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This Is Why The McDonalds McFlurry Machine Is Always Broken

It’s one of the biggest mysteries of our generation.

Well, not really - but it is freaking annoying when we’re CRAVING a McFlurry or a thick shake, and we loop around the drive thru, keen as mustard, only to be told the soft serve machine is down.


So, Seventeen magazine decided to find out what’s up. Visiting 25 different McDonalds locations, they asked the question, ‘is the McFlurry machine working?’

Five said yes.

So she tried to find out why.


Three McDonalds (US) employees said the same thing; "Cleaning these machines takes hours," Becca Jansen, a former McDonald's employee of five years in Missouri, told

"I mean it, these old machines can take four hours to clean. The reason? It has a preprogrammed cycle that it must complete, and if it senses you did something wrong, it will start over."

Not just anyone can clean the machines either. Only certain specialised employees are taught how to clean or fix them, and these employees typically work regular 9-to-5 hours. If a machine breaks at 7 p.m., it probably won't get fixed until the next afternoon.

Other reasons were that the machine simply hadn’t been turned on, and generally, they’re not turned on until around 10am.

If customers were to ask for soft serve before then, the employee they spoke to said she would tell them she couldn’t serve it at that time.

When a former McDonald's employee of four years in Illinois was asked about this situation, she explained that the employees weren't always 100 percent straightforward with customers.


Particularly on slow nights, they might turn off the machines early. "They probably say they can't make the drink because the machine is cleaning," she told me. "If the store closes at 11 p.m., they might start cleaning it at 9 if things are slow, and so they don't want to dirty it again. If they say it's broken, it's probably because they cleaned it already so they're making an excuse that the customer will understand."

The weather was also to blame.

"If the weather outside is too hot, this can impact the ice cream machine's ability to keep the shake mix at the required inner temperature," an anonymous former McDonald's employee told

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