Should Restaurants Charge Extra For Not Putting Ice In Your Soda?

Drink enough fountain soda and you’ll eventually get handed that cup full of ice with a slight hint of drink filling in the few gaps. And then there are people with sensitive teeth who find it painful to drink beverages with ice in them. These are both reasons that some customers go the “no ice” route when buying drinks. But some restaurant owners think you should sometimes have to pay extra for that privilege.

Consumerist reader Simon pointed us to this posting on a Sonic Facebook page. The customer says she popped into his local Sonic to buy a drink during the restaurant’s Happy Hour promotion only to find she’d been charged $.40 extra for no ice.

According to the customer, “the manager’s excuse for charging me .40 for NO ICE was because since it’s HAPPY HOUR, we are getting twice the amount of product with no ice, so they HAVE to charge extra.”

We went to the folks at Sonic HQ to find out if this was company policy and received the following response:

Sonic’s Happy Hour promotion is designed to give our customers their favorite drink at a 50% discount. Local markets and operators always have flexibility in their pricing and this operator has chosen to charge for no ice during Happy Hour. We are following up with the operator to discuss the policy with them as that policy does not follow the intent of the Happy Hour promotion.

What do you think: Is the Sonic manager justified in the extra charge because of the Happy Hour discount? Or is just the price one pays for doing business?