Price of non-alcoholic drinks

I’m sure there’s a reason why this is as it is, but I don’t know it, so I’m asking.

Why is there so little, or sometimes no difference in price between a drink with alcohol and the corresponding non-alcohol alternative?

I may be misinformed on some of this, but here goes. Alcohol costs money; I know that! Fruit juices cost a little less money. Mixers like tonic water and soft drinks are not terribly expensive, seltzer is way cheap, and garnishes like cherries and lime wedges are expendable because they’re supposed to be fresh every day anyway.

If I’m right about that, then it should be like this. Say a rum and Coke, in a bar, costs $5.50. A Coke should cost $2. But it often costs $4, or even $5. Huh? The Coke has to be worth less than the rum, so why isn’t the price reduced by 50% or more?

Then you have the trendy restaurant menu, with their cleverly named cocktails. A Tsunami has light rum, peach schnapps, orange juice, cranberry juice, and an orange slice. It is $7. A Tide Pool has orange juice, cranberry juice, seltzer, and an orange slice. It is $6.50. The rum and schnapps, together, cost .50?

Then you go to a club. Ah, forget clubs; if they could charge you for breathing their air, they would. But why do restaurants and bars do this? Maybe because they think they’re losing liquor profits to sobriety and Starbucks?

They are charging to make a profit, not to be “fair”. They also want to discourage freeloaders from buying only cheap drinks, and hogging the tables/waitresses time.

My childhood’s friend’s father (I think that’s right) was a big-wig at Stroh’s back when it was a big brewer and located in St. Paul.

According to him, outside of the obvious profits and whatnot, the biggest expense, or cost, however you look at it, was distribution. Apparently it costs a hell of a lot to ship stuff around- everyone’s getting their little piece of the pie.

If I remember right (And I often don’t) it was something like eighty percent of the total cost of a can of beer was, or is, in it’s shipping and distribution.

I haven’t talked to him in a bit so I should probably get ahold of him and see what it really was. For some reason, though, that eighty percent figure is sticking in my head.

I used to work in a bar which made the vast majority of its money in mixers. It sold most beers /alco-pops at cost to get the punters in and ripped the arm off all those who drunk anything with little mixers added.
Those tiny bottles of white lemonade or soda which often cost more than a quid were bought in bulk at less than 1p each.

Shoot. For some reason I started to answer what I thought was the question before I fully read it. Sorry.

The only thing I can offer as to your specific question is that back in my barteding days, the bar would charge whatever the hell the market would bear. If it made any sense, great! If it didn’t, so long as people were willing to pay it, charge it.

D’oh! I forgot to add that I don’t mind when blended drinks like Margaritas or daquiris are the same price with or without, because the bartender has to go to the same amount of trouble (minus one gesture for adding the liquor).

Aro: So they were jacking up the lemonades to make up for the loss on beer?

Cnote: “What the market will bear.” Why didn’t I think of that. :::sigh:::

Well, take that one step further. Regardless of whether you order a “Tsunami” or a “Tide Pool” (did they pay someone to come up with those names?), the bartender has to get a glass down, put in the ice cubes, pour in the juices, stir, and plop in an orange slice. The only difference is pouring in the rum and the schnapps. Somebody also has to cut up the oranges, somebody has to wash the glass afterwards; the bar has to cover rent for the facilities, electricity for the fridges and the ice machines, and so on. In other words the labor and overhead costs for the two drinks are essentially the same. The cost of the ingredients is peanuts compared to the final cost of the drink.

There are laws saying that the cheapest alcoholic drink mustn’t been sold cheaper than the cheapest non-alcoholic alternative. It is to prevent cheap people from getting drunk just because the cheapest drink happens to be cheap booze.

All together now: Where’s your momma gone, …chirpy chirpy cheep cheep

Instead of making the non-alcoholic drinks ch…more inexpensive than the alcoholic ones (losing money), they equalize the prices by rising them to the same level.

[ul]…** Where’s your momma gone, …chirpy chirpy cheep cheep **
…:o :frowning: :slight_smile: :smiley: :cool: :eek: :rolleyes:;j :stuck_out_tongue: :mad:[/ul]

For heaven’s sake, I didn’t mean you all to sing along!
And the last smiley doesn’t seem to have fun. Obviously the cheap booze still is too expensive. :wink:

You have a cite for one of these laws?

There was a report on German TV revealing that not every pub complied with it or even knew about it, so I’m pretty sure about their laws. I vaguely remember reading a thread here about this topic and can recall thinking ‘what, the US too?’. Can’t find it, can anybody back me up?

I’ve heard that some bars give free soft drinks to designated drivers.

flodnak: Waddya tryna do, make me feel guilty?