Since long, people have complained about McDonald’s notoriously broken ice cream machines. Now a tech startup known as Kytch is filing suit against them for over $900 Million.
McDonald’s created a device to assist franchisees with decreasing the number of Taylor brand ice cream machines that were down. Unfortunately, McDonald’s took issue with this and claimed it voids warranties and creates safety risks.
McDonald’s restaurants across the nation often present customers with the same disappointment: You place an order for soft serve ice cream only to be told the machine is out of service. As an attempt at fixing this problem, two tech entrepreneurs from Kytch developed an add-on that would increase machine reliability, thus decreasing repairs while simultaneously saving energy costs.
This small gadget attaches directly to the C602 ice cream machine, intercepting internal communications and relaying the information directly to an owner’s smartphone. This provides companies with a comprehensive overview of machine performance and health while assuring employees are using it properly; additionally, this also enables managers to quickly spot potential issues and troubleshoot accordingly.
According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s was upset over Kytch’s entry and sent emails claiming he violated their warranties and intercepted confidential data – an allegation which the complaint contends allows Taylor (the maker of Kytch’s machines) more business.
McDonald’s seems intent on crippling a startup that solved their costly ice cream machine failure issue, yet their lawsuit has revealed suspicious dealings at the fast food giant. According to O’Sullivan and Nelson’s cofounders Jeremy O’Sullivan and Melissa Nelson’s complaint filed with the federal courts against them for false advertising and tortious interference with contracts with customers, damages of no less than $900 Million are being demanded as damages against McDonald’s in this action.
McDonald’s employees in its ice cream department have long reported incidents of sexual harassment from managers and supervisors; despite such complaints, no action were taken until one worker filed a lawsuit alleging abuse of power by managers and supervisors to harass workers; further, McDonald’s failed to address reports from these workers of unwanted touching and offensive comments from managers and supervisors.
The lawsuit also claimed that the company put profits before employee health and safety, using PFAS chemicals linked to numerous health concerns in their fryers. As such, the suit demanded they immediately cease using them and replace all their fryers with new models.
According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s Senior VP Stephen Easterbrook violated his legal duty of candor when he failed to report inappropriate relationships and exchanged nude photos via email with employees. McDonald’s initially allowed him to resign instead of firing him but later discovered images in their emails showing naked bodies.
Employees should maintain detailed records of any incidents or conversations at work. Any instances of misconduct should be reported directly to their manager or HR rep; otherwise they should contact Victim Support (available online) for additional support if they do not feel comfortable reporting it internally. Lastly, employees can contact McDonald’s directly if they wish to express concerns or make requests – the restaurant company offers its privacy policies online for easy reference.
Kytch’s Legal Complaint
If you find yourself repeatedly coming to McDonald’s only to be disappointed by an out-of-service machine, take comfort knowing you are not alone. According to an actual real-time tracker, nearly 10% of its machines are broken at any given time – possibly explaining why Taylor Machine Company and Kytch Technology, an emerging tech startup, are in an epic legal battle over ownership of machines that make McFlurrys.
Kytch was established by Jeremy O’Sullivan and Melissa Nelson of California in 2019, to provide devices designed to be installed into chronically problematic Taylor-made machines used by McDonald’s locations and allow their owners to troubleshoot and repair these machines using an app-enabled smartphone.
But Taylor wasn’t amused. Beginning November 2020, they instructed franchisees to remove these devices as they violated warranties and presented a safety risk for anyone working on them. Furthermore, their patent was violated while their technology compromised food safety certifications.
Kytch filed suit against Taylor for unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets, seeking $900 Million in damages. Kytch accuses Taylor of interfering with contracts between customers and themselves in order to increase its own market dominance, which Kytch contends caused harm both to customers as well as business partners.
McDonald’s should provide its customers with an effective complaint system. When customers are dissatisfied with their food or service, calling up the manager may help resolve it; otherwise the regional office can assist in solving it as they have an agreement in place to do so. Their master franchise agreement includes specific provisions on how they handle equipment complaints and disputes.
McDonald’s ice cream machines have long been a source of derision, with Wired reporting that around 10% of their restaurants’ machines are broken. While McBroken website claims this problem may not be too widespread in all cities, it remains evident that these machines frequently malfunction.
McDonald’s did not admit any wrongdoing in this lawsuit, yet nonetheless blame Kytch for their loss of business. According to allegations in this suit, McDonald’s sent deceptive emails in November 2020 warning franchisees against using Kytch devices because it invalidates Taylor machine warranties and advised against them using Kytch products altogether.
Kytch Solution allows users to remotely diagnose issues with digital Taylor ice cream machines used by McDonald’s. According to the lawsuit, Taylor used this information to reverse engineer it and build their own version – now used by McDonald’s across America and internationally.