McDonald’s is being McSued for $900 million. Over ice cream.
A technology company that developed a way to fix the fast-food giant’s constantly broken ice-cream machines says McDonald’s tried to put them out of business. Kytch, a tech startup, created a device that lets operators monitor the machines remotely. But the lawsuit alleges that the burger behemoth conspired with another company that created a similar device, and made false claims that Kytch’s product had safety risks.
McDonald's says the company's claims are bogus. "McDonald’s owes it to our customers, crew and franchisees to maintain our rigorous safety standards and work with fully vetted suppliers in that pursuit,” the company has said in a statement. “Kytch’s claims are meritless, and we will respond to the complaint accordingly.”
But the lawsuit isn't the end of McDonald's soft-serve soap opera. The broken ice-cream machines have become such a joke in recent years that rival Jack in the Box is using the drama to its advantage. It has taken over McBroken.com, a site that tracks where McDonald's ice-cream machines are out of order, for a month. "Don't Get McShammed," the site reads now. Of course, it also points users in the direction of their nearest Jack in the Box, which has a limited-time Oreo Cookie Mint Shake to compete with McDonald's famous Shamrock Shake.
Back in September, the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into the constantly broken McDonald's ice-cream machines. Though the FTC is mum on such investigations, it could be part of the Biden administration's larger push to investigate "whether manufacturers impede owners from fixing ... products themselves," reports The Wall Street Journal.
For the record, as of press time, McBroken was reporting that nearly 11% of McDonald's ice-cream machines were down chain-wide, with more than 30% broken in New York, 26% in Dallas, 19% in Houston, and 18% in Chicago.