No free refills!

Sax-son

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First off, stay away from all that excess soda pop. That is one of the worst things you can put in your body. The soda pop companies have got everybody and their kids addicted to that stuff. Furthermore, it contributes to diabetes and obesity. Just drink water, your bill at the end of the evening will be much smaller. In charging you for refills, they may be doing you a favor.
 

Informal

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How much was the rest of the operational cost of the place where you worked? (ie rent, utilities, salaries, product costs for things other than drinks)?

I don't think it's a secret that the margin on drinks (both alcoholic and non alcoholic) is much much better for the business than most other menu items, and it all balances out for them to make a profit and stay in business.





While not a "Big Secret" if you never worked in the Food and Beverage industry, Chances are you had no idea how much mark-up there is on soft drinks.

A lot of people think they pay a little less than you would in a store, when the reality is.. Companies like Coke and Pepsi, will sell to high visibility locations, for next to nothing, and in some cases.. Flat out give it for free, and write it off as marketing expenses.
 

Askwhy

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How much was the rest of the operational cost of the place where you worked? (ie rent, utilities, salaries, product costs for things other than drinks)?
Exactly! Gross margin on one product group doesn't mean much without the big picture.
 

PCollen

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Pretty unusual to get free refills over here, so I guess we're used to it (at least the places I go to). Soft drinks often as much, if not more than beer too at some places.

Freebies are not at all common in Europe. Hell, when I lived in Germany (1979-1984) they charged 10-phennigs for the small pack of Ketchup for your Pommes Frites at McDonalds. Free drink refills were unheard of. We in the USA are spoiled rotten in that respect. Same goes for coffee refills.
 

cyclopean

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So is whining about "the man" when you have every need and want easily satisfied with minimal effort because of profit motive.
How is that “whining about the man”?

Those things are available cheap because of exploitation. Never forget that Coca Cola had labor organizers assassinated.
 

KelvinS1965

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Neither do Americans! Who came up with that big joke? The only free refills I want are for my beer glass and that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

I believe it was in response to a European poster further back in this thread, nothing to do with Americans:

For the sake of comprehension the European guy made the comment about having no free refills where they live, the American replied that he doesn't get any Siestas like the European guy might (broad assumption though). I just joked that since I'm in the UK I get neither, but do tend to have a nap after work (probably when the European guy is still at work as I know they have to work later due to the siesta taking time out their working day, just for those who just assume they don't work as long as an American might. ;) ).

I've got to say though that moaning about not getting free refills does comes across as a bit 'entitled' to me, but as I said before it's not so common over here that it would be a surprise in the same way as the OP was surprised for being charged.
 

studio1087

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When I was in high school the marching band (which I was in) ran all the concession stands at athletic events. Back in the day we charged 75 cents for fountain sodas. Our cost was one cent per soda for the actual soda. The paper cups cost more than the Coca Cola.
 

Flat6Driver

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Ok, mystery solved. After all the comments here, I looked into it further. Although I bought it up with the server at the time, he said that was how they were to do it.

I just called and the manager said, no, that is NOT how they do it. She said she'd give me a refund and speak with the server about why this happened.

Edit:. She found it easier to put a credit on my account so I'd come back. And it was a way generous credit. So I'm glad I called.

Maybe I should ask the thread to disappear??
 
Last edited:

boris bubbanov

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I remember times, when restaurants always charged for refills - or you had to know the waitress and she'd look after you.

I kinda like the idea of being limited to just the one soft drink - all those calories, who needs them.

What irks me here is, a restaurant who thinks it is OK not to YELL OUT LOUD to the customer about the change of policy. Restaurants can do this any way they like - just tell the customer in advance.

Lots of times, I'll just ask for water. Until I know for darned certain what the soft drinks cost. I would've thought, if each beverage is an additional charge, that the drink would be $ 1.50 and not $ 3.29 each. But, this is DC and just breathing the air there, seems to cost money.
 

boris bubbanov

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Ok, mystery solved. After all the comments here, I looked into it further. Although I bought it up with the server at the time, he said that was how they were to do it.

I just called and the manager said, no, that is NOT how they do it. She said she'd give me a refund and speak with the server about why this happened.

Edit:. She found it easier to put a credit on my account so I'd come back. And it was a way generous credit. So I'm glad I called.

Maybe I should ask the thread to disappear??

Thread still matters. Why?

So the rest of us can be on the lookout for shenanigans. I have this spidey sense, that you got reimbursed but that the servers pocketed the money on the customers who didn't notice or care. IMO the servers don't do this kind of thing unless they're on the make.

My suspicion is, this funny business would not happen IF the servers were doing things as they did 'em in 2019. Disruptions of the kind we're in now, have all kinds of secondary impacts.
 

graybeard65

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I don't know how it works there, but here in fast food soda comes in powder then they add pressured water or sparkling water or something of that order.

edit maybe not powder, but highly concentrated thick syrup, then they add water.
yes, that's bag-in-box. The box holds 640 ounces of concentrated syrup, which is mixed 5:1 carbonated water/syrup for most regular (non-diet) sodas. At the end of the day, your box will yield around 30 gallons of soda. That works out to be around 17 cents for a typical pour.
 




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