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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  
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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, 08:00 AM   #31
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I get the large. It's generally like $.50 to $.75 more, big deal. Plus, then I can refill it right before I leave, and have a large to go. If you are needing to cheat the few cents difference, you should probably be eating at home.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:11 AM   #32
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There are items in grocery stores that they lose money on because they want to get you in the store with a low priced item that many people buy. Think of the soda purchase the same way. They know it may not be profitable if everyone gets a soda and refill as their only purchase, but as you said, you went there because you could get the refill so the restaurant and you both win.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:13 AM   #33
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All this... esp if you're a Dr Pepper fan, the mix is off at least 15% of the time in my experience.
Yep. That's the life of a Dr. Pepper drinker.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:38 AM   #34
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:42 AM   #35
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Medium. So you can get a lid and take some with you. If you are having one to go, the small isn't enough.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:52 AM   #36
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If you're drinking the disgusting sugary shit that comes out of those refill dispensers at fast food or low budget restaurants, you have bigger issues than how many and cup size.

Costs them about .05 a cup if that. The cup costs more than the liquid.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:45 AM   #37
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I hate people that get the water cup and then fill it up with Dr. Pepper or whatever right in front of everybody. It's like bro, we can see you.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:00 AM   #38
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Hmm, lots of good points here.

First off, I completely agree on putting soda in the water cup. That's just wrong, and there's no gray area there. It's a crime.

With regard to the soda size, I conclude that the most valid argument is that the restaurant is setting the rules, so as long as I play by those rules there is no ethical violation. Therefore, the small soda is the most valid purchase to make. The only exception is if I'm planning to take a refill with me and would prefer the larger size. I like that exception because it gives me a logical reason to assume that a reasonable person could at times choose a size other than small, hence the reason for the restaurant offering up rules that are nonsensical on their face from a dine-in perspective.

So my conclusion is that, going forward, I will order the small soda and collect my refills without hesitation or shame.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:05 AM   #39
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People who put Sprite in a 'water' cup are typically the same people who steal the Tabasco bottles from Chipotle.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:17 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discuss Thrower View Post
People who put Sprite in a 'water' cup are typically the same people who steal the Tabasco bottles from Chipotle.
I've never done it, but I've seen the argument.

What is your assessment of someone who picks out the Tabasco bottle with the approximate amount remaining they were intending to put on their purchase?

Those making the argument say they're saving mess and hassle for both them and the Chipotle of opening and laying out their purchases to put Tabasco on in-store and saving the staff the trouble of throwing away the bottle.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #41
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Don't forget this ... Chipolte's commitment to recycling Tobasco bottles is hit and miss ...

If you're a dedicated recycler, take the bottle and save Planet Earth from even further devastation.

Hell ... take all their bottles.

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #42
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If Chipotle meant for customers to take their source of Tabasco home, they'd have the airliner-sized bottles available.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #43
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McDonalds kinda flips this argument on its head though. They charge the same $1 price regardless of which size you get.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #44
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If Chipotle meant for customers to take their source of Tabasco home, they'd have the airliner-sized bottles available.
You realize that Tabasco bottles aren't self-replenishing?

Are you arguing that Chipotle doesn't intend for you to put the Tabasco inside the bottle on your purchase?

Are you arguing that customers should never use the last of the Tabasco in any particular bottle?

Are you arguing that Chipotle has a proprietary interest in empty Tabasco bottles?

Help me understand the contours of your argument.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:29 AM   #45
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