Peach Sprite and continuous improvement


Joy and I went to Wendy’s the other day for lunch.  Their sick burn of IHOB’s name change made them irresistible to me.  I also like the fact that they don’t put sesame seeds on their bun.  Seriously, Wendy’s, thank you for that!  Now if you’d just offer dill pickles on your burgers.  :-0>  Bread and butter pickles are an abomination.

Something that is awesome in the Wendy’s in our area is the Coke Freestyle machine.  You’ve probably seen them around.  Basically, it allows you to create your own drink flavor.  You simply select a base like Sprite and a flavor like peach.  What you get with that combination is heavenly. 

What I find amazing about this machine, beyond making peach flavored Sprite, is that it embraces continuous improvement concepts that seem to benefit owners, employees and customers. 

Owner’s benefit

  • The machines have a small footprint in the store.  Floor space in most fast food restaurants is limited.  A small footprint here frees up valuable counter space.
  • People can easily find restaurants with a Freestyle machine.  I just checked within five miles of my house.  QDOBA in Monument, CO has one.  I’m more likely to visit their establishment now!
  • Customizable flavors.  Wendy’s is rocking Dave’s Soda flavors.  That gives them some exclusivity and an opportunity to recommend some pairings.  I think Wendy’s has an opportunity to market this better.
  • And for Coca-Cola shareholders, I have to imagine this one has been a winner.  Coke has dedicated a website and an app to the Freestyle machine.  You can even interact between the machine and the app. 

Employee benefit

  • Employees at the counter only have to ask for a drink size.  They don’t need to get the flavor right.  That’s the case for all soda machines in front of the counter, but these ones only have one spout to clean.  It is a small improvement, but it is still an improvement.
  • I’ve never looked behind the door on one of these machines, but I imagine something like printer cartridges.  Maybe someone who’s more familiar could enlighten me.

Customer benefit

  • Did I mention peach Sprite?
  • In addition to peach Sprite, there are a nearly unimaginable number of flavor combinations.
  • There is an app for you soda flavor!  That’s right.  You can find a Freestyle machine, mix your perfect flavor, and save it to the app.

I would love to speak with you about how continuous improvement could benefit the owners, employees, and customers in your company.  Send me an e-mail at or visit to connect.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I do not, nor have I ever, worked with or consulted for Coke, Wendy’s, or QDOBA.  I have no endorsement deals with them.  However…if Coke, Wendy’s, or QDOBA is watching…I’d love to work with you!  ;P