A 24-year-old ice cream fan fed up with broken McDonald’s ice cream machines managed to reverse-engineer the fast-food chain’s app to create a map of every broken soft serve machine in the United States.
Rashiq Zahid, a software engineer, came up with the idea this summer after failing to order a McSundae at a McDonald’s in Berlin because the machine was not working.
I reverse engineered mcdonald's internal api and I'm currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald's in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine https://t.co/2KsRwAdrMd
— rashiq (@rashiq) October 22, 2020
The map at mcbroken.com tracks the percentage of restaurants that currently have broken ice cream machines and uses red and green labels to identify stores currently serving up soft serve.
Zahid told The Verge he built a bot that places orders at all of the McDonald’s locations to determine if the machine is currently operating.
Zahid said the tool was created as a joke, but he was surprised to hear many people find it useful.
I just made it for fun,” said Zahid. “But people were like ‘Wow, this is the best thing I’ve seen this entire week.’”
David Tovar, McDonald’s VP of U.S. Communications, seems to support the soft serve savior.
“Only a true @McDonalds fan would go to these lengths to help customers get our delicious ice cream! So, thanks!” Tovar tweeted. “We know we have some opportunities to consistently satisfy even more customers with sweet treats and we will.”
According to Eat This, Not That!, several McDonald’s franchise owners recently formed a research team to “search for a permanent solution to the soft serve machine problem.”