The rule's effects may be particularly pronounced at movie theaters, where belly-buster sodas are as familiar as coming attractions. Big beverages also account for about 10 percent of profits, according to court papers.
"People just like that comfort, while they're sitting there — to make sure they have enough to drink for the whole movie," Russell Levinson, the general manager of Movieworld, mused this week.
The family-owned theater sells soda in 20-ounce bottles and 44-, 32-, 22-, and 12-ounce cups. The theater is looking at getting 16-ounce cups, considering two-drink and refill specials and retooling all its drink-and-popcorn combination offers, Levinson said.
Some businesses, though, are adapting to the new rule with gusto.
At Frames Bowling Lounge, a Manhattan spot that mixes bowling with an upscale bar, the families who pack the lanes on weekend days will no longer be offered pitchers of soda as part of a party package, executive general manager Ayman Kamel said.
Instead, they can get individual, eight-ounce cups of soda — or pitchers of the low-sugar, house-made juices that he and staffers spent an afternoon tasting this week. They experimented with such options as carrot, beet and mint-and-citrus.
"It's going to cost a little bit more money, but nothing is more valuable than having freshly squeezed juice available for our clients," he said. "We're taking advantage of the situation to promote the good side — healthy options."
Associated Press writer Karen Matthews and AP Food Industry Writer Candice Choi contributed to this report.