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View Poll Results: What is the ethical approach to ordering soft drinks in a self-refill environment?
Always order the smallest size. It's the logical best value and the restaurant knows what it's doing. 65 67.71%
Order a medium soda with expectations of getting a refill. It's the compromise that is most fair to both parties in combination. 19 19.79%
Order a size that approximates your expected need, even if it means paying more for a large. 5 5.21%
Don't order a soda in a self-refill environment. It's too fraught with ethical minefields. 2 2.08%
I would need to take a college philosophy course before I can answer this. 5 5.21%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-09-2018, 11:52 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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The ethics of get-it-yourself refills.

I was in a restaurant tonight, and it had a system in place that I like. They set the soda machine out in the dining room, and you can just go get your own refill. Getting my own soda refill is one of my key selection criteria for restaurants these days.

However, I have a conundrum. When I order a soda, I'm usually asked if I want a small, medium, or large.

Now, think about that for a moment. It's free refills with no shame. I don't have to ask someone for my refills, I just go get them.

So the logical approach here is to always order a small drink, right? Maybe I have to get up sooner to get my refill, but big deal. It burns calories to walk over there.

But at the same time, I feel guilty ordering a small soda if I'm already figuring that I'll get a refill. Essentially, I'm getting a large soda for the price of a small. Is this ethical? If I know that I want more than the XX ounces in a small size, should I order the size that closest approximates my need? Or should I look out for my own self-interest and always order the smallest size at the lowest cost?

Poll coming. You can get up and vote on it yourself.

Last edited by Rain Man; 10-09-2018 at 11:57 PM..
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:31 AM   #16
displacedinMN displacedinMN is offline
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I order a "water cup" at no charge and then get soda/pop when nobody is looking. Sprite is ideal...especially if it's a little flat. If anyone snitches, they get stitches.
that is the crime
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:34 AM   #17
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Also why do I receive the smallest cup possible when I order water? My thirst is just as much as those drinking soda (or pop).
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:34 AM   #18
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Always get a small. The actual material cost of soda is like $.05. Don't feel bad.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:43 AM   #19
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Have any of you owned a business that serves soda?


It’s been 10 years since I have, and I can tell you it more than .05 material per drink.

I think our material cost with cup was around .50-.60 per 32oz soda. That’s what Pepsi charged.

Prefer coke though, but their service out here sucked.m

Beer is a huge profit item.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by T-post Tom View Post
I order a "water cup" at no charge and then get soda/pop when nobody is looking. Sprite is ideal...especially if it's a little flat. If anyone snitches, they get stitches.
This^
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:56 AM   #21
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Order the damn small. The mark up on soda is criminal. If your strategy was a problem they wouldn't offer free refills. All the soda you can drink will end up costing them like 7 cents.
This. How can this even be a question? As long as you're playing by the rules set by the restaurant, how can there be an ethical problem here? I'm shocked that there are people voting for other options.

If you need a crazy rationale for doing the right thing, you can feel good about generating a smaller amount of trash for the landfills if you buy the smaller cup instead of a giant cup you didn't really need.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:13 AM   #22
Katipan Katipan is offline
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If this is a machine that has to dispense many flavors from one spout then the big cup is mandatory.

Otherwise you have to stand there letting the soda machine flush out whatever nasty Mtn. Dew Blast that the previous person used every single time you refill your tiny ass water cup.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:13 AM   #23
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Soft drinks are too expensive in restaurants. I get a free water cup and just drink water during a meal. I can then swing by a mini mart and fill my own cup for under a dollar if I want pop.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:16 AM   #24
Katipan Katipan is offline
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$3.00 for a large soda at BK.

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Old 10-10-2018, 07:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katipan View Post
If this is a machine that has to dispense many flavors from one spout then the big cup is mandatory.

Otherwise you have to stand there letting the soda machine flush out whatever nasty Mtn. Dew Blast that the previous person used every single time you refill your tiny ass water cup.
Yeah, I hate that. I don't drink pop and every time I try and get a water from one of those, it's tainted with color from some nasty soda syrup.

Those things are giant petri dishes too. All those dirty hands pawing at the screen....
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:22 AM   #26
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Definitely small. Think of it this way: If you only drink half a glass do you think they’re gonna give you half your money back?
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:29 AM   #27
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My Wife throws a fit if we go to say, Arby's, and I order anything but a small drink...she says "Damnit old man, you can cart your ass back up there and refill your cup"..


And she is right. The other thing that always kind of makes me a tad pissed off are these folks who stand at the fountain and fill their cups all the way up to the very top, drink a bit and fill it up over and over again. Geez folks, you CAN drink it and go back....

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Old 10-10-2018, 07:35 AM   #28
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This thread is fascinating.

Places like Arbys does a lot of volume on meal packages and when you upsize your curly fries, the drink comes with it.

If your wife has a problem with large orders of curly fries you may want to consider divorce.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:44 AM   #29
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i take into account how big a size i want to leave the restaurant with (on my last refill), so usually i get something bigger than a small.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:48 AM   #30
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Quote:
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i take into account how big a size i want to leave the restaurant with (on my last refill), so usually i get something bigger than a small.
Exactly. Plus, there is normally only like a 30 cent difference between a large and small.
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