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McDonald's Is Pretty Serious About Its Soft Serve Swirls

vanilla soft serve cone
vanilla soft serve cone - usaphoto/Shutterstock

McDonald's didn't just invent the fast food genre; it's maintained its perch at or very near the top of the game for almost three-quarters of a century. It has more global locations than any other fast food restaurant as of 2022 (Subway had briefly passed it before several thousand franchises had to close), and it shows no sign of losing its global hegemony. In many countries, McDonald's has become the preeminent symbol of America.

And part of how McDonald's has achieved that success is through quality control. McDonald's takes its particulars very seriously in a wide range of aspects of its business, including how it serves ice cream. On rare occasions, you can find a functional ice cream machine (fun fact: It's probably dirty, not broken); there are apparently rules about how many swirls an ice cream cone should have. The answer: two and a half. No more, no less. Seriously.

Read more: The Ultimate American Fast Food Restaurants Ranked

At Least One McDonald's Manager Is Very Concerned About Ice Cream Loss

McDonald's standing sign
McDonald's standing sign - Tonybaggett/Getty Images

A TikTok user recently made a cone for herself and posted a picture of its impressive number of swirls to what seems to be a private Facebook group. The response she got, though, was from a manager very concerned about the excessive swirlage. To say they were being particular is an understatement, as they claimed, "The amount of swirls is vital in our stat use and correct sundae consumption. The fact we are losing a lot of sundae mix, is heavily due to people not making the products properly."


They went on to enumerate the specific number of swirls necessary for each dessert. If you're curious, it's two-and-a-half swirls for a cone, four-and-a-half for a small sundae, five-and-a-half for a large sundae, and the same for a McFlurry. One thing worth noting: It's not actually clear if this is a corporate-wide policy or if this is one extremely particular manager. Then again, though, the manager in question seems to be speaking from a place of authority, so at the very least, it seems like they're convinced this is company policy.

This Isn't The Only Way McDonald's Is Very Specific As A Company

McDonald's soda cup
McDonald's soda cup - Johngollop/Getty Images

If you thought this was the only way McDonald's was particular, you would be wrong. The company uses a lot of proprietary ingredients where possible -- its ketchup is notably its own and tastes very different than Heinz -- but the most significant difference is in the soda. You're not imagining things: McDonald's soft drinks really do taste better, and it's because the company takes such care with them. It gets the syrup delivered in metal tins rather than plastic bags, uses exclusively filtered water, and keeps the water and soda at just above freezing temperatures before serving. It all combines to create a harmonious and rigorously planned drinking experience.

Sure, sometimes the layout of the burgers may look like the individual components were hurled at each other from across the room in the dark, but this is a company that generally takes its protocols very seriously. Apparently, that includes swirl count on desserts.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.