The Secret Marks on McDonald’s Cups
The secret marks are all about ice. How much ice is too much? Are you getting ripped off? Why are they so concerned with how much ice goes into the cup? Let me tell you…
Firstly, for credibility and disclosure, I should mention that I worked at McDonald’s for a while during high school. This was one of the most interesting, enlightening and dirty jobs I’ve had.
One of the most surprising things was their commitment to quality. I know that’s kind of an oxymoron, but keep in mind they’re dealing with burgers and fries, not White Alba truffles. Regardless, they take burgers and fries very seriously. They employ top culinary experts to perfect things such as, the exact amount of mustard their proprietary dispenser puts on a burger. They hand pick only the best potatoes for the fries, according to one training video. They also have proprietary shortening for cooking the fries and a different shortening recipe for nuggets and fish fillets.
Their attention to detail includes regular calibration of the soda dispenser. This ensures the proper mix of water, syrup and carbon dioxide for the perfect Coke. There are also buttons that represent each cup size to automatically fill the cups while the cashier gets the rest of your order. It is important that the exact amount of ice is put in your cup, otherwise the calibrated machine will not fill the cup to the top mark on the cup.
Let’s take a step back, there is a large machine in the back of the restaurant that supplies the soda machine with all of the ingredients. It compresses air for the carbonation, filters tap water and holds all of the various syrup flavors. There is tubing that carries all of these supplies to the front of the store where the soda dispensers are. There is no refrigeration in any part of this system, so they have to put enough ice in your cup to take the drink from room temperature, to ice cold — before you take your first sip.
On the internet, there are many complaints about too much ice in these drinks. People complain that they’re being ripped off. While I agree, there is a lot of ice in these drinks, if you compare the price per ounce, it’s still cheaper than canned drinks. Some people don’t mind room temperature soda and ask for it with “no ice” and some people even ask for “extra ice” so it’s extra cold.
Extra ice doesn’t sound that strange if you have one of those fancy fridges with an ice maker. Maybe you’ve experimented with different amounts of ice, and if you’ve ever completely filled a cup with ice you may agree that a super cold soda is the best kind there is.