Everyone knows the "no ice" beverage hack whenever we're picking up food to go. You want more liquid for your dollar and it's understandable as the ice takes up a lot of valuable cup volume real estate.
And for the most part, fast food joints are quick to oblige the request without any issue, because some of the highest profit margins that foodservice businesses make are on drinks, especially fountain ones.
A decent fountain soda machine costs about $3,600, and 5-gallon bag of soda concentrate syrup produces a tremendous value: businesses will get about 30 gallons worth of beverage from a 5-gallon bag.
So, if a business is charging an average of $2 a fountain drink and they're getting wholesale 5 gallon bags for $120 a pop, they're making around $720 off of each bag alone, maybe minus a few nickles here and there for cups, lids, straws, and the cost of ice.
And while the margins on iced coffee are a lot slimmer than fountain syrup beverages, shops are still making a decent amount on each cup of brew that they're serving up.
But java is a high-volume business and if you're not pouring hundreds of cups a day for folks, then you're really not making enough to keep the shop open and paying your employees plus buying all of the little accouterments that keep your customers happy.
This could be why this local coffee shop decided to implement a rarely seen surcharge for its customers: adding $1 on an order for an iced coffee. TikToker @breakfastat_tiffanys__ zooms were at a Seattle location of the franchise when they noticed that they were being charged an additional buck because they had asked for no ice.
"So you're going to charge me $1 for no ice... what?" the woman says in the now-viral clip. Unsurprisingly, the video garnered a ton of comments from people who felt really passionately about the economics of ice vs iceless cups.
Some said that it only made sense for Gravity Co. to charge more for no ice since the customer was getting more beverage in their cup than they normally would if they were to order the drink with ice.
Others said that companies are making enough of a profit off of a cup of coffee in the first place that they didn't need to be nickel and diming their customers just because they're getting a couple of more ounces of liquid if they don't want ice.
Then there were others who stated that the issue has more to do with the fact that the customer wasn't asked if they wanted their cup of coffee completely filled to the brim, that they could've easily just been given a cup that just had what the amount would've been had they ordered the drink with ice.
For whatever reason, folks seem really, really passionate about their drink sizes. Something I learned when I did a video disproving that McDonald's cups are all the same size.
What do you think? Should fast-food eateries charge folks for not putting ice in their drinks since they're getting "extra" gulps? Or if someone is paying for 12 or 16 or 20 ounces of liquid, then they should be entitled to that amount and the $1 surcharge is just another way for companies to pad their profits in grimy ways?