Ever roll into the McDonald's drive-thru on a late summer evening with a craving for something creamy, sweet and full of Oreo pieces (or other delicious mix-ins?) only to hear those dreaded words:
Sorry, our McFlurry machine is down.
It turns out there's a pretty solid explanation for why it seems like it happens pretty frequently:
McDonald's requires that McFlurry machines go through a vigorous four-hour long heat-cleaning cycle to kill off bacteria...every day!
According to the Wall Street Journal, a McD's spokesperson explained, "We regularly service our soft-serve equipment during off-peak hours. Customers who come in during that time may encounter a longer wait time or soft-serve dessert unavailability."
In the same article, a McDonald's employee went into further detail explaining a bit of the extensive 11-part cleaning process. Apparently it involves "involves combining a sanitizing mix with warm water, removing and rinsing seven parts, brushing clean two fixed parts for 60 seconds and wiping down the machine with a sanitized towel."
So even if the machine is cleaned and ready to be re-assembled, its's going to take a minute if you order one late at night, so it makes sense that the employee would simply tell you that the machine is down.