If you’ve ever had the urge to order ice cream from McDonald’s, you likely know the struggle that comes with finding a machine that is working in one of the restaurants.
The fact that McDonald’s ice cream machines are always broken has become a running joke, but now you can actually know in advance whether your closest location has ice cream available to fulfill your cravings.
Rashiq Zahid, a 24-year-old software engineer, took to Twitter to share that he was able to reverse-engineer McDonald’s ordering API to create an app that shows which machines are working.
The app is named McBroken.
I'm sorry mcdonald's data analyst I'm afraid I'm ruining your entire mobile conversion metrics for my own personal amusement https://t.co/lYPn0Sj0eu
— rashiq (@rashiq) October 22, 2020
“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,” Zahid wrote.
“I’m sorry McDonald’s data analyst I’m afraid I’m ruining your entire mobile conversion metrics for my own personal amusement.”
The Verge has more information on Zahid’s quest to find McDonald’s ice cream.
After a night of trial and error, Zahid figured out the magic time frame. Now, his bot attempts to add a McSundae every 30 minutes. If the bot successfully adds the item, it lets McBroken know that the location’s machine is working. If it can’t, the location gets a red dot. (A Twitter user claiming to be a McDonald’s employee has confirmed that the method works.)
Zahid first tested McBroken in Germany, which has around 1,500 locations. He biked to every location in Berlin, placing manual sundae orders to determine if his bot was returning the correct information. It passed with flying colors. Today, he’s expanded to the states.
Let’s give a round of applause to Zahid for doing the Lord’s work.