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Old 25 December 2009, 09:57 PM
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Icon24 Illegal for restaurants to charge for water?

Comment: Ok so I work at Starbucks in West Virginia and they recently just
started talking about charging customers for a cup of water if asked. Now
a lot of people have told me this is illegal.
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  #2  
Old 27 December 2009, 12:08 AM
PuzzlePieces PuzzlePieces is offline
 
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I saw this on a BBC programme dedicated called "Don't Get Screwed" which examines the legal rights a person has in various service situations. In one episode they confirmed that, in the UK at least, restaurants can charge for water if they include clean glasses, lemon etc, and it counts as a service.
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Old 27 December 2009, 03:36 AM
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I've heard where places will charge, say, twenty five cents for the cup. This really only makes sense, since the restaurants have to pay for disposable cups in the first place. It's probably easier to just say no freebies, or in the case of a place like Starbucks, just serve it in a reusable glass cup.
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Old 08 January 2010, 04:08 AM
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Comment: I used to think that it was a legal requirement for all licensed
restaurants in the UK to give free tap water to diners, or possibly just
to anyone who walked in even if they didn't buy food. But my friend says
this is all a myth, and actually only some places that serve alcohol must
give free water, or nowhere at all.
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Old 08 January 2010, 04:48 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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This sound like a law that will vary for state to state or maybe even city to city in the US.
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Old 08 January 2010, 12:44 PM
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And probably doesn't exist. The main reason that water is free is that charging for it will probably drive away customers. But there is an expense to the restaurant, and they can charge for the service and the glass.
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Old 08 January 2010, 04:08 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Wouldn't a law requiring a restaurant to give free water be very expensive in some cases? I can just see a hot dog stand at the state fare giving out thousands of cups of water on a hot July afternoon. Heck of a better deal for people then the $4 bottles of water.

Or a regular sit-down restaurant in a touristy place with lots of foot traffic, like Central Park in NY or Fisherman's Wharf in SF.
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Old 08 January 2010, 05:18 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Years ago when I work at a fast food place we would charge $0.10 for tap water if they needed a cup and did not order anything on the menu. So the charge was really for the cup.

Then there were a couple of summers here in Seattle where there was a water shortage. You then had restaurants refusing to serve water and some charging for it in order to discourage it. There were talks about making laws at least in Seattle, but I do not remember what the out come was.
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Old 08 January 2010, 05:34 PM
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As a slight side rant, is it so weird to prefer water over other drinks? It bugs me a bit to be thought of as cheap when I ask for water with my food at restaurants or fast food places. I'm diabetic, so I need to limit the pop, juice and iced tea I drink. I could do diet pop, but I really don't like the taste or carbonated drinks to begin with. Water, on the other hand, is awesome. I drink it all day and I love it.

So, I have no problem with being charged for the cup or with buying an actual bottle... I just want my choice of drink. I'd prefer a nice bottled water over lukewarm tap water in a styrofoam cup, but meh. I'll take what I can get.

And a side side rant: I get annoyed at people who think I'm evil for buying bottled water. Since it's my drink of choice, I do actually notice a differece between various brands and tap water. I'm not drinking it because I'm cheap or I'm trying to get in my eight glasses a day - I'm drinking it because I like it. If I buy a bottle while I'm out, I'm not replacing tap water with an expensive bottled alternative... I'm replacing the bottle of coke someone would have bought. If I'm short on my own filtered water at home and pick up a four litre jug, how is that worse than the four litre jug of milk someone else is buying?

Is it wrong of me to be somewhat picky about the taste of what I drink, or should I be content with tap water that tastes like lukewarm pond scum because I choose not to drink other drinks? I probably leave behind fewer empties than many people because most of the water I drink is filtered and carried around in reusable bottles, but if I do buy a *gasp* expensive bottle of water every once in a while as a treat, am I being wasteful?
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