Storm over no free water

When i first added a link in this blog to Sparklette a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know what a famous young woman Veron, the blog owner, was going to become within days.

Ah, no, got nothing to do with my link — created abt a year after i first discovered her wonderful posts about Cathay Pacific’s upgrades and about Bangkok. From then on, her blog has been on my “favourite” list.

Sparklette literally caused sparks to fly on cyberspace recently because of her move to list all the restaurants and restaurant wannabes that don’t serve water, or serve it only on levying a price.

She might still have been better known only on the Internet if our dear old (age-wise) Sunday Times from the SPH table didn’t go to town with her post and list yesterday (July 12) and also got those who appeared on her list to defend their policy.

abt post that spilled the water

abt post that spilled the water

  So there’s still life yet in MSM!

The result is that more people than ever know abt Sparklette’s list and more people than ever know what some of those who don’t serve water think of customers who want free water. Here are their choice quotes:

  •  Gracie Vitale, La Forketta:”Our patrons are serious diners and come for our food, not to taste water. It’s the customer with a budget who insists on tap water”
  • Jeffrey Jumahat, Cafe Le Caire: “To be frank, I don’t think customers will just boycott because of water. There’s no urgent need to take action at this point of time”
  • Jack Chin, Mad Jack’s: “People who complain are not educated about business costs because nothing is free.”
  • Danny Ang, Alps Cafe: “I might consider raising the price of the food to give everyone free water.”

I normally take no more than a sip or two of the free water provided, as I prefer a wine, a beer or some sake when I dine out in a restaurant. Yet, I am always taken aback at the end of the meal whenever I see there’s a charge for the water.

I prefer to be told upfront that there will be a charge for water. Or know for sure be4hand from a list like Sparklette’s. 

I also prefer to be given water, even if there’s a charge than be pushed to drink Evian, Perrier and other equally expensive mineral waters, especially when the wait people have little idea of the whys and wherefores behind drinking mineral waters, other than convenience. They don’t even know the difference between con gas and sans gas!!

It’s great that an individual like Sparklette aka Veron Ang has taken the trouble to compile the “no free water” list, with a clear disclaimer on its accuracy and a readiness to amend the list to improve its accuracy.

She provides needed information and rather than take her to task, restaurants listed should thank her for helping them stay transparent to their customers. While some may decide to skip such places, most will bite the bullet knowingly, if the restaurant hasn’t an obvious substitute or has other good points, no-free-water notwithstanding.

Veron’s providing a service that’s valuable, unless and until those restaurants which don’t serve water come clean and state so in their menus, along with the 10% service charge and the 7% GST.

And as a last word, if Ms La Forketta really thinks she’s got right on her side, she should state her no water policy clearly, so that cheap skates or those careful with their money, despite having plenty, can stay away.


2 thoughts on “Storm over no free water

  1. I have to confess to being one of those ‘cheapskates’ who get really irate when restaurants don’t serve water. To me it’s just lack of common courtesy, and the restaurant that cannot even extend that courtesy to its customers, are really signalling what they think of their patrons, and do not deserve my business.
    I have actually walked out of restaurants before on being told they cannot serve plain tap water.

    Just plain no manners.

    I would really encourage as many people as possible to do the same….and to make a big issue of it before they leave.

  2. U shld visit Sparklette’s site n add more fizz to the bubbles! Personally, i can’t remember when I last walked out of a restaurant — but certainly not over whether it served water or not and if so, whether chargeable or not. Still, I applaud those who do.

    My personal “campaign” is to stop restaurants fm the really stupid habit of serving hot water — even just off the boil water — in glasses. Yes, that’s when I throw a little tantrum. “How do u expect me to hold the glass to drink?” i wld demand. And it makes me so mad that even sending for the manager doesn’t always help because the std reply is “we always serve water in a glass; cups r for beverages”….

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