Coca-Cola Freestyle

We just got a Coca-Cola Freestyle soda fountain in our lunch room (and no, contrary to rumors, I don’t work at a Burger King).

I love the thing, over 125 types of drinks (raspberry Coke anyone?), the touchscreen navigation is simple and straightforward. But my favorite feature, which unfortunately is not shown in this photo, is the “Pininfarina” badge in the bottom front.

What’s more unfortunate is that it now takes 5 minutes for each person to get their drink! I’ve sat and watched countless people ask for help at restaurants where these machines are installed. Just trying to find water takes a minute. Who needs 125 options anyway!?! It’s incredibly frustrating, and poorly planned. I can’t find a single good thing in this mess, really. It is infortunate that pininfarina is associated with such a disaster of user interaction.

It’s intuitive for you and me, but it’s impossible for my mom. Just sit and watch one outside of your office for a while. At a busy restaurant there’s a huge line waiting. Where before 2 to 3 people would be able to get drinks, now just one. And they’re completely lost about why they need to make a lime dr pepper…

The “iPod of drink machines.” :laughing:

I’ve used these a few times, not a big fan. When I’ve used it I want to go through all of the options and experiment, but I feel rushed because there’s always someone waiting.

Next time, I think I’m going to tell my server what I want and have them make it, I’ll tip a little extra.

+1 to what NURB said

More useful as a novelty or thought experiment.
I couldn’t believe water took more than a nanosecond to find…inexcusable IMHO…

I have been to thee locations where they have these and each time i heard the employees complaining how the unit made there jobs more difficult then before.

I seldom frequent fast food joints anymore because I just don’t enjoy the cattle-chute mentality, and thinking about five or more people laying hands on what I’m about to eat just doesn’t appeal to me. If I had waited to order my drink last and were then I to be told to step up and mix my own, only to see a line of any length, I’d be done. This machine would be fine behind the counter where an experience “jerk” could operate it quickly.

And I can certainly imagine why employees would dislike servicing this equipment, and why the franchisee would be annoyed with stocking so many syrups (even if the Coke salesman routinely delivered them); how many flavor option do “we” need.

Multiple-choice-flavor-wise, this particular type of machine was always my favorite as a kid. The bottles were submerged in a cold water bath. You inserted your dime :open_mouth: , slid the bottle to the end of the slot and into the “bay” at the left where you lifted it out. Dipping your hand into the icy cold water was almost as refreshing as the drink itself. Of course “back in the day” the bottle was glass and you had to pay a deposit to take it with you.

First thing I heard as I stepped into the lunch room at noon today; “the Freestyle is out!” :frowning:

Awesome. It survived, what, a week? Two?

C’est la Vie! Did you ask why the Freestyle was removed? I’d like to hear that.

So replace it with something vintage. We had one of the old vertical type soda dispensers in our frat house. We loaded it with every other bottle being empty; a beer was loaded between the empties. Two quarters got you a frosty, not that I ever had bought one… …

Out, as in out of order. Not sure whether it broke or one of the flavors ran out. :wink:

Out, as in out of order. Not sure whether it broke or one of the flavors ran out. > :wink:

And in other news, I had soup for lunch. :unamused:

We’ve got a chest style coke machine in our paint shop right now awaiting refurb, Lew. Although I have a feeling it will have more beer bottle in it than coke bottles…

One problem I have noticed with these machines is that the flavors all seem a bit off to me. I have been drinking Coca-Cola since I was a kid and I am used to a certain flavor profile from fountain Coke. I’m not sure if its because the mixing tech is different or because so many other flavors run through the nozzle, but its just not right.

9 times out of 10 I end up choosing something besides Coke because of the “off” flavor. In my mind this machine is diluting the brand and is really only a gimmick.

Interesting case study on the machine itself (see dropbox link below), mostly regarding how Coke, Vince Voron and his design team approached this design. Quite a massive project.

When I see a bright red Coca Cola vending machine I start to crave for
a Coke. If this thing can’t sell me one on the spot it is a massive fail.

I really tend to only buy Coke at McD’s because the mix of sirup
and sparkling water tends to make it more “fresh” than the bottled ones.


P.S.: Having downloaded that IDSA presentation the first thing I was
looking into where the slab sides. Of course in the originally signed off
Pininfarina Artwork those metal blanks were stamped to a curve like on cars:

It is really disappointing to see that even Pininfarina can’t move a giant
like Coke to invest in some tooling for a hot new product that is anticipated
to be a central piece in the portfolio for years to come. Sad.

On a ME point of view I’d love to hear how these are prevented from tipping over.

While the form is not developed yet, I am rooting for this type - Bartendro cocktail mixing robot lands on Kickstarter, wields Raspberry Pi (video) | Engadget

Bartendro… . .!!! Tim yur killen’ me!!! Good God, does everything have to be controllable by a damned Smart phone???

And how much space do you have in your house for your “bar”?

Crap, if you’re going to let a freakin’ bot mix your drinks for you how will you even know you’re getting what you think you’re getting. Commercial liquor dispensing machines have been available for years, they’re used to control cost and portions in large hotels, restaurants and casinos, etc. But they don’t preclude a bartender operating them.

This is over the top kids. There used to be a certain pride in mixology; a person that could mix a great cocktail was considered a special host. And if you don’t know how to mix a drink there are plenty of recipe books around.

Crikey! If you can’t mix your own cocktails, maybe you’re not old enough to be drinking them…

No Sir! Don’t like it. Don’t like it at all.

mo-i, you just didn’t grow up it the drinking bottled Coke my friend. Soda fountain Coke never did taste “right” to me, it gets too diluted by the ice. :wink:

I see your Freestyle and raise you…

It just showed up. I k ow nothing of the history, I’ll post more when I find out.

I totally agree but the real benefit is not consumer facing. I worked on this project briefly during it’s inception and I discovered the real win is to gather analytics on flavor profiles direct from the consumer in real time. So the metrics coming out of these machines are driving their R&D efforts when it comes to putting a product out on the shelves. No need to quant test rasberry coke with just a few hundred people. You just sit back and watch what comes to the top.