It is surprising how many people order soft drinks to go with their meals in restaurants. Especially when the party includes several children, it seems particularly wasteful to order soft drinks for everyone. My family learned many years ago to be satisfied with water in a restaurant.
Soft drinks – particularly from a fountain – are a cash cow for restaurants. At the same time, they add a quarter to a third to the family tab. In other words, the family can get every fourth meal free if they stick with water. Additionally, keeping the kids off soft drinks means that they will be much less rambunctious and argumentative after dinner.
It is easy to wean kids off soft drinks in restaurants. Do not surprise them at the table when they are expecting go get soda pop; make it a condition of going out. “We’ll take you to dinner, but no soda pop.” It’s tough love, since the adults have to follow the same program.
Apart from the economy of limiting the drinks to water, soda pop is the next thing to poison for children. Soft drinks are a major contributor to childhood obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. Every time I see an adult hand a Coke or Mountain Dew to a child I want to grab it and pour it on the ground. Considering what is known about childhood soft drink consumption, it is astonishing that parents let pre-schoolers drink caffeinated drinks loaded with sugar. Babies are not born thinking they have the right to drink Coke or Pepsi. They acquire the habit and develop the craving because the adults around them irresponsibly let them have what is demonstrably bad for them.
Restaurant operators will hate the idea, but you do not owe them an extra 25% or more for your dinner. Get on the water wagon. Your pocket book will be glad you did and you can go out to eat more often.
John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2015 John B. Payne, Attorney