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Monday, April 23, 2012

Coke And Pepsi: It is time you grow up

I was out to eat on Saturday night. This was after the movie I went to see, The Hunger Games.
I don't buy pop, or popcorn, on pretty much anything else at the theater anymore. They have made the cost so outrageous that I just can't do it. 
Really, who can eat this much popcorn in two hours?

I understand they have to make money, and I am okay with that. But, I will not pay 15 bucks for a large pop, large popcorn and a hot dog. I simply won't do it. They are out of control. So, that being the case, I don't know what kind of pop they sell at my local theater. But, I am sure of this: They either sell Pepsi products or Coke products, but not both. How do I know this?

Coke and Pepsi have a long time standing policy of asking for an exclusive agreement for the right to sell their products anywhere except the grocery store. In the grocery store,  they don't have that clout and it is well known that shoppers will go elsewhere if their grocery store does not carry the beverage or food of their choice. Grocery stores are big chains, as big as the soft drink companies or any food manufacturer, so they cannot be bullied into any agreements.
Of course, it isn't against the law to sell both types of soft drinks at a restaurant or any other entertainment establishment. However, the owners of said establishments are given very strong incentives to make sure they pick one or the other.

 From the link above:

" You see, restaurants sign contracts with the beverage companies in order to receive and sell the soft drink. Restaurants receive additional benefits when they decide to be exclusive. In return for not selling the competitor’s product, the soft drink (company) gives the restaurants a greater share of the profit, more discounts, and free stuff. Sometimes the soft drink vendors will even pay for the electricity needed to keep the drinks cool."

On Saturday, at Montana's, as we sat down at our table we were greeted by the server, Sean. Customary practice at any restaurant these days is to offer menus and then get any drinks while you make your dinner selection. I ordered a Coke, not too much ice.

"Pepsi, Okay?" he replied. I said sure.

Of course, we all do this. I don't really like Pepsi. I never have. I drink it if that is what is there, but I much prefer Coke. That is the choice I make when I have a choice.

Coke Is It, unless you eat at Montana's

 But like all other consumers, I just accept that when I go out to eat,  I have to drink what they tell me to. This goes against almost all good business principles. Namely, the customer is always right and give the customer what they want. In this case, that simply does not apply.

One thing that I know for sure. In a bar, you would never see a beer company control what types of beers are offered. It simply would not happen. Nor would the choices of wines in a fine restaurant.
So,  why does this happen in most restaurants,  and why do we accept it?

 Plain and simple,  I don't have the answer. What I do know is that I am now thinking about this, and will avoid, when possible, the restaurants which restrict my choice. I am perfectly willing to pay an extra dollar to drink the beverage of my choice. And anyways, they are already charging me 3 dollars for 10 cents of soda. So, really, I am already being ripped off horribly. 

If you insult and treat your customers poorly,  you won't be in business long, and others will find a way to do it better.

If you don't believe that,  ask the big 3 automakers what happened to their market share after the 1970's.

I am now on the lookout for any establishment that gives me choice,  and I will make it very clear, in writing, to those that don't that they will be losing my business. 

Who am I? Nobody really. Just one man. But, it has to start somewhere.

Where's the beef? The beef is right here. Coke is it! And I want it.

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