Today I visited:
To find out what happens when you ask them for tap water to fill up your bottle.
I didn’t buy anything, I didn’t have to beg and they were all fine about it.
So they all do it, but I have to wonder if there is some kind of stigma the British public has about asking for a ‘handout’ or ‘freebie’.
There might also be the fact that they don’t know the above restaurants will give them free tap water, and that’s what I’d like to rectify.
If everyone knew that these chains would provide free tap water if asked then maybe more people would ask. But this does throw up another problem, which is that they will make less money off their bottled water. However, I think this will be offset in three ways:
1) Some people will still buy bottled no matter how daft it is.
2) If more people know your place provides free tap water then you will get increased footfall in your restaurant, and if a fraction of those new customers buy something it will easily pay for the expense of some extra tap water.
3) People will think more positively towards the cafes that do this, and therefore would be more likely to visit them for their lunch/snacks/etc.
It seems that overall this is a massively untapped (excuse the pun) route to much greater tap water consumption, reducing the damage caused by bottled water.