Six months ago, A small startup called Kitch has sued billionaire Taylor McDonald’s infamous broken ice cream machine. For years Kitch had sold a small device that hacked into those ice cream machines, allowing McDonald’s restaurant owners to better diagnose their diseases and make them work more reliably – only to have Kich’s legal complaint say Taylor conspired to copy and sabotage his device. Its business.
Now Kitch’s case reveals another side of that story: Taylor’s internal communication. Recently released court documents show that Taylor’s executives saw Kich as a business threat and worked to copy the features of its device into a competing product – although McDonald’s ice cream still failed to cure headaches.
The lawsuit, filed in May at the stage of Kitch’s discovery, forced Taylor to publicly file 800 pages of internal emails and presentations that outlined his approach to Kitch. They show how, contrary to Taylor’s previous claims, the company closely examined and tried to mimic certain Kytch features. The emails further show that at some point McDonald’s, not Taylor, led the effort to dissuade restaurants from accepting kitchen gadgets.
Melissa Nelson, co-founder of Kitch, said, “Our device was not only a concerted effort to obtain and copy and follow what we were doing, but even then, when it hit a critical mass, it actually pushed us out of business.” , “Said Melissa Nelson, co-founder of Kich
The yet-to-be-launched battle began with Kytch’s efforts, which began in 2019, to create and sell a device that could intercept data from Taylor C602 ice cream machines used by McDonald’s franchisees. According to data collected by Ice Cream-Machine Tracking Service, McDonald’s ice cream machines have broken into about 10 percent of restaurants. McBroken, And McDonald’s franchises inform WIRED That better diagnostics can lead to faster solutions (In some areas the rate of out-of-order machines is often higher: McBrocken found that McDonald’s ice cream machines in New York City dropped by 20 to 40 percent last week, for example.)
McDonald’s sent a memo warning all franchisees not to use the device in the fall of 2020 following growing sales of the kit, saying it posed a physical security risk, revoked Taylor’s machine warranty and accessed its “proprietary data”. The memo recommends upgrading to a new, Internet-connected device called Taylor Shake Sunday Connectivity. Even now, that next-generation machine has yet to hit the market without limited testing. Kytch described McDonald’s message as “defamatory” and claimed it Destroyed and left the franchisees with no solution for their constantly boiled ice cream machines.
Kytch responded to the lawsuit against Taylor in May, as well as a Taylor distributor named TFG and a McDonald’s franchise named Tyler Gamble, who allegedly gave Taylor and TFG access to Kitch’s devices. The lawsuit alleges that by doing so, Gamble violated Kitch’s contract and Taylor abused his trade secrets. Co-founder of Kich Told WIRED last spring They believed Taylor had gone so far as to hire a private investigative agency to secretly try to buy a Kich device in an attempt to analyze and copy it.