Every few weeks or so, a few of my coworkers and I take advantage of a slow Friday afternoon to head over to the local Souplantation up in lovely Porter Ranch to get our fill of [crying toddlers and] all-you-care-to-eat soup, salad, and breadstuffs. One of my coworkers lovingly likens it to eating from a trough, but I prefer think of it as a type of “Sizzler for the Soccer-mom set, or the more health-conscious gorger.” (I haven’t yet been to a Sizzler, so it’s more of a speculative comparison.)
For the first time in the years we’ve been going there together, today the cashier asked us “small or large?” when we ordered beverages. We looked at each other with confusion – their plastic cups are store-use only, and it’s a self-serve fountain with unlimited refills. Size doesn’t matter, my simple mind insisted. But then it came to me – they must be marketing some new large-sized disposable cup you can take with you when you leave to squeeze an extra $.50 out of a purchase. Could that be it? I knew this was going to bug me, so I had to ask the cashier what the deal was with the large size.
“Oh, it’s just a bigger cup,” she said, showing us the much larger plastic cup. It was not a to-go cup. I regret not inquiring as to its capacity, but it looked like it could hold something like 24 or 32 oz. “You know,” she went on to explain with a redeeming chuckle, “so you don’t have to get up as often for the refills.”
That’s right, folks. If you love going out to the buffet restaurant, but are sick and tired of wasting your precious (unlimited) trips to the counter on something like beverages, we have the cup for you. Upgrade your $2.39 soft drink to the $2.89 version, and you can cut your average number of trips to the beverage counter in half.