“I’m convinced there’s no way an ice cream machine would be down all the time with no replacement or repair of the machine,” says one NY college student. After experiencing downed machines numerous times, another student had a meltdown, which she captured on Facebook. The video rant received 1 million views and 5,000 comments, many of which came from customers with the same complaint.
Fans say they love the texture of the McFlurry’s hard, crunchy candy and smooth, creamy, vanilla soft serve. (A 16-ounce McFlurry contains 930 calories and 128 grams of sugar, more than three 12-ounce cans of Coke, by the way.)
In the years since the McFlurry made its debut on the menu in 1998, it has garnered a cult following. And the cravings for it often come on suddenly and late at night. That may be part of the problem.
McDonald’s requires the machines to undergo a nightly automated heat cleaning cycle of up to 4 hours to destroy any bacteria in them. Getting the machines ready for the cleaning cycle is an 11-step process that involves combining a sanitizing mix with warm water, removing and rinsing 7 parts, brushing clean 2 fixed parts for 60 seconds and wiping down the machine with a sanitized towel. Once the heat cycle begins, it can’t be interrupted because the product is hot and under extreme pressure.
One survey found 25% of the restaurants weren’t serving ice cream because the machines were reported not to be functional. Downed ice cream machines is now the most common service-related complaint among McDonald’s customers.
Classroom discussion questions:
- What are the OM issues here?
- Have students had similar complaints? Suggestions?