FAMU Graduate Creates App To Find Working McDonald’s Shake Machines

Sometimes that craving hits when you want—no, you need—a frosty treat. So, you put your order in at drive thru and wait. Then it happens: “Sorry, our ice cream machine is down.” Luckily someone made an app for this very specific situation: Ice Check.

Sometimes that craving hits when you want—no, you need—a frosty treat. Maybe a McFlurry or a shake from Mickey D’s. So, you put your order in at drive thru and wait. Then it happens: “Sorry, our ice cream machine is down.” It never fails and we’ve all run into this at least three times. Luckily someone made an app for this very specific situation: Ice Check.

“Sorry, our machine is down”

Raina McLeod experienced the defeat of making the trip to McDonald’s only to not get a frozen dessert. A FAMU graduate with a bachelor’s in communications, McLeod originally came up with the idea for Ice Check as a comedic project after a late-night food run to the golden arches resulted in no McFlurry.

Interesting roots for a much-needed app. Broken ice cream machines aren’t just an inconvenience, it’s an epidemic. It’s worse than going to Omelet Shoppe and being told that there’s no eggs. True story, true defeat.

When McLeod noticed that there was legit interest in the concept of the app, she decided to make it a reality while working in journalism. An investment from family and finding talent to make the app resulted in it arriving on the App Store in early 2017. For months, downloads were slow—which is so weirdconsidering busted or off ice cream machines are such a bother.

Ice Check to the Rescue

Ice Check isn’t the app that you didn’t know you needed. Mickey D’s soft serve machines work fewer hours than the managers do. Each hour after 6PM, your chances of getting anything sweet and frozen decreases by at least 5-percent. By midnight, it’s a wrap.

The app saw a big turn-around after a tweet from comedian Zack Fox asked for projects from women of color. McLeod promoted Ice Check and ended up seeing a big bump in downloads, jumping to number six in the App Store’s food app ranks.

Ice Check uses GPS and user input to give real-time updates on the status of ice cream machines. From there, it gives directions to that McDonald’s from your current location. It won’t eliminate the epidemic of broken machines or workers who are tired of people ordering McFlurries, but it will save you a trip and a wait.

That is unless you just turn up all broken ice cream machines. In that case, it’s not an Ice Check problem, it’s an issue with all your local McDonald’s having franchisees who are anti-ice cream.

With the success of Ice Check, the Miami/DC native—who had been in journalism for years by this point—left the industry to focus on expanding Pure Vanity. Formed in 2010, the company’s breakout project was Ice Check. Since then, the company has spun out into different projects and services in media.

Currently, Ice Check is only available on iOS devices and focuses on McDonald’s. While they are the biggest culprit of out of order ice cream machines, there are others who drop the ball. We’re not going to name names but who knows, maybe Ice Check will include the likes of DQ and Checker’s/Rally’s.