McDonald’s Ditching Self-Serve Soda Fountains Is A Kick In The Teeth For Arnold Palmer Drinkers

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Pour one out for the McDonald’s self-serve fountain… or ask an employee to do it for you because you won’t be able to do it yourself soon enough.

McD’s is bidding adieu to self-serve soda fountains. While this is a potential blow to the fine art of sip-stealing, you’ve still got until around 2032 before soda fountains become harder to find inside a McDonald’s than a ketchup dispenser that hasn’t been run dry or a floor that isn’t sticky.

McDonalds explained their rationale behind this decision in a statement to Fox Business.

“This change is intended to create a consistent experience for both customers and crew across all ordering points, whether that’s McDelivery, the app, kiosk, drive-thru or in-restaurant,” they said.

I understand McD’s rationale behind this to a degree. Although I think secretly they’re just sick of getting robbed blind by people housing tons of free soda in their dining rooms. That’s why they want to safeguard it behind the impenetrable fortress that is the McD’s counter.

I’m not even a big soda guy, but I’m disgusted by this decision as a big Arnold Palmer guy.

The Arnold Palmer — or a half-and-half as it’s sometimes known by those who don’t want to get sued — is arguably nature’s perfect beverage. A perfect blend of iced tea and lemonade. One that perfectly toes the line between the bitter flavor profile of iced tea and the tart zing and zip of lemonade.

It’s poetry in motion… or more accurately, in a cup.

However, the days of mixing one yourself at the Golden Arches will now be gone within a decade.

Mixing an Arnold Palmer is an art form. One most of the men and women working for McDonald’s have yet to master. (Getty Images)

The Days Of Mixing Up An Arnold Palmer At McDonald’s Are Gone

I don’t mean to brag, but aside from the late Arnold Palmer himself, I’m the greatest Arnold Palmer maker to ever walk the face of the Earth (There’s talk of a dude in Finland who pours a mean Palmer, but I’m still better).

For whatever reason, I have a rare, natural ability to mix unsweetened black tea and lemonade in the perfect ratio.

If I’m in the McDonald’s dining room I’ll mix up an Arnie Palmy myself. Even if I’m not in the mood for one, I’ll still mix up a cup. Y’know, just to give my fellow diners a show.

However, I never order one at the drive-through. Never. You may as well just order a cup of disappointment. That’s because I know the person working the window — as well as they might be able to stack a Big Mac or pour one hell of a Dr. Pepper — they won’t possess my Arnold Palmer-making touch.

I’d be getting cups with too much lemonade and only a whisper of tea. Some would be made with sweet tea instead of my preferred unsweetened.

More than likely, they’d be whipping up Palmers with a 1-1 tea-to-lemonade ratio. That’s a rookie Palmer. Total amateur hour drink making.

And, unfortunately, that’s what those of us who fancy a nice Arnold Palmer are going to be facing without the tools needed to apply our trade.

This is a shame because McDonald’s has been long synonymous with quality service (sometimes). Now they may be tossing that reputation — one strong enough to withstand two Morgan Spurlock documentaries — by the wayside.

It’s a shame. A damn shame.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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