Area BKs feature new fountain drink machines; expanded menus

LAPAZ — A line at the drink station started to form around lunch time Tuesday in the Lapaz Burger King. Coca-Cola had just installed their new drink machine—featuring 125 flavors—that morning and these lunch customers were among the first to try it out.
“It’s different—it’s pretty slick actually,” said Randy Walker as he used the machine’s touch screen to choose his beverage.
Walker, a trucker who resides in Kentucky, said he passes through the area about once a week. He likes the new machine, but is not too sure about the 125 flavors.
“I’ll stick to Coke,” said Walker, smiling.
Lapaz, Plymouth, Bremen, North Judson, and Knox will all have the new machines in their Burger Kings by the end of this week, according to Coca-Cola representative Jill Hardy. Hardy was on hand in Lapaz Tuesday, assisting customers and employees alike with thenew machine. Employees had received training that morning and were scheduled for another training session in the afternoon, said Hardy.
“There will be other locations (for the new machines) but Burger King is one of the first,” said Hardy.
The 125 flavors of soft drinks available in the new machine, she continued, are to commemorate Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary this year.
Hardy said that customers enjoy using the machine and the variety of drinks it provides.
“The fountain business was in much need of an enhancement,” said Hardy. “(The machine) is high tech and it offers a lot more choices to consumers. Most people think it’s a really cool machine, and they like to come back and try different flavors.”
Marilyn Cramer, of Plymouth, was one of the customers to use the machine for the first time Tuesday.
“It takes some learning,” said Cramer, “(but) it’s neat. Once you get used to (the machine) it will be fine!”
District manager at the LaPaz restaurant, Nancy Aaron, said that so far people seemed to be enjoying the new machine.
“Everyone likes a lot of choices,” said Aaron.
Burger King has also recently expanded their menu to include selections they hope will appeal to women. The new salads and wraps, fruit smoothies, and whole fruit for sale “gives the ladies options to eat other than a Whopper,” commented Aaron.
Plymouth district manager Chris Paine said that he hopes the variety in the new drink machine and additional menu items will bring in customers.
“We’re just trying to attract a different base of customers than we have in the past,” said Paine, who added that the new menu items have been offered for about a month.