With obscene temperatures hitting much of the northeast in recent days, the need to get ice cream from somewhere—anywhere—has never felt more urgent. The problem is that if you opt to get that ice cream from a fast food joint like Burger King, there’s a definite chance you’ll roll up only to find the hard way that the ice cream machine is broken. It’s almost a law of nature that those things aren’t working when they’re needed most.
But what if there was a startup that could potentially help people figure out where working ice cream machines are—and also help mitigate shutdowns in the process? That’s the premise behind Kytch, a Silicon Valley startup that aims to make the world of soft serve ice cream a bit smarter and connected.
First attracting attention for building something called “Frobot,” which seems to function essentially as a Coke Freestyle machine for soft serve ice cream, Kytch is now piloting a software program called Kytch Gold that can provide real-time intel about how ice cream machines are doing. Currently in beta at five different Boston-area Burger Kings, it looks like Kytch Gold can currently tell you both where you can find a Burger King with an ice cream machine, and which frozen treats they can make. I guess that’s ostensibly useful if you’re deciding between a drive to the Burger King in Framingham and the one in Dorchester for whatever reason.
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More importantly, though, Kytch Gold’s real value lies in its ability to diagnose common problems that plague soft serve machines before they completely gum up the works. This could help restaurants by saving them time and money on repairs, while making sure more of their menu is actually available at a time when delivery is a huge revenue driver.
We’d all like to live in a perfect world where the shakes, McFlurries, and ice cream cones are all plentiful and readily available at all times. We’re not there yet, but there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. For once, it’s nice that Silicon Valley is solving a real problem.
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