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Paying for water: Yay or Nay?


Water, water in every single place however not a drop totally free.

One in all my pet peeves when eating out is listening to, “We don’t serve plain water.” Whereas the price of bottled water isn’t prohibitive, it irks me to be pressured to purchase one thing that was all the time a complimentary a part of the restaurant or cafe expertise till fairly not too long ago.

Why eating places cost for water

Among the many commonest responses from enterprise house owners is that they’re responding to will increase in their very own prices. Elements equivalent to escalating rental costs, utilities prices, water system upkeep costs and manpower are continuously cited as the primary causes.

water - waiter serving water
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Some enterprise operators additionally really feel that diners are inclined to waste water when they don’t pay for it. That could be a sound level— I’m certain we will all agree that we usually tend to end a bought carbonated drink than a complimentary glass of plain water.

Unintended penalties

The unintended consequence of the change is that diners could also be motivated to go for sugary drinks as a substitute. That strategy appears to make financial sense— why pay S$1 for water from the faucet when you would simply spend a little bit bit extra and benefit from the icy chilly sweetness of a comfortable drink?

water - soft drink
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It’s one thing that’s inevitably already contributing to the weight problems epidemic and the rising diabetes disaster. In a way, it’s also unfair to those that undergo from diabetes as they’re pressured to buy their solely wholesome possibility.

Making sense of all of it

I attempt to step into the sneakers of the folks on each side, reasonably than view issues via the lens of the companies concerned.

Utilizing that perspective, I can perceive the logic behind workers fatigue. It may be irritating, particularly throughout peak hours, to have each desk asking for water refills. Diners are prone to make do with one glass (of water or different drink) if they’ve to purchase it.

water - cleaning a glass
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As for the argument that washing the glasses should be factored into the dialogue, I ponder how far that may go. Will eating places now begin to cost us for cutlery as nicely, since forks, knives and spoons additionally undergo the dishwasher?

Attainable alternate options

Maybe a greater strategy could also be to have self-service water dispensers at eating places. That might remove the problem of ‘burdening’ workers with requests for water. An alternative choice could be to permit diners to deliver their very own water if they need. 

water - pouring water into a glass
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Chief Foodie, Seth says he likes the concept of a “free stream of water in the event you order a drink from the menu”. That method, the price and burden of offering plain water is offset by the revenue to the enterprise. It is smart.

Within the meantime, do you assume an inventory of eateries which serve water freed from value and people which cost might be useful for you?

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