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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%
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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, 12:49 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorce View Post
What are the ethics of refilling your drink if you've left the establishment?
Eating outside still on the property seems fine.
What about eating in your car in the parking lot then going in and refilling your drink?
What if you work next door and got a drink with lunch and then go back an hour later?
What if you went there for lunch and stop for a refill on your way home 4-5 hours later?
What if it's a different store in the same chain?
If you take your cup home, rinse it out then go back next week is that ok?
Once you leave the property, the transaction is completed, which concludes the restaurant's contract to allow you free refills. If you're still on the property and have never left, you can get free refills without any question.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:54 PM   #62
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I don't eat at Chipotle very often at all, but I would have assumed that condiment bottles on the tables are refilled from a 55 gallon drum of the stuff in the back and then reused. No? It seems like that would be the most efficient approach.

It's been too many years since I worked in a restaurant, but I remember our workers consolidating the ketchup from nearly empty bottles to make a full one. I'm trying to remember if we also refilled bottles from a bigger container, but don't recall. It seems like we would have done so, because we would have had bigger ketchup containers in the back that the cooks used.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:56 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
I don't eat at Chipotle very often at all, but I would have assumed that condiment bottles on the tables are refilled from a 55 gallon drum of the stuff in the back and then reused. No? It seems like that would be the most efficient approach.

It's been too many years since I worked in a restaurant, but I remember our workers consolidating the ketchup from nearly empty bottles to make a full one. I'm trying to remember if we also refilled bottles from a bigger container, but don't recall. It seems like we would have done so, because we would have had bigger ketchup containers in the back that the cooks used.
What restaurant did you work in? I worked in the Pizza Inn on 63 for a few months. That's my only food service experience.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:03 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What restaurant did you work in? I worked in the Pizza Inn on 63 for a few months. That's my only food service experience.
Most of my time was at Sirloin Stockade, but I also did stints at G&D Steak House, Dairy Queen, and A&W. I actually worked in restaurants for ten years up until I got out of college.

I'm trying to remember exactly where Pizza Inn was. I liked their food, but was more likely to hit Tim's Pizza on their "all you can eat" Tuesdays (or whatever day of the week it was). Where was it? What other businesses were nearby?
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:25 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Most of my time was at Sirloin Stockade, but I also did stints at G&D Steak House, Dairy Queen, and A&W. I actually worked in restaurants for ten years up until I got out of college.

I'm trying to remember exactly where Pizza Inn was. I liked their food, but was more likely to hit Tim's Pizza on their "all you can eat" Tuesdays (or whatever day of the week it was). Where was it? What other businesses were nearby?
It was very close to the Thomas Jefferson residence hall. I can't remember if it was just east or just west of there.

With all that experience, you must be quite a cook!
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:30 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It was very close to the Thomas Jefferson residence hall. I can't remember if it was just east or just west of there.

With all that experience, you must be quite a cook!
He's got a few footlong stories I bet
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:34 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What restaurant did you work in? I worked in the Pizza Inn on 63 for a few months. That's my only food service experience.
Woah, I worked for Pizza Inn as a delivery driver my freshman year of college. Relative to this thread they let employees have unlimited free soda. Rain Man would’ve loved it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:34 PM   #68
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Order the small every damn time. Screw the man!!!!
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #69
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Except as a mixer in cocktails, after age 30, stop drinking soda altogether.

Quandary resolved.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:44 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It was very close to the Thomas Jefferson residence hall. I can't remember if it was just east or just west of there.

With all that experience, you must be quite a cook!
Oh, I think I remember it.

You'd think that I could cook, but not really. I guess I can grill a steak or burger pretty well, but that's about it. I was a cook for probably only about sixish years, and was a busboy or dishwasher for fourish.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:48 PM   #71
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Woah, I worked for Pizza Inn as a delivery driver my freshman year of college. Relative to this thread they let employees have unlimited free soda. Rain Man would’ve loved it.
That would have been magical. I never got free sodas anywhere. At the Sirloin Stockade we could get free lemonade or punch while working, which was tasty, but no sodas. I'm not sure, but I think we got also free meals on our breaks, which was a huge perk for a kid with no money. If they weren't free they were very highly discounted.

The Dairy Queen made us pay for our meals at either full price or close to it, and they paid about half of the minimum wage due to some weird loophole. It was my only option since I was under 16. There were some shifts where I basically just worked for a meal since I had a teenage appetite.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:56 PM   #72
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I started my pop habit working fast food as a teenager (started when I was 15) because we could have all the pop we wanted while working in the back (obviously not if you were working the counter). I moved to the grill almost immediately so always had a frosty Pepsi sitting above the grill while I worked. We had to pay for meals though. Burgers were like 59 cents so it wasn't a big deal.

I later worked at a Wendys for a short time and we didn't get free pop there but we did get a meal allowance if you worked a full shift.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:08 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
I don't eat at Chipotle very often at all, but I would have assumed that condiment bottles on the tables are refilled from a 55 gallon drum of the stuff in the back and then reused. No? It seems like that would be the most efficient approach.
Have you seriously not used hot sauce?

You can't really use refillable bottles like ketchup and mustard, because they dispense too much.

You need the bottles with the itty-bitty dispensing holes that just let out a couple drops at a time.

Restaurants just leave them in the consumer size bottles the manufacturer sells them in.

But those are way too much trouble to 'marry' and refill, certainly to sanitize in between.

Hot sauce manufacturers do offer their stuff in bulk, but it's usually only used by the cook or in the home. It's conceivable one could put hot sauce in a regular squeeze bottle, but they probably figure they'd run into more headaches with people splurting way too much hot sauce on their food than the expense of disposable bottles.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:14 PM   #74
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Have you seriously not used hot sauce?

You can't really use refillable bottles like ketchup and mustard, because they dispense too much.

You need the bottles with the itty-bitty dispensing holes that just let out a couple drops at a time.

Restaurants just leave them in the consumer size bottles the manufacturer sells them in.

But those are way too much trouble to 'marry' and refill, certainly to sanitize in between.

Hot sauce manufacturers do offer their stuff in bulk, but it's usually only used by the cook or in the home. It's conceivable one could put hot sauce in a regular squeeze bottle, but they probably figure they'd run into more headaches with people splurting way too much hot sauce on their food than the expense of disposable bottles.

I never use hot sauce. I like food that has flavor rather than covering it up with pain.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:15 PM   #75
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I never got free sodas anywhere.
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I later worked at a Wendys for a short time and we didn't get free pop there but we did get a meal allowance if you worked a full shift.
I don't think the free soda decision as an employment perk is so much as cost thing, or just being cheap.

Way back when I worked Hardees in HS, the soda was free. But the big problem was, since it was free, over the course of a shift some employees would go through like a half dozen cups with barely a sip out of them strewn all over the place.

Front line would sneak a cup and take a couple sips, then a customer would come in and they'd stash it under the counter and forget it until it was hot and flat. Of course, then they'd just get another cup and get more soda. Rinse and repeat.

In the back the soda got hotter and flatter quicker, plus you had the unsanitary danger of open soda around cooking food for sale.

So, though the soda was free, we had to get a cup in the morning and mark it yours. Then you had to leave it in the break area, and not leave a whole bunch behind that you would just throw out later.
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