It all started with a drink of Dr. Pepper.
“Does this taste funny to you?.” I asked Nathan.
He took a sip from the white paper cone.
“I can’t really tell, he said. “I’ve always thought the Dr. Pepper here tasted funny. I think it has something to do with the temperature in the line. It’s too cold.”
Yea, it like burns going down,” I said after taking another sip.
“Hey, did you know the line holds over 10 gallons,” said Nathan in a matter of fact tone.
“There’s no way,” said Jessica jumping in the conversation. “The boxes are only five gallons.”
“That’s just the syrup,” Nathan said. “I’m talking about the carbonation too.”
Drew walked up to the circle we’d formed near the bar.
“I wonder how many gallons we go through a night?” Nathan half stated half asked.
“Well, let’s see,” I said. “Our pitchers make five glasses and there are probably two pitchers to a gallon. So 10 glasses per gallon.”
“Wait a minute,” Nathan said. “There are 128 ounces in a gallon. How many ounces do our cups hold?”
“Either 12 or 16 I would think,” I said.
Scott, our manager walked by just at that moment.
“Hey, Scott,” I ask. “How many ounces do our glasses hold?”
“The plastic ones?” He asks. “Uh, 16 I think.”
“Ok, so 8 glasses a gallon,” Nathan said.
“We’re trying to figure out how many gallons of pop we go through a night.” I explain to Scott.
“Oh I’d say probably eight during the week and 22 on the weekend,” Scott said.
“I like how we’re the only four people in this entire restaurant not working,” Nathan said.
Satisfied with Scott’s answer we dispersed and pretended like we were working.
About 20 minutes later I walked up to Nathan.
“I think 22 gallons is too few,” I said.
“You’re probably right,” he said.
“Hey Scott, I said. I think 22 gallons is too few.”
“Probably,” Scott said.
“I mean that would only make like 170 glasses,” I said.
“Oh, I was just guessing syrup,” Scott said. “The carbonation is three to one so it’s probably closer to like 300.”
I went to fined Nathan who had walked off.
“Scott changed his estimate to 300 gallons,” I said.
“He goes from eight to 300,” Nathan said. “That’s quite a jump.”
“Yea, I know,” I said.
I turned to find Jessica.
“Scott changed his guess to 300.”
“What?,” she said in disbelief. “He went from eight to 300?”
“Yea,” I said. “He wasn’t factoring in carbonation. I’ve got to figure this out now.”
After making tortillas for my last to-go order, I grabbed the pad next to the micro. I made a list of every server on the floor. Red 1, Red 2, Blue 1, Blue 2, Brown 1, 2 and 3, Orange 1 and 2, Yellow 1 and 2, Purple 1, 2 and 3, Green 1 and 2, Cocktail and Bar.
Nathan, Jessica and Drew joined me at the to-go micro, and together we estimated how many tables each server has a night based on what section they’re in. After averaging four people to a table, we came to the approximation of 520 guests a night. I divided 520 by 8 and got 65 gallons.
“Now that’s closer to Scott’s first estimate of 22 if you factor in the three to one ratio of carbonation,” I thought to myself.
I headed to find Scott.
I got 65 gallons,” I said showing him my paper. I explained the process to him.
“Oh, if you just want to know how many guests we have on an average Friday, I can tell you that.”
He added two numbers together on the pad and comes up with 792 guests.
“But also, most people have more than one drink,” I said. It was an epiphany moment.
“And you have to factor in ice,” he said.
Jessica, Nathan and I sat down at the nearest table in cocktail.
792 guests times 2.5 drinks each. 1,980 glasses. Say each glass contains only 12 ounces once you factor in ice. Now you have 10 glasses a gallon. 1,980 divided by 10 is approximately 200 gallons.
I’m satisfied with this estimate. I proceeded to find Scott to tell him and get checked out.
As soon as I got home, I got a text message from Jessica.
“You forgot to factor in what the employees drink.”
I sent her one back.
“There’s the other 100 gallons in Scott’s estimate.”