broken, preventing the desired McSundae. In response, Vahid decided to build an API for the McDonald’s mobile app. The API added a sundae to the app’s cart every minute, but the app blocked the bot. Vahid then launched the McBroken website, focusing initially on locations in Germany before expanding to the United States. The U.S. site received 10,000 visitors after being up for 20 minutes. David Tovar, the Vice President of Communications for McDonald’s in the U.S., has since issued a response on Twitter, saying “only a true McDonald’s fan” would go to such lengths for its ice cream.

How To Use McBroken To Find Ice Cream


Once on the website, a map is displayed in the middle of the screen, zoomed out to show the user’s current location and the surrounding area. To the left of the map is a list of McDonald’s locations by street address. Green dots by the street address indicate the ice cream machine is working, while red dots mean it’s broken. There are corresponding green and red dots on the map, marking where each nearby location is. The percentage list includes big cities like Phoenix, Boston, New York and Seattle — Seattle appears to be the only city where all ice cream machines are working, with 0-percent being reported as broken, for now.

By hovering over the list of street addresses, the corresponding dot on the map will pulse green or red, indicating where that particular location is on the map. Clicking on one of the street addresses will bring the user directly to it on the map. Then the customer can click on that particular dot, which shows how long ago the ice cream machine was checked. Assuming McDonald’s allows the site to stay up, this could turn out to be a very useful tool, especially used in conjunction with the McDonald’s app. Now customers can be sure the ice cream machine is working before they head out for a McFlurry, thanks to the internet.

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Source: McBrokenThe Verge

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Updated: October 24, 2020 — 9:53 pm

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