Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Coca-Cola FREESTYLE...the future of bad soda (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 13 pages: 1  2  3  4  ...  11  12  13 
 
Author Topic: Coca-Cola FREESTYLE...the future of bad soda
Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-01-2013 05:26 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I would just like to take this opportunity to point out a few things.

First, Pepsi sucks. It always has and it always will. This isn't just a matter of personal taste. I will back that statement up by saying to look at various restaurants. The restaurants which have achieved major success are all serving Coke products. (The Kentucky Taco Hut doesn't count, as their parent company is Pepsi.) Likewise, the smaller operations including the mom and pop restaurants that serve Coke (with very rare exception) have quality food. Similarly, restaurants serving Pepsi typically have chosen Pepsi as a means to cut their costs, and they do the same thing with every other aspect of their operation including the quality of their food ingredients and preparation.

Pepsi is a warning sign. It means the establishment you are walking into puts their profit over quality all around since Pepsi is cheaper. Pay attention as you go out and choose places to get dinner. You WILL see that this is a bankable thing.

(Yes there are exceptions here and there for various reasons, but the above statements are easily more than 90% accurate.)

Putting Pepsi aside for a moment, Coke now has these damned "Freestyle" machines out now, and I've started seeing them in theaters and places that I used to patronize. I don't anymore. When I see a Freestyle machine, I know the drink will taste like ass water (moreso than even Pepsi) and I simply refuse to patronize that establishment. Ask anyone who knows me.

Pepsi = I walk
Freestyle = I walk

Coke has had these stupid things out for a few years now and STILL haven't figured out how to make them taste like Coke products!

If anyone is considering putting these bastardized machines into their theater, please actually stop for a moment and TASTE them! I'm finding more and more people like me who will walk away from a Freestyle machine. People ARE starting to notice. Don't lose customers just because you got brainwashed by some jackass Coke salesman telling you that it will benefit your company from a marketing perspective. It won't. It will just teach people not to buy the large on their next trip.

On a similar rant, do not sell plastic cups. Any and ALL plastic cups destroy the taste. Stick to styrofoam (preferably), wax or glass cups only.

Also don't use high-speed nozzles. The brix is impossible to get right and the time spent waiting for the foam to go down takes longer in the end to dispense. (Never pour the foam off or you have just screwed up the brix.)

Similarly the ice bin is there for a reason, to chill the lines. If your theater can't operate with a counter electric dispenser, don't EVER let your staff let the ice bin get lower than halfway or you WILL be serving a poor product.

Likewise the ice should be NO LESS THAN 2/3 of the cup before you fill it. This number varies up to 3/4 depending on the type of ice your ice machine produces and the type of cup you use, but NEVER pour a drink without starting at the 2/3rd level or higher unless a customer without taste buds specifically requests it. Pouring with less ice will knock the carbonation off and kill the quality.

Putting forth a little extra attention to design, calibration and training on things like this WILL make you more money. Case in point back when I was managing for UA I took a small 8 plex and made it #1 in the entire UA chain on per caps. That attention to quality in the concession (and of course the booth too) also brought that little theater which was doing decent business to a status of selling out 7 out of 8 auditoriums virtually every weekend. All you have to do is put a little extra effort into closely monitoring the quality of the products you are serving.

And if anyone ever sees this guy in person, please give him a swift kick to the balls for inventing that Freestyle abortion. Once he is down, please kick him again for me. His crappy machine coupled with Coke's brain-dead marketing department are on the path to kill their own product and they don't even realize it yet because they failed to put QUALITY as #1 priority.

 -

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1749
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 09-01-2013 05:47 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The best solution for selling quality soft drinks is to sell premix, not postmix. It costs more and it's a lot foamier, but it's a much better tasting product.

Unfortunately for those who like Coke, premix Coke is no longer available. (At least, it isn't around here.)

Most places around here have Pepsi, anyway. I think I told you folks before about my experience when I first set up my theatre. I wrote a letter to Coke and to Pepsi saying that I'm opening a theatre, come and see me. The Pepsi salesman was ringing my doorbell two days after I sent the letter. The Coke salesman showed up FIVE YEARS later.

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-01-2013 05:59 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed, premix is the best, but it's all but dead these days.

No surprise on the Pepsi salesman, Frank. That's because Pepsi is desperate for anyone who will put their product into their store. Coke knows they have the product and that they don't have to try very hard. Plus for some reason Coke doesn't seem to care about Canada.

