Coke ‘Freestyle’ May Dispense Booze Next
Coca-Cola introduced its ‘Freestyle’ foundation dispensers in 2009 and since then, consumers have gone crazy about the innovative product, which allows them to combine any of the 120 soda brands with a touch of a push button. In fact, some of the restaurant chains, which have installed these freestyle dispensers, have reported increase in sales of beverages. Encouraged by this response, a company, Taco Mac, is planning to sell booze through these machines.
Booze in Freestyle Dispensers
The Atlanta-based chain wants to sell alcoholic drinks through the Coke dispensers. The process of dispensation would remain the same as with soda drinks. A newspaper report revealed that Taco Mac is “piloting a test for Coca-Cola mixing Freestyle choices with drinks such as rum, vodka, tequila, and Jack Daniels.”
What’s In A Name?
Probably nothing but for Taco Mac, this name has an interesting history. For one, the eatery doesn’t sell any Mexican food but just 300 types of premium and craft beers. It is called Taco Mac because it was opened on the premises which hosted a restaurant by the same name earlier and the eatery was out of funds to change the sign. Therefore, the name stuck but the menu is completely alcohol-driven. The eatery has the required licenses to sell the different types of liquor on its premises and the chain has become so profitable that it now runs outlets across North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. The name remains ‘Taco Mac’ though.
Taco Mac Joins Hands With Coke
For this program, Taco Mac and the Coca-Cola Company have entered into a partnership. In fact, this partnership goes back in time, when Taco Mac became the first casual dining chain to install the Coca-Cola Freestyle serve system at its 29 locations. The customers at these locations were able to enjoy the beverage mix options as offered by the Coca-Cola company. At that time, Gene Farrell, vice president and general manager, Coca-Cola Freestyle, had said, “Taco Mac is known for offering its guest more than 300 varieties of premium and craft beers. By installing Coca-Cola Freestyle machines in the back-of-the-house, the chain is now able to provide that same type of selection to guests who prefer non-alcoholic beverages.”
Although, the eatery began with using Freestyle to serve non-alcoholic beverages, it seems that it always had something else at the back of its mind. Since selling alcoholic drinks is the mainstay of the eatery, Taco Mac has come a full circle by attempting to sell its premium booze through these dispensers. When asked about why the eatery was using Coke dispensers for this job, Bruce Skala, Taco Mac’s vice president of marketing, explained, “Beverage choice was foremost, but there were also operational efficiencies to consider. These dispensers will allow us to provide our guests with a better beverage experience and allow us to better manage inventory and equipment maintenance in the back of the house.” This is why the eatery decided to install the Freestyle machines on its premises.
While Coca-Cola is known to revive its presence in the market with attempts like introducing new bottle design and so on, this booze program will definitely put its Freestyle dispenser in an all new league. Although there is no news yet on whether the pilot test on the booze distribution through Freestyle machines is having the desired success or not but this program is sure to give a boost to other booze-y ideas elsewhere in America too. And in case you want a tutorial on how to use this freestyle beverage machine, here is a video to help you do that.