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TOPIC: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda?

How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 23 Jul 2002 17:21 #25901

  • Mike
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Some say free re-fills on all drinks. Some sell a sticker for .50 cents. If you have self serve how do you handle refills? I'm leaning to "free refills" with slightly higher prices so I don't have to think about watching for stickers, etc. What do you do?

Some don't like the self serve but in most big thgeatres I've visited the candy is self serve and it's like 15.00 a pound! How much of that get's stolen? I bet that the soda is not a problem like candy.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 23 Jul 2002 21:01 #25902

  • trackfood
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My company offers a free refill only on the Large soda. That is our selling point, it is priced only a quarter more than the medium, so the concession attendants can always say "For a quarter more you can get a Large, and get a free refill." Most don't refill it anyways. A friend of mine who owns an independant theatre offers free refills on all sizes, tells me not too many come out to refill the smaller sizes, as they don't like to miss any of the movie.
In your case, I would advertise the free refill only on the large size, as a selling point, and not lose too much sleep over people coming to refill their small...
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 24 Jul 2002 09:02 #25903

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At one location we offer admission for $6.00 including med pop and med corn, no refills. When people ask how come no refills we remind them that it costs 7.50 for a ticket to the 14 plex 10 miles away ad med pop and corn $11.00, here we charge full price for a refill.

At other locations we do not offer refills, we have positioned the self serve stations so that you must walk past at least part of the counter so that it is obvious you are refilling, the honest people tend to pay, someone is always trying to cheat us, we offer discounted refills in these locations.

There are always those that will complain no matter what you do. The self serve stations are such a time saver we would not do a theatre without them.

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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 24 Jul 2002 17:36 #25904

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I guess you are leaning towards Self-Serve.

If I were going to do it I think I would try the following. (I am pretending I am in back-woods Maine here, not spendthrift California.)

I'd offer a 16oz small soda for $1.75-$2.00 with no refill. Then I might go for a 32oz for $3 with unlimited refills for that day only. Use a clear cup for water, no more than 12oz. I might use the generic cup for the 16oz and a logo cup for the refillable one to further the distinction. Don't go with the more expensive plastic cup, that only encourages people to take them home, wash them and bring them back. Place the self-serve stations in clear view of the cashier so they are reminded to go and clean them regularly.

In California I would keep my sizes at 22, 32, and 44oz and say one refill on the large size only. I wouldn't sweat the other people refilling other sizes.

So are you going with a self-serve butter station as well? Since you will be a 2-plex with very limited staff, you could go the entire cafeteria concession stand route. Get a warmer that holds pre-packaged popcorn bags, place the candy in wire racks right in front of the cashier and away you go.
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 25 Jul 2002 08:41 #25905

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We do self-serve popcorn at one location, popcorn is placed in a warmer that has both front and rear entry, the warmer is built into the center of the concession counter.

We have played with all sorts of self-serve scenarios. What works for us, pop, corn, butter/salt, hot dogs, and nachos. What hasn't worked, bulk candy, slush puppies (created a mess every night), coffee/cappuccino (didn't sell more than I think it didn't work).

We are all about efficiency, the quicker the better. I'll have to get the actual #'s and post them from our 6 plex, but through one stop ticket/concession stations and self serve we have saved a tremendous amount of labor costs over the past year.
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 29 Jul 2002 12:08 #25906

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I really don't have much call for re-fills and wasn't aware that it was in such a demand. As a rule not many of my patrons get up and visit the snack bar after the movie starts. But maybe it's time to think this out a little and post a sign for re-fills and see what happens.
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 29 Jul 2002 16:22 #25907

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We get a lot of inquiries about refills, but it is a point for us not to offer them.

The previous operator tried all kinds of incentives to attract business here. He tried 8 different kinds of coupons, all of which the public tried to use on us. They had a $2 Tuesday. They had a free senior Thursday, which some of our senior patrons still remind us about. We point out that if we offered a free senior ticket (they are 60% of our business) we would be out of business in a month. And they offered free refills on large sizes.

We try very hard to differentiate ourselves from them. We cleaned up the theatre. We redecorated. We fixed all the projection problems. We upgraded the sound systems. We try to be friendlier. We offer a different product. We offer real butter and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

In an effort to differentiate ourselves from the other guys, we don't offer refills, we don't flood the market with coupons and we don't give it away. We do offer a friendly, clean place to watch unusual films.
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Re: How to handle re-fills for self-serve soda? 29 Jul 2002 16:28 #25908

Here's Little Hint for all of you the next time you go to eat in McDonald's...

We offer free re-fills on every size. The policy says downstairs: One only, but no one checks or cares.

CINEPLEX says one refills, but doesn't care and FAMOUS says they're not allowed too because the government of Canada says that the company may not because of sanitation issues... Give me a break, cheap company. CINEPLEX is doing it.

"Would you like fries with that?"
Since 1987
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