This rant has been a long time coming. I don’t normally eat McDonalds and I’m all of 145lbs and 5’11”. I’m a fairly thin guy for my height and so what I eat has never really been an issue…One thing I’ve grown to love over the years is a good chocolate shake. Just about every place has them. Wendy’s has included among their Frosty lineup a new Frosty Shake.
I went to Mississippi College in Clinton MS for a while and now live in the city of Jackson. In Clinton there was a McDonalds just down the street that was just the right distance from the school for a quick lunch or late night snack. One thing that you could always count on though was the shake machine being broken. Broken? Ok understandable – it’s broken and you can’t exactly fix that unless you have a repairman come out, have parts brought in, whatever… but the thing that made this shake machine special is that for 3 years that shake machine remained broken. It was a running joke on campus that you couldn’t get a shake there because the machine was always broken. Some guessed they didn’t have one, or they were too lazy to clean it or too lazy to get it set up. The big laugh came when they demolished the entire building. We’re not really sure why – but they tore down the whole Clinton McDonalds and build a brand new one over it’s foundation. The second day of business I went in ordered the usual and figured I’d get a shake this time since it was brand new… the shake machine was broken.
After that incident a few years ago I’ve always joked about how all McDonalds shake machines were broken. It wasn’t until I googled around until I realized I wasn’t the only one who thought so. This link is from Yahoo Answers asking why the machines are always broken. This link is a guy who tried to get one in an airport and is posting in a forum asking everyone else if they have the same problem. This guy at opentechsupport.net complains that both the local McDonalds shake machines are broken. The list goes on (reviewjournal.com) and on (my3cents.com) and on (tigerdroppings.com – scroll down a bit) and on (digitalspy) and on (another yahooanswers) and well… you get the point. It’s a freaking nationwide pandemic!!
I set out on my own to collect a little “statistical data”. It’s by no means completely accurate or even a good representation of the McDonald’s nationwide. I limited it to the 9 closest McDonalds to where I work and proceeded to stop by a different one every time I got in the mood for some fast food. I have kept track of which ones I’ve hit, which ones had shakes, and which ones didn’t.
Of the 9 local McDonalds I visited all but one of the shake machines were broken. That’s 8 out of 9 or 88%. That’s terrible! Why is this such a problem? My guess is that the shake machine needs just as much if not more maintenance than any other machine in the kitchen and sells a much lower volume than any other food – and the employees are simply too lazy to clean it up afterwards or get it set up in the morning. There’s absolutely no possibility that if the make/model of shake machines that are used by McDonalds break this much that they would continue to use them.
I know some of you are thinking “dude, it’s just a shake machine – go somewhere else…” But that’s only because you haven’t been repeatedly denied for the same item at different stores with the same lame excuse of “it’s broken.”
When I finish this rant I am going to attempt to contact someone in charge of my region about this. Chances are after seeing how hard of a time the guy in Supersize Me had in getting someone to call him back regarding an interview – I doubt I’ll actually ever get a response 10 miles within “we’ll look into it.” If you’ve had the same experience of being denied a milkshake because “the machine is broken” I suggest you contact whoever is in charge of your franchise…that’s the only way anything is every going to change. So spread the word! McDonalds shake machines aren’t really broken and we’re pissed!