Drinks can be refilled in most restaurants
But there is something I don’t understand
Back 20 years ago, the last time I lived in the United States there were a few restaurants that offered free drink refills. Not too many, though.
These days, it seems like every place has free refills. I am primarily talking about fast food places, but it also applies to traditional restaurants in a lot of cases.
You just walk up to the cashier order a drink, choose the size you want, and you are handed an empty cup. You then to over to the drink area, fill up your cup, get a lid and a straw, and go enjoy your drink.
While you are eating, or for as long as you stay there, you can just keep refilling the cup over and over again, there is no extra charge!
If they did this in the Philippines
If they offered these kinds of free refills of soft drinks in the Philippines… well, you would never be able to find a seat in the place! People would drain those syrup containers dry!
The only place I know of in the Philippines where you can get free drink refills is at S&R, which is a membership store, somewhat like a Costco. But, since it required membership, that would tend to limit the clientelle to people who have money. Those people are far less likely to abuse the system.
So many flavors
Another thing about getting your drink is that there are so many flavors available! We have a Burger King just up the street from where I live. My friend and I like to meet there to get together and talk. We just each get a drink, and will stay for as long as we have something to talk about.
When I go there, it is just amazing, though, how many flavors they offer.
I only drink diet drinks, and there are still a number of diet drink flavors to choose from. In the Philippines you are lucky if they even offer a diet drink!
But, I don’t understand
One thing about it that I just don’t understand is that you have to choose what size of drink you want. As normal, the size of the drink determines the price.
If you can refill the cup as many times as you want, why would you pay more for the larger sizes? And, the prices are not cheap! When my friend and I meet up at Burger King, we each get a large drink, and they are $2.24 for the large drink (including tax). That is pretty high compared to what I am used to.
But, why not get a small drink for the low price, and just keep refilling it? I don’t know.
Funny thing is, I just get the large myself, though, because that is what everybody seems to do.
The large drink is really large
And, the size of the large dink? It must be nearly a liter in itself! I find that unless we are at Burger King for a long, long time, I can hardly finish the large drink. But, I will usually refill it before leaving so that I have a full drink to bring home with me.
But they are not so large at all places
But, Burger King seems to be the king of drink sizes too. In fact, the medium size at Burger King is the same size as the large drink at McDonald’s! Take a look at the picture and see what I am talking about.
These free and large refills are something that is new to me!
The size of the cup only matters when people are leaving and get that last refill before heading out the door. Then the size of your cup will determine how much you can leave the store with 🙂
Hi Jay. More or less true.. the size of the cup also affects the price, though. 🙂
I pay for a large drink only if am going to purchase through the drive thru. If, am going to sit inside, small drink is the order of the day and I refill, refill, refill….
Hi John, what you are doing makes sense. Drive through… large. In the place, small makes way more sense.
I have asked myself the same question and when Burger King (Hungry Jacks in Australia) offered free refills I would only buy small size cups for that very reason. Now they offer one free refill and keep the machine behind the counter. I have also gone back through the drive-through to get a free refill and that was a ton of fun. The clerk couldn’t understand my point about how if you can get free refills in the store, why not at the drive-through? I also noted the huge size of cups in the USA. I recall ordering a large coffee at a donut place in Las Vegas. It was what in Australia we would put a milkshake in, at least 750ml! Apparently the ‘regular’ was closer to a litre! I marveled at the average American bladder given I couldn’t discern if there were more public toilets around than back home.
Speaking of portion size, when asawa and I migrated to Australia in 2005 we noticed just how huge the portions were when buying food at the mall food court. Amelita asked why did we have to pay for the plate and could we keep it… sign said ‘$8.50 per plate’. We still chuckle about that. Great work, Bob.
Hi Perry, yeah I think I should probably just get small! Why not?
The cups are definitely huge! No doubt.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
I’m drink coffee all day long – right up until bed time. When I was in Hong Kong all you got for coffee in a restaurant was instant coffee , usually Sanka. Asking for a refill was unheard of – even if I was willing to pay for it. I got some really strange looks from the waiters.
Then I went to a McDonalds. I could get real coffee and free refills. Seven of the ten most profitable McDonalds in the world were in Hong Kong – I chalk it up to the free coffee refills in a society that didn’t know they existed.
In my younger days breakfast consisted of a Coke and and a Payday bar. Sadly, I have given up Coke or I would be a fixture at the drinks fountain.
Hi Tony – I also drink a lot of coffee myself. But, I have switched to decaf because the caffeine was playing games with my heart. Still good, though.
Interesting story about the coffee refills in HK. 😉
Bob New York
Many Diners and Restaurants also offer free refils on coffee. I think competition is what started the free refill thing many years ago. One started it and if the rest did not go along with it they would loose business.
Then it was the size wars which brought us the ” Supersized ” drink sizes. At one point New York City wanted to outlaw drink sizes of soft drinks and other sugary drinks to 16 ounces maximum but I don’t think it ever became a law. People would just buy two if they wanted more anyway.
I was never a big soda drinker at least not on a regular basis. What I don’t like about many of them today is that they don’t use sugar but High Fructose Corn Syrup. On my earlier visits to Philippines I enjoyed Coca Cola with real sugar but in the more recent visits they too have switched to High Fructose Corn Syrup, at least in the canned versions according to the ingredients label. Fortunately, in my local grocery store ” Mexican Coca-Cola ” is available in the real glass bottles and it uses cane sugar, NO High Fructose Corn Syrup. At $1.25 per 12 ounce bottle it is not cheap but this is something I do enjoy while eating a take out pizza at home and on a hot day after cutting the lawn.
On the Diet drinks Bob, I have read many times that often they can cause a weight gain ? Additionally some people are allergic to the diet ingredients such as aspartemine ?
For the most part I enjoy Coffee and I was able to get some great tasting coffee at Jollibee and McDo while vacationing in Iligan City, Philippines. In fact there was a McDo right across the street from my hotel. I really liked walking across the street at 2 AM for a fresh coffee, and it was Always fresh, never had a bad one from them. Why 2 AM you may ask ? Because that was the best time of day for using the internet from my hotel room and even then it was slow but better than nothing LOL.
Was it dangerous going out at 2 AM for coffee ? I never had a problem and in fact it was a lot easier and safer walking across the National Highway at that time of the day !
I agree, Bob, competition did it!
Everything you say makes sense. I don’t drink sugary drinks if I drink a soft drink, it is only diet drinks.
I know I can get free refills but most of time I stop at a fast food place is when I travel and do not want to make very many pit stops. So never get them. Unless my family is with me I do not eat when traveling. But as far as fast food goes I prefer Whataburger there a few chains I have never tried.
Have a wonderful day.
Hi Nathan – Interesting. I have heard of Whataburger, but never seen one or been to one.