Writer  /  Kate Rhoten

We live in a wonderful world. We’re not given only one option in many activities or goods we buy; we have choices. From the cell phone you prefer to the store where you buy your groceries, you have choices. You can choose to purchase items in a brick and mortar location or through an online merchant.

When do the offerings become too many? Is it when it paralyzes the purchaser of a good or service? Or is it when it impacts others that are waiting to wade through the same deluge of options just to get the most common or popular one? Do you have any idea where I am going with this?

The soda machine is my least favorite thing about going to a restaurant where you get your own beverage. The new soda-dispensing machine has a lot of choices, and this machine has only one ice as well as one beverage dispenser.

The problem with this is the set up and the choices included are, in my opinion, too many. It takes too long to process through the menus of soda flavors to find what you’re in the mood for. It used to be that you would have six to eight dispensers, but now some of these machines have the ability to give a consumer over 100 choices.

Remember when it just used to be “Coke or Pepsi? Diet?” Occasionally, you might get the option of lemon-lime or root beer. Now you may find unique offerings like Coke Zero Lemon, Diet Coke Vanilla or Sprite Zero Cherry. Is this too much? I believe it’s the sheer number of flavors and the delivery system that makes having all these choices too many.

I am not a soda drinker, but as a result of this machine finding its way into more and more restaurants, it does impact me. Most of the time, I just get water. I still get stuck in the line to get ice and select water from the machine.

Other times, I have a brewed unsweet iced tea. I still have to get ice. Sometimes I have to wait behind someone for a reasonable amount of time. Other times, I have watched individuals scroll through all the pages checking out all the flavors just to go back to the beginning. Meanwhile, I just want ice to move over to the tea.

There is one sandwich place that has a separate ice machine with water and no soda for individuals that just want ice, water or iced tea. I am very thankful for the decision that restaurant made.

Is this a time of too many choices? You bet.

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