McDonald’s Tea Too Sweet? In Durand, That’ll Cost You
My mom My Wife Everyone has been encouraging me to lay off the diet pop recently. On a good day, I could put a six pack away easy. On a whim last week, remembering the back side of a Wilson Phillips cassette single for "You're In Love" that I owned my friend owned that featured an interview with the trio that was titled "Morning Tea In Tokyo," I thought that I would give 'morning tea' a go as my new "thing."
So, I pulled into McDonald's in Durand on Monday morning, picked up my tea and went on my way. Typically, I would get a Diet Coke in the drive-thru while my wife would get tea. Since McDonald's' sweet tea is really, well, sweet, she orders her tea a little diluted. "Half sweet, half unsweet, please."
We learned that McDonald's has a term for this. It's called "Half Cut." So, over time, I added that terminology to my repertoire. And when Monday morning rolled around, since McDonald's' tea is a little too sweet for me as well, I asked for it "half cut."
I sipped my tea all morning long and even into the early afternoon hours. I found myself to be less hungry later in the day and, best of all, I went the entire day without drinking any pop at all. This is almost unheard of for me.
So, on Tuesday, I stopped in for my 'morning tea' again. $1.47 out the door. I may have winced a little when I saw that price, but, I guess they can't do the $1 tea thing forever, right?
Wednesday...repeat. Thursday...repeat. On Friday I didn't grab tea in the morning but later in the day I swung through the McDonald's in Swartz Creek and ordered a large tea, "half sweet, half unsweet." To my pleasant surprise, the grand total was just a buck!
Bummer that Durand isn't doing the $1 tea anymore, I thought. Oh well. I'm loving my new 'morning tea' routine.
So I swung through the drive-thru at Durand again this morning. There was a bit of a line today so I had a minute to peruse the new look of the menu board.
Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. There it is, right on the dollar menu board -- sweet tea for $1!
Weird! But, convenient for my attempts at starting my days on a bit of a healthier note!
Finally, it was my turn. I excitedly ordered my dollar tea and then -- wait, what? The confirmation screen read $1.47. I had to ask. "Your menu says tea is $1, why is mine ringing up $1.47?" I'm no mathematician but even I know that's around 50% tax.
The friendly McDonald's employee then explained to me that because I had ordered the tea half-cut, there is an up charge.
Okay. Well, that's...dumb... but, to be fair, the menu board does indicate that "sweet tea" is $1. So, I don't know -- maybe they consider it extra work to draft tea from two different sources. ...that are already filled and sitting right next to each other... Right, I know it's dumb, but, ya know, whatever, it's their prerogative.
I thanked the kind employee for the explanation and pulled ahead to pay.
As she was handing me my tea, she said "unsweet tea costs more to make."
Now, I was ready to let this tea-bacle go, chocking it up to one of those "that's dumb but whatever" things. But, "unsweet tea costs more to make?" Really?
My wife frequently makes tea at home. Heck, I've been known to brew a pitcher or two. And again, I'm no mathematician, but I'm nearly certain that I have not paid more at the grocery store check-out on occasions when I don't purchase sugar. I mean, it would be news to me that we have actually been being paid by the grocery store to leave with sugar.
"Unsweet tea costs more to make?"
What exactly is the process for making the unsweet portion of my half-cut tea? Is there some anti-sweetener being added? Some costly additive that somehow equates to better business profits than simply brewing a batch without adding the sweetener in the first place?
This is an interesting position to take. I'd love to hear more.
And why do neighboring franchises choose not to use this mystical unsweetening potion? Is there something I should know about this additive? Are there some adverse health impacts?
The explanation "unsweet tea costs more to make" is worse than mom saying "because I said so." It makes less than no sense. Or, less than no cents, as it were. (See what I did there?)
I'm going to try to forget that I heard that and just go back to believing that maybe there's some rationalization for the added costs based on the extra effort it takes to push the button on two different tea dispensers. At least then it just seems that the situation is kinda dumb, but not that McDonald's actually thinks I'm dumb.
Anyway, see you tomorrow for morning tea.