The Coca-Cola Freestyle soda fountain, now seen in pretty much every damn fast food restaurant in America, was first introduced in 2009 and touts that it offers more than 100 different types of fountain drinks on its touchscreen display. Like an iPad attached to a soda fountain.
The selling point is that now consumers can mix and match and add flavors to their soft drinks that heretofore they could only dream about. But the problem with that is, mainstream fast food patrons of America aren’t capable of concocting soda fountain drinks on their own. There is a reason Coke and Pepsi and those other companies employ R&D gurus and spend all that money on focus groups and stuff. They know what they’re doing, and we don’t.
“It let me make Diet Orange Coke,” TDQ co-founder Karl Fields said recently. “I was at the same time embarrassed at myself for trying to think outside the box and angry at the Coke people for letting me even try it. As I cursed myself while driving home what seemed like an eternity later, it occurred to me that there’s no Diet Orange Coke on the shelves. They knew!”
On top of that, as anyone who has worked in a restaurant or gas station and had to clean a soda fountain can tell you, you need to clean each nozzle individually, and make sure any soda residue is completely cleaned off, because that stuff sticks on there. I worked at a restaurant in high school, and our owner was a fanatic about cleaning the soda fountain nozzles every night.
And he was right. With this machine, all the drinks go into your cup through the same nozzle. It’s anarchy. Now, every single drink I get out of the fountain has a hint of Sprite flavor to it. Every one. Whether I got Sprite or not.
Thanks, Coke. Jerks.
You are now informed. Go and do likewise.