SODA-FOUNTAINS. Within the last few years a number of large groceries have added soda-fountains and have found them very profitable in various ways in addi tion to the margin on the ice cream and soda sales—by gaining new store customers among people who at first merely dropped in for a "soda"; making the store a popular meeting-place among friends (all prospective customers), in the increased case and bottle sales of summer beverages, such as root-beer, etc.
But it is not good policy to install one unless you also furnish both the help and attention necessary to run it in proper style, for a soda-fountain proves an eye-sore and a general detriment unless so conducted as to present the appearance of absolute cleanliness. A sloppy fountain has the knack of immediately making a place look cheap and messy—it will attract flies to damage the exposed stock and mark up the canned and package goods, but it won't attract customers to purchase them! The counter should always be clean, polished and dry, and the syrup jars and all appurtenances invitingly bright to the eye—a general effect of dampness, stickiness, sourness or foustiness is disgusting to particular customers. This general spick-and-span condi
tion must be supplemented by good syrups and cream if full success is to be attained.
As the purchase of a fountain represents frequently an investment of consider able amount, caution should be exercised in selection. The essential points are—(1) first-class mechanical construction; (2) thorough drainage; (3) attractive appear ance; (4) good insulation to avoid waste of ice; (5) correct cooling plan so as to insure a plentiful supply of cold soda ; (6) convenient arrangement for service; (7) jars, pumps, etc., that can be cleaned with minimum labor, and (8) heavy plating on plated parts—or the "new appearance" will speedily be lost.