Retailers must deal with a wide range of regulations — from zoning laws that restrict hours of operation to minimum wage laws to price advertising laws. Many times, the rules are clear and other times they are not. And chains typically face different regulations in different locales.

On March 12, a New York City law on beverage sizes is scheduled to go into effect (although various lawsuits opposing the regulation are pending). Enactment of this law promises to be quite confusing.

As reported by Vivian Yee and Michael M. Grynbaum for the New York Times: “Come Tuesday, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of large sugary drinks goes into effect after months of public debate over the measure, its impact on beverages like soda will be clear: no more jumbo colas. But coffee drinkers, and those who pour them, are likely to face a thicket of complications as varied as the lattes, macchiatos and Americanos on a Starbucks menu. Customers at Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s can expect to add their own sugar packets and flavor swirls to large and larger coffees. At other cafes, some will be given one lump, or perhaps two, in their coffees; those seeking more will need to visit the condiment stand. Dunkin’ Donuts has tried to get ahead of the confusion over the new regulations by handing out small fliers at its cash registers.”

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4 Replies to “New Beverage Rules Can Be Confusing — To Retailers and Their Customers”

  1. I think it is difficult to say how this new rule will be played out. Consumers are so used to their old ways that this “new” way can pose a problem. As a consumer, I would be mad at dunkin donuts if u can’t get a large hot chocolate when in reality it is not their fault at all.

  2. I think the general public is old and wise enough to make their own informed decisions on what they purchase. There should not be a ban on sugary beverages. I find it funny how you can go to a basketball game at the Barclays Center and buy any size beer you want, but you cannot buy a large soda. What message does that send to kids and parents? I think one of the underlying reasons for the decision to ban certain sized beverages is to collect more tax dollars. The tax on two medium sodas will exceed the tax on one large soda.

  3. I think that the new beverage rules are ridiculous. Dunkin donuts is making a huge change by forcing customers to add their own sugar and flavor swirls to large and extra large hot beverages. Also, you need to add your own sugar and flavor swirls to medium and large ice beverages. This is inconvenient because its going to take more time to get a coffee. When you order a coffee, you expect that once you have paid and got your drink, you are able to leave. Now, with these new rules, you will have to take time to put your own sugar into your drink. I think that having hot chocolate and frozen drinks only available in small or medium is offensive. People should be able to decide what size drink they prefer.

  4. When I saw the specific regulations for Bloomberg’s new beverage rules, I thought that they were ridiculous. Especially when it comes to coffee houses, you’re allowed to add sweetener to your coffee but we can’t do it for you. It made absolute no sense to me! I’m so glad that it was overturned.

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