Still though, when the Coke guy knocked on your door, did you switch or did you hold a grudge?

 |  IP: Logged

Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1393
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 09-01-2013 06:15 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I once wrote a business plan for an eight screen theatre and RC Cola was the brand we were going to use.

I later sold the business plan to a company (located in Texas) and I noticed they were selling coke products at the location they opened.

At the time, I was anti-Pepsi and anti-Coke.

 |  IP: Logged

Pravin Ratnam
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 827
From: Atlanta, GA,USA
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 09-01-2013 07:12 PM      Profile for Pravin Ratnam   Email Pravin Ratnam   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I like the freestyle machines. BUt yes, the taste is not hte greatest. My suggestions
1) Always have a fountain option for the most popular drinks because that can take away the burden of serving so many customers quickly. Disable those flavors in the freestyle machine.
2) Maybe they finetune the freestyles in have a quick rinse of the spigot. Sti;l; won't be perfect. But it is a great side thing to have. Now I agree, it kind of sucks as the main dispenser once the novetly wears off.

I don't see why we can't have the best of both worlds. Freestyle for the sizable minority that wants to try out different drinks. And the fountains for the more popular ones.

 |  IP: Logged

Tony Ratcliff
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 216
From: Madison, IN, USA
Registered: Mar 2002


 - posted 09-01-2013 07:32 PM      Profile for Tony Ratcliff   Email Tony Ratcliff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I totally agree about the Freestyle. I thought it was just me that thinks it tastes nasty and nothing like Coke.

About Coke vs Pepsi. We had Coke for many years because I agree it tastes better in fountain. BUT, after suffering through years of constant price hikes, non-existent customer service from my sales rep, and finally a refusal to replace my broken down 20 year old fountain machines, Pepsi walked in the door. I got a 1/3 drop in price, brand new machines ( ungraded to 8 heads per ) , nor more COD, order drop off using a key so I don't have to be there, on-line bill pay, and same-day repair service that actually repairs the issues ( which there have been few ).

So I think maybe it is a regional thing on who is the best.

I think the BEST would be to be able to have BOTH Coke and Pepsi, so I could serve Coke, Diet Coke and Mountain Dew.

OR if I could get Coke with Pepsi's prices and service level.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-01-2013 11:19 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I will agree that the Freestyle machines are an abomination, but fountain soda is probably only really good about a third of the time anyway. Either there's not enough ice -- no wait, there's NEVER enough ice -- or the drink is flat, or the brix is off. Sometimes all three or at least two. The worst thing is, a theater concession employee has no control over anything -- they're told exactly how much ice to put in, which is almost never enough. They can't adjust the brix, obviously. And if the CO2 runs out, they haven't got a clue how to change it -- that's the day manager's job and sorry, he's gone home for the night.

quote: Brad Miller
Pepsi is desperate for anyone who will put their product into their store. Coke knows they have the product and that they don't have to try very hard.
That's gotta be the worst justification for poor customer service I ever heard.

This town is a Pepsi town, hands down. Every restaurant in this town sells Pepsi fountain products, and one of the local bars even uses Pepsi in its drinks. Maybe it's a regional thing, I don't know, but taste aside, I think it's mostly attributed to Coke's crappy service. We used to have a Coke machine (cans) at our parts store -- but we switched to Pepsi years ago, because Coke couldn't be bothered to keep our machine filled. Pepsi shows up every week without fail.

Our favorite restaurant, Fitzgeralds, has both Pepsi and Coke fountain machines, and the owner there tells me that Pepsi outsells Coke.

There was one "holdout" restaurant, a sandwich shop, but they finally switched to Pepsi last spring -- the icemaker built into their Coke machine broke down, Coke dragged its feet for months and then finally said they would repair the icemaker "this time," but in the future they would be responsible for their own repairs. Pepsi offered them a new icemaker machine with service included, a new floor cooler for bottled product and (of course) all new signage.

At the Roxy we started off selling Coke products, but in 1980 we decided to try Pepsi along with Coke because we had a lot of requests for it. Within two months Pepsi was out-selling Coke by a wide margin every day. So we finally just switched over. (We do carry some Coke 16-ouncers for those Coke fans, so we cover both bases.)

