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DALLAS - The Coca-Cola Company’s interactive touch screen fountain dispenser is now rolling out in the Dallas area. Wingstop, a chain of 440 restaurants across the U.S. and Mexico, will be the first in this part of the country to offer the new dispenser, called Coca-Cola Freestyle. Two different franchise owners will each receive the fountain as well as one company-owned restaurant.
Carol Ellis, one of the first two franchise owners who has received the dispenser outside of California and Georgia, explains why having the machine makes sense. “Adding the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine has been a great way to grab more customers,” said Ellis, who has a store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “The machine has been installed for just over a week and so far we’ve already seen new guests who came in just to check it out. It’s made our restaurant a destination that people are talking about. It’s also easy for our staff to maintain, and has definitely increased beverage sales with guests who would normally take food to go.”
The touch screen dispensers use technology that has capacity to dispense up to 106 fruit-flavored and soda beverages in the same footprint as a standard eight-valve machine.
“We have created a concept that is quickly becoming recognized as the soda fountain of the future –the way people will experience Coca-Cola beverages years from now,” said Gene Farrell, vice president, Coca-Cola Freestyle, Coca-Cola North America. The Atlanta-based beverage company began early testing of the fountains a year ago, including more than 50 restaurants across Georgia and Southern California.
Dispensers will be installed in twenty-five additional Dallas-area restaurants later this year, such as franchise chains Boston Market, CiCi’s Pizza, Schlotszky’s, Souper! Salad!, and Which Wich? locations.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said that several machines had been added in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at the same time. These have been some of the first machines installed outside of the company’s experimental areas of Southern California and Georgia. “Salt Lake City came out a day after Dallas,” said the spokesperson. He noted that Coke wanted to be certain that its support structure was firmly in place before the new machines were installed since the equipment was so different. “We will add Chicago and Orlando in August to our list of locations that will receive the first Freestyle machines.”