TikToker criticizes coffee shop for charging $1 extra for not having ice in drink, sparks debate


Everyone knows the “no ice” drinks trick every time we buy takeout. You want more liquid for your dollar and it’s understandable since ice takes up a lot of valuable real estate in cup volume.

And for the most part, fast-food outlets are quick to comply with the request without a problem, because some of the highest profit margins foodservice companies make are on beverages, especially the fountain ones.

A decent soda fountain machine costs about $3,600, and a 5-gallon bag of soda syrup yields tremendous value: businesses will get about 30 gallons of drink from a 5-gallon bag.

So if a company charges an average of $2 per drink from the fountain and gets wholesale 5-gallon bags for $120 each, they’re making about $720 from each bag alone, maybe minus a few cents here. and there for cups, lids, straws and the cost of ice.

And while the margins on iced coffee are much smaller than fountain syrup drinks, stores still make a decent amount on every cup of coffee they serve.

But java is a high volume business and if you’re not serving hundreds of cups a day to people then you’re not really earning enough to keep the store open and pay your employees on top of buying all the little accessories that keep your customers happy.

@breakfast at Tiffany’s__

I saw this yesterday… are you kidding me? #coffeetok #AFairShotWithBlock #weekendvibes #fypシ゚viral #drivethru

♬ Cornfield Chase – Dorian Marko Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

This could be why this local coffee shop decided to implement a rarely seen surcharge for its customers: add $1 on an iced coffee order. TikToker zooms @breakfastat_tiffanys__ were at a franchise location in Seattle when they noticed they were being charged an extra dollar because they hadn’t ordered ice.

Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

“So you’re going to charge me $1 for no ice… what?” says the woman in the now viral clip. Unsurprisingly, the video garnered a lot of feedback from people who were very passionate about the economics of iced versus iceless glasses.

Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

Some said it only made sense for Gravity Co. to charge more for not having ice, since the customer was getting more drink in their glass than they normally would if they ordered the drink with ice.

Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

Others said companies are making enough profit from a cup of coffee in the first place that they didn’t need to be nickel and dimming their customers just because they get a couple more ounces of liquid if they don’t. I don’t want ice.

Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

Then there were others who claimed that the problem has more to do with the fact that the customer was not asked if he wanted his coffee cup completely filled to the brim, that they could easily have given him a cup that had just been the amount if they had ordered the drink with ice.

Source: TikTok | @breakfast at Tiffany’s_

For some reason, people seem really passionate about the size of their drinks. Something I learned when I made a video disproving that McDonald’s cups are all the same size.

Source: YouTube | @Mustafa Gatollari

What do you think? Should fast food restaurants charge people not to put ice in their drinks since they are getting “extra” drinks? Or if someone is paying for 12, 16 or 20 fluid ounces then they should be entitled to that amount and the $1 surcharge is just another way companies can dirty their profits?