Our experience with Pepsi has been exemplary for over 30 years even though we're not exactly a big customer of theirs. I've never once had any kind of complaint about them. When we did a concession remodel and unexpectedly had to have the Pepsi machine removed and reinstalled, they sent a crew from Billings out to do it on a half day's notice. A few months ago when I screwed up and forgot to order a couple cases of cups (and we were on the verge of running out), our rep drove 160 miles round trip to bring those cups to us. Last summer when one of our spigots started to malfunction, the repair guy came in the front door within TWO MINUTES of me calling him. (We got lucky on that last one...he was already in town on another job. But still...none of this "we can't come until we get a written work order" nonsense.)

 |  IP: Logged

Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3172
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 09-01-2013 11:44 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I prefer Pepsi over Coke any day of the week and twice on Sunday. If the theater serves Coke I usually have a Pepsi bottle in my pocket or I buy fruit punch or root beer or something else. I will drink Coke if I have to, but prefer not to.

I'm tempted to try the free style. Since all of you coke fans say it sucks, it may actually taste good to me. [Smile]

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-01-2013 11:51 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting that EVERYONE who has posted about the Freestyle machines so far has agreed they taste awful. [Big Grin]

All good reasons Mike. Clearly the regional Coke office is awful beyond words there, but I can assure you most towns (and of course businesses with more than one location) get Coke's attention and good service. That doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. There is one thing that really caught my eye in your post though.

quote: Mike Blakesley
We do carry some Coke 16-ouncers for those Coke fans, so we cover both bases.
Beside your obvious reasons for serving Pepsi instead of Coke, that statement shows you care and make an extra effort to excel at what you do. [thumbsup]

By the way, a tip for anyone at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport or other airports where Pepsi went and bought the place out in a desperate attempt to force-sell their crap. Think about it, an airport is LITERALLY a "captive group of consumers" and there is no escape...or is there?

What to do? Go to McDonald's. Yes, there I said it. Go to McDonald's! They took a stand and refuse to serve Pepsi regardless of any property deals greasing the airport executive's pocketbook.

Know who else took at stand against the Pepsi bullying? American Airlines. You can get it at their Admiral's Club, and DFW airport is the central hub for AA too, yet AA told them where to stick it.

Guess where I eat at the DFW airport and guess which airline I patronize.

 |  IP: Logged

Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8161
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 09-01-2013 11:55 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My big issue is the touchscreen ... not the greatest for the unit.

Then, the ice delivery behind the nozzle is a joke in itself.

You put one of these in the lobby, the sales line will definitely slow down due to one customer per drink.

Good for restaurants (like Fuddruckers who has them) but not for high speed concession lines.

Oh, I did have a Raspberry Coke and it wasn't too bad, but the Lime Coke wasn't it in a long shot.

 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12856
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-02-2013 12:37 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
WTF is Coke® Freestyle? Is that the machine with, like 101 flavors or some nonsense like that? Where is everything stored? That little white machine can't hold enough beverages, much less 101 different kinds of them. I would Google it and learn on my own but I am lazy.

 |  IP: Logged

Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 2913
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 09-02-2013 12:59 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe, it is a touchscreen operated dispenser that offers up several flavors of Coke® products. From what I saw of one opened for servicing, it has many "cartridges" of what I would imagine to be super-concentrated syrups to make the drinks with. And as you would say, it tastes like ass. [Big Grin] (I prefer Pepsi® myself but don't mind a properly brix'd and served fountain Coke®. )

Here's what the Freestyle machine looks like:

 -

 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12856
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-02-2013 01:09 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Tony. I also found a picture that showed the red machine just sitting there tucked away next to a wall in a theater. It looks like something that I'd completely ignore and not even register in my brain as I walked by. It looks like a kiosk and kiosks usually only do stupid and useless things, so I tend to ignore them. Unless that kiosk is a Red Box. Then I make Jen go use it. I also ignored bulk candy displays at UA theaters (and other chains if they had such things).

Do any theaters have a Red Box inside them yet? They should.

 |  IP: Logged

Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 2913
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 09-02-2013 01:14 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You're welcome. [Smile] I wanted to ignore it too, but at the burger place I was at (they make AWESOME burgers) that abortion was the ONLY way to get ANY drink, even ice water.

I can tell the nozzle is not rinsed between flavors, as even the ice water had residual taste of the drink before mine.

Horrible concept, but the little kids seem to love it.

 |  IP: Logged

Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 336
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 09-02-2013 02:39 AM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It does seem to be a kids thing. When I was little I use to mix different flavors at the fountains. We called it a bomb when we mixed all flavors. Anyways the Freestyle machines are a joke and do taste like shit. They have an effect of always tasting like the mix is off. The residual s left from each flavor is also a big factor of weird taste as said. Im a huge Coke fan too but I don't mind Pepsi and will drink it if there's no Coke. Coke WTF are you thinking screwing up your product?

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 13 pages: 1  2  3  4  ...  11  12  13 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.