We had lunch on the road today and, whadya know, there was a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine at Wendy's. I am familiar with the Freestyle machine from our favorite local chain, Meatheads, and a few other restaurants.* If you're not familiar with the concept, it's a fountain drink machine where you can do a lot of mixing and matching. I've not done the math (as if I could) but there are likely hundreds of possible flavor combinations.
- It's a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine so that means that one of the options is Diet Coke which, as I've noted before, is the only option that matters to me.
- There are a lot of choices. Most beverage bases (sprite, coke, diet, root beer, minute maid, and many, many more) come in regular, diet, and often in caffeine free versions.
- There are feelings of power and excitement that go along with these choices.
- Your kids will love it.
- There are a lot of choices. Usually there are two machines in an establishment, but if you're behind an amateur mixologist or a really indecisive soda drinker, you might wish there were fewer options or more machines.
- Your kids will love it. They will want to mix their own drinks and whatever rules you have about specialty sugary drinks will be more challenging to enforce.
- Decision fatigue could set in.
What do I drink when I encounter a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine? I am choosing a beverage to go with my meal and for me, a regular Diet Coke is all I want. When (not if), I refill my cup to go, I sometimes top off my regular Diet Coke with a bit of Vanilla Diet Coke. That's it. Boring.
Sure, if I had a Freestyle machine in my home (husband assures me this is not happening), I could likely come up with some other exciting flavor combinations, but when out to lunch, I play it safe.
How is the Diet Coke in the Freestyle machine? Not bad, but not as good a the McDonald's or Chick-fil-A blends.
I was going to list "smaller cups" on the Freestyle negatives list, but I've realized that it's just Meatheads, where I most often do my Freestylin', that does not offer big cups. Obviously, today's Wendy's cup was plenty large.
Before I close, I'd just like to shout out to the staff at the Joliet Street Wendy's in Dyer, IN. We've eaten at this Wendy's on several road trips. The workers there are very friendly and efficient, memorably so.
Thoughts on Freestylin'? I'd love to hear them.
*Other Freestyle machine spots include Pie Five and Noodles & Company