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Are the US [and Canada] the only countries that understand free refills?


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#21 of 41 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted January 30 2009 - 10:08 AM

Quote:
I'm not Jason,...but I'm the one who mentioned my wife. So, in case you were asking me, I'll give you the answer of upwards of a couple liters a day apiece at the high end of the scale. Possibly more certain days.

Eeek! I also, if I don't get wine, only drink water when I eat out. I guess I should be glad so many people drink soft drinks considering I live in the city where Coca-Cola has its headquarters.

#22 of 41 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 30 2009 - 10:08 AM

Remind me not to take Francois to Shorty's if he visits me here in Boise. Posted Image

I really have a problem with aspartame, and it's not just that it sounds like asparagus. Now whenever I drink diet soda I get a spliting headache. I'm not sure if it's an allergic reaction or what. I miss the days of cyclamates which didn't have any side effects.
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#23 of 41 OFFLINE   Jimi C

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Posted January 30 2009 - 10:21 AM

You were probably in a heavy tourist area where they gouge you on everything. Its similar in places like that in the US. There are no free refills in Disneyland or the airport.
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#24 of 41 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted January 30 2009 - 11:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
Remind me not to take Francois to Shorty's if he visits me here in Boise. Posted Image
Inviting me to a bar is like inviting a vegetarian to a steak house. Posted Image

#25 of 41 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted January 30 2009 - 12:07 PM

My question is why are people going to crappy US chain restaurants in foreign countries? Go eat some good local food!

#26 of 41 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 30 2009 - 12:16 PM

Whenever I was in SE Spain or in Sicily I was never offered soda with a meal. It was always what kind of red wine that I wanted served. Posted Image
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#27 of 41 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted January 30 2009 - 01:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan X
I'm like you, Dave. We order water when eating out. Soda for $2.00-$3.00 multiplied by a family of four. I'll take the free water thank-you.
Same reason here. I can not see paying $10.00+ for drinks at one meal. Now if I could only convince everyone else in the family. Posted Image I actually really enjoy a good glass of ice water. Posted Image

#28 of 41 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted January 30 2009 - 04:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
Remind me not to take Francois to Shorty's if he visits me here in Boise. Posted Image

I really have a problem with aspartame, and it's not just that it sounds like asparagus. Now whenever I drink diet soda I get a spliting headache. I'm not sure if it's an allergic reaction or what. I miss the days of cyclamates which didn't have any side effects.

Have you tried Diet Rite? I wanted to cut aspartame out of my diet a few years back and became a big fan of it. I do drink diet drinks with aspartame now, but I still really like Diet Rite-- bought a couple two liters today.

#29 of 41 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 30 2009 - 05:39 PM

Aspartame is disgusting in soda drinks and Sucralose is only a little better. At least I don't get a splitting headache with Sucralose contaminated drinks. I can't say the same for Aspartame.
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#30 of 41 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted January 31 2009 - 01:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi C
You were probably in a heavy tourist area where they gouge you on everything. Its similar in places like that in the US. There are no free refills in Disneyland or the airport.
Sorry no. Outside of rich countries, you're far likelier to get these perks in tourist areas than where a bottle of soda could be mini-luxury for average joe.

The answer to the question in the title is an emphatic YES, with the disclaimer that I've not been everywhere, far from it. But this country is unique in many ways, and there are things about it one can assert without extensive proof: I believe the free refills thing is a purely (and typical) American excess. Elsewhere, the idea that you are entitled to free refills on a drink you've purchased is as absurd as claiming the same about the food.

Of course, I love free refills. Dirt cheap soda (heck the thing is probably cheaper than bottle water) and healthy competition between restaurants makes this possible. But I would never expect them beyond these borders and certainly would never, ever feel entitled to them.

Now, IIRC, the OP has traveled extensively and should know all of this.

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#31 of 41 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted January 31 2009 - 04:43 AM

I miss the days of Coke made with cane sugar. I've heard it can still be found in the Hispanic food section of some markets but I have not seen it here.

#32 of 41 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 31 2009 - 05:20 AM

I admit it. I am addicted to regular soda. I tried diets and hated them. Everytime, I have tried to quit. It never works out. So as with everything I eat now. I do it in moderation. Instead of a 24oz bottle at lunch. I get these little 8oz 1/2 cans. Its only 100cal opposed to almost 300cal. This way I curve my craving for it. Without the massive calories of a big bottle.
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#33 of 41 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted January 31 2009 - 05:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clinton McClure
I miss the days of Coke made with cane sugar. I've heard it can still be found in the Hispanic food section of some markets but I have not seen it here.
Doesn't Kosher Coke use cane sugar?

#34 of 41 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted January 31 2009 - 06:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clinton McClure
I miss the days of Coke made with cane sugar. I've heard it can still be found in the Hispanic food section of some markets but I have not seen it here.

The Mexican food markets here carry the imported Cokes made with real sugar. I don't normally drink anything but diet, but when we visit the markets I'll always grab a Coke.

#35 of 41 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 31 2009 - 06:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois Caron
Doesn't Kosher Coke use cane sugar?

I believe so. That is why when Coke releases it during the Jewish holidays. Lots of people who like the cane version buy large amounts of it.


