View Full Version : Fast Food Fountain questions

David J.
05-28-2006, 02:15 AM
If you franchised a fastfood resturant or two, or even worked for a corprate store! Does corprate (McD's, BK, Wendys, etc) decide what drinks go in their fountains? I was talking about my drink selection with my managers and she said "I think corprate (not the franchisee) dictates what we serve..."

Second, what is the deal with Wendy's? The three resturants in my area serve Pepsi, but on their website they only mention Coke. Is it each franchisees choice to serve what they want?

Lastly, is it true that Pepsi is expensive? I heard that the Nice-N-Easy stores in my area get all of their pepsi products from Sams Club.

05-28-2006, 07:55 AM
AS A GENERAL RULE, most fast food chains have national, or international, deals with one or the other of the Big 2.

However, there are two MAIN sources of exceptions. One is that when a chain is first starting it will cut far more generous deals with potential franchisees. These deals often leave soda choice up to the franchisee. These early franchisees are thus "grandfathered" and can pick their own soda. Wendy's did that quite a bit in its early days and thus has Pepsi "pockets" all over.

The other is sometimes insular places like malls, airports, stadiums, colleges, and such like, will make a soda deal and "cross-threaded" chains that want in have to participate.

Among the chains that do NOT make national soda deals, the largest seems to be Dairy Queen, which varries from place to place and the company provides materials for both. Ironically, DQ belongs to Warren Buffett, the so-called wizard of Wall St., who also owns 15% of KO and is on the board.

05-28-2006, 11:46 AM
I believe Wendy's is exclusive Coke. However sometimes franchises have long time to switch over. Arby's went exclusively Pepsi not too long ago. They used to not have a national contract.

05-28-2006, 12:52 PM
didn't pepsi own pizza hut, taco bell and kfc at one point... and made them all sell pepsi (obviously).

and, then, that convinced other chains to switch to coke... since pepsi was now a direct competitor with them.

and, then, as a result, pepsi sold the restaurants...?

05-28-2006, 05:47 PM
Yep. Pepsi owned the three above mentioned from the early 80s until 1997 when it spun the chains off a "Tricon Global". Later that company bought Long John Silvers and the US A&W chain (the Canadian chain is unrelated) and became "YUM Brands". It is the largest fast food corporation in the world.

And, in deed, a major Coke marketing argument, particularly to mom & pop pizza places, was "why buy from a competitor. Similarly, movie theatres were hit with the line that a major Pepsi bottler in that era was also a mall movieplex chain owner.

05-28-2006, 10:02 PM
Subway also signed a deal with Coke, and then Quiznos went with Pepsi as a result.

David J.
05-28-2006, 10:11 PM
So why did BK change to pepsi and then change back to coke?

One of my managers said they quit serving Pepsi in '94 (she started in 1988!). She said they switched because Coke was cheaper.

I have to wonder if Pepsi wishes they where in the big burger (not sub or chicken) joints (BK, McD's, Wendy's).

05-28-2006, 11:10 PM
Those accounts are generally legacy accounts.. lots of history, plenty of "gallons" to add to the numbers, but generally Coke/Pepsi isn't making a lot of money off that account.

05-29-2006, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by David J,:
So why did BK change to pepsi and then change back to coke?

This was at the height of the so-called "cola wars" of the 1980s. Pepsi, then still possessed of its own restaurant business and thus shut out of almost all others made a run at all of the majors. Got BK to bite. Made a sweetheart deal of the century. Darn near gave the syrup to BK. Paid for much of BK's general national advertizing.

And, from a Pepsi perspective, it failed because all of the other chains asked for the same deal.

And, from a BK perspective, it failed because its sales went down. Because there are people, and there were even more back in that generation, that simply will not eat in a Pepsi serving restaurant given the choice.

And BK went home to Coke as soon as the contract expired.

05-31-2006, 01:27 PM
After the Frozen Coke fiasco of awhile back I am sort of wondering if BK will reconsider Pepsi when the current contract is up.