New machine makes hundreds of drink varieties [UPDATED]Published 6:37am Thursday, October 18, 2012 Updated 8:40am Thursday, October 18, 2012
You could call it the iPop.
The Fergus Falls Burger King restaurants last week installed new soda fountains that resemble the Apple device, with a sleek, high-tech look featuring touch screen. But they also are similar in function.
The high-tech machines have been around for a couple of years nationwide, but Burger King’s machines are the first in Fergus Falls, according to John Shafer of Footprint Retail Services, Burger King’s soda machine vendor.
While the iPod will store thousands of songs, the new pop machines offer up to 130 different drink varieties, from soda to mineral water to lemonade and Powerade. The restaurant’s previous machines offered only six drink varieties. For example, in addition to Coca-Cola, customers can also have vanilla or cherry Coca-Cola, among a handful of other varieties.
“We’re now able to offer a greater variety of flavors to satisfy our guests,” said Ann Norris, district manager for Burger King. “I also feel the new machines offer better flavor.”
Norris said she believes the new machine offers a better taste because of the mixing process. Where traditional drink machines mix flavoring syrup with carbonated water, the new machine actually mixes a variety of ingredients together through cartridges, Shafer said.
Of course, Shafer could not reveal the recipes for each drink, since they’re considered trade secrets.
Like any piece of high-tech equipment, training employees and customers will be key, said Michelle Tenneson, store manager for the east side Burger King. “It definitely took a few days to get used to,” she said.
But like the iPod, once they figure it out, the benefits are well worth it.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Tenneson said.