On a side note. When I went to London last year. I noticed all of the regular soda's had a slightly different after-taste. Is this because of the sweetener they use there compared to the US?
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#36 of 41 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted January 31 2009 - 11:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray
I have been burned on the no free refills before. It ensures that I will never go back to that restaurant. I mean, I understand if that is all I am having, but if I am eating a dinner and want 2 or 3 glasses of coke, I should not have to pay $1.50 x 3.

This is rare for a fountain drink. There was this restaurant on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA that did it to me once. I hammered the waiter on the tip and wrote a note on the bill chastising him for not telling me about it. They should give me a heads up on that, I don't want to have to read the fine print on the menu like it is a legal document to find that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasC
All my doctor could say about diet soda is that it may cause starvation syndrome, which could cause you to eat more than you normally would and is likely linked to the lack of calories. Your body is expecting calories from everything that it consumes, and since diet soda has negligible calorie content, the body thinks it's that you're not eating anything and thinks you still need to eat.

I think there is something to this. I remember that study with the rats gaining more weight eating yogurt with artifical sweetener than regular sugar. While working on military bases, I would eat the same thing for breakfast every single day at the same time. When I would drink Diet Coke in the A.M. I would get hungry faster. When I would drink water in the A.M. my breakfast would just sit in my stomach and I wouldn't get hungry until later. It's just that drinking water is so damn boring. It's like drinking air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stryker
Did you get to try Quilmes beer in Argentina? Its pretty good stuff.

It's not bad. It's just sort of a generic lager beer. Nothing special.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_R
My question is why are people going to crappy US chain restaurants in foreign countries? Go eat some good local food!

Sometimes the local food isn't real good. Plus, you go into the bathrooms in some of these smaller restaurants and then imagine the cleanliness of the people handling your food. It makes you a little uncomfortable. If you go into a bathroom here in Argentina/Chile and you have all of these:

1. Toilet Paper
2. Soap
3. Something to dry you hands with besides your pants.

Then you should go play the lottery because you are one lucky guy!

They have a really nice mall in Santiago, Chile. I had dinner at Benihanas with the Chateau Briand. It was excellent.

Why does every chain restaurant have to be crappy! That is an elitist mentality. People go there because they marketplace wants them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
I believe the free refills thing is a purely (and typical) American excess. Elsewhere, the idea that you are entitled to free refills on a drink you've purchased is as absurd as claiming the same about the food.

Who said anything about feeling entitled? If fountain drinks are that cheap, then offering free refills is an easy way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Certain customers won't really care, but some definitely will. I don't know why they haven't caught on to that yet.

#37 of 41 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted January 31 2009 - 12:18 PM

Quote:
Who said anything about feeling entitled?
It comes through in statements like these:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray
[...] if I am eating a dinner and want 2 or 3 glasses of coke, I should not have to pay $1.50 x 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
There was this restaurant on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA that did it to me once. I hammered the waiter on the tip and wrote a note on the bill chastising him for not telling me about it. They should give me a heads up on that, I don't want to have to read the fine print on the menu like it is a legal document to find that out.
If that's not feeling entitled to free refills at a restaurant, I don't know what is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
If fountain drinks are that cheap, then offering free refills is an easy way to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Naturally, I agree, since this is a paraphrase of what I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Dirt cheap soda (heck the thing is probably cheaper than bottle water) and healthy competition between restaurants makes this possible.

Just curious:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L
I ran into a guy in the restaurant industry that said it costs 1 cent to produce a fountain soda and is the most profitable item on the menu.
In what country? You said "1 cent" so I assume it's here, but perhaps you did some currency conversion.

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#38 of 41 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted January 31 2009 - 01:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
In what country? You said "1 cent" so I assume it's here, but perhaps you did some currency conversion.
The USA. I met a guy who is a stage actor/waiter [go figure] who said that. I told him that sounded too low but he was adamant that it costs that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
If that's not feeling entitled to free refills at a restaurant, I don't know what is.
It's not that I am entitled, that is what the standard is. 99% of the time, any restaurant that serves fountain sodas give free refills. A restaurant that secretly charges you each time you get a refill without telling you is being dishonest. It would be like pulling into a gas station, filling your tank up, and then finding out that they charge $2.20 a quart - not a gallon. Since you can't put the gas back in the pump you are stuck with the bill.

I noticed this guy thinks the same way in the "other" refill thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettV
If I get charged for a refill, I: 1) ask the waiter or waitress why he/she didn't mention "no free refills," 2) take away the cost from waiter/waitress' tip, and 3) never go back to the restaurant.

The waiter or waitress should mention it to the customers, so I don't feel bad lowering (or taking away) the tip entirely. They're supposed to be the representatives of the restaurant. And if they're trying to take me for a ride, I see no reason to reward the behavior.


#39 of 41 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted February 01 2009 - 08:11 AM

Quote:
Why does every chain restaurant have to be crappy!

Because most of them are. I'll eat at one if no other option is available. Otherwise, I would rather eat at a local, mom and pop type place. Call it elitist or what you will. I personally don't think having a discriminating palate is elitist.

One of the best things about traveling is experiencing a culture different from your own. That especially includes the local cuisine.

#40 of 41 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted February 01 2009 - 10:49 AM

I consider the food at most North American chain restaurants (especially the "family" themed restaurants) "trough food." And their patrons are the big fat piggies, all served the lowest quality, highest fat, highest salt food imaginable!

That's why I hate going on business trips in suburbs and small towns. Those are the only restaurants you can find in the area! Oink oink!


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