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When eating out, I never pay for drinks because they're always overpriced for a cup of soda, when I can get a whole bottle for that! So, I'm the one who always orders a cup of water. They usually don't charge me, but sometimes places charge me like 30 cents. What do you think water should be free or is ok to charge? They do just come from tap water, but they have to pay for the water bill, i guess that's some rationale, but I don't know. I think it should be free.
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I hate being the environmental annoying one, but they should charge for water. There are places with serious shortages (eastern Oregon, just as an example).

If you head to Europe, you'll find water is usually more expensive than a Coke. Plus, by just using the glass, it still has to be washed, which takes even more resources.
yep and they usually don't give you tap water there.
AT least not in belguim, holland and sweden You get bottled water.
Eating out is very rarely worth it. Even if you only pay 20$ for two people, that's a lot of food in some food stores. So yeah, I can understand cutting corners (like soda) when it comes to going out. I always do that when we go for asian, because water is just better with higher sodium foods anyway. IF it's just tap water, I don't think they should charge.
Agreed. I"m finding it hard to go off soda because there is no real alternative but water and I don't want to just drink water (although my boyfriend seems to do fairly well on water and 100% fruit juice)

I think my choice for cheap eats are shwarma (which is 8.50 for a plate that serves two) and pho (veitnamse noodle soup and isn't more than 625 for a huge bowl) and the best part is that pho places seem to conduct themselves like 'nice restaurants' despite the small pricetag ie there is water on your table by default.

Where do you live? (Don't have to get too specific, just wondered what country.)
I wouldn't mind paying 30 cents for water. Still better than $2 for Coke. Plus, it still takes effort for the server, busboys, dishwashers, etc. And there's the water you drink, plus the water & electricity to wash the glass.
*Cough* If you're getting take-out from a sit-down restaurant (as opposed to fast food), you should still leave a tip. Chances are good that a server prepared it for you to take it home, just like s/he would've if you'd sat down. Chances are also good that that take-out order went onto his or her sales for the day, meaning they have to claim it when it comes to claiming tips.

I know when I worked at a Bob Evans, every weekend night one server would get stuck on the counter and carry-out. Everyone hated it because very few people who get carryout tip, but they were still only making their 2.whatever an hour.

Just a thought...
Typically they say they're charging you for the cup, not the water. Would be interesting to test them by bringing in your own cup and asking them to put water in it ...
I can't imagine a restaurant charging for water. I am also used to restaurants providing refills on all drinks at no extra charge.

If you're in a fast food establishment, unless they have specific cups set aside for this (generally small ones), you are actually paying for the paper goods (i.e., the cup). A soda actually only *costs* the outlet around 10 cents at the most, because it's a fountain mix. However, the cost of the paper goods is incorporated into the price you're paying.

Under the ADA, water has to be made available to you. However, I really don't see anything wrong with an establishment recouping the cost of full-price paper goods if they don't have water cups available.
I thought I was reasonably familiar with the ADA but never knew getting water in a restaurant was one of the provisions. Hmmm, learn something new every day.
i think it should be free and usually mark off places that charge *shrug*
Reasons why getting water is much better than soda:

-Usually it's free, or cheaper than soda, from my experience.
-Do you really need all of the calories and chemicals from soda?
-Most American restaurants serve foods packed with sodium; just talk to anyone with high blood pressure. You won't feel salt-bloated afterwards if you drink water!
-Water + lemon = cleans the palate. Soda just tastes really bad with certain foods. Coke + sushi = augh.
-And inside of a restaurant and out, water helps you have clear skin and it flushes out the toxins in your body! Hooray!
They do have to pay for the water itself (even if not very much, water is never free), the electricity to make ice, often for water filtration systems, that sort of thing, plus the service of the people who are doing all that for you, the overhead of the restaurant building (the cost of your seats, tables, rent, electricity for lighting and temperature control), etc. The same things that go into all food costs, really. I appreciate it when water is free, but honestly, I'm not going to gripe over a quarter or so, myself.
But think about how much they mark their food up. You probably pay $7 or $8 for a meal that costs $3 to make and maybe another $1 to pay the worker to made it. They don't need to charge for water.
I don't mind getting charged a small fee for water (30 cents is reasonable), but I've been a few places that charged as much for water as they did for soda. I found that to be sort of stupid. Unless they are serving bottled water, then there should be a small charge/ no charge at all.
They have to pay for the water.
They have to pay for the cup and the straw they give you or they have to pay for someone to wash that cup.
I would rather pay a small amount for water than $2+ for a cup of soda that I maybe drink one or two glasses of before I am sick of it.
I would rather have the restaurant raise the price of each entree .50 or so and offer water free.
During the summertime, the restaurant I used to manage would get people coming in just for the free water...and then loitering around taking up seats.

But if you're buying a meal, I agree: I would expect a water to be free. They could always up the menu prices of the meals ten cents and not come across as cheapskates.
*During the summertime, the restaurant I used to manage would get people coming in just for the free water...and then loitering around taking up seats.*

That's just tacky. I can't imagine ever doing that.
I kind of wish we charged for water at my work. Maybe the managers wouldn't be so uptight about it then. We actually get quite a stern talking to if we don't sell beverages to %85 of our customers. We have a quota we are supposed to reach with beverages, desserts, and bill total. They have actually threatened disciplinary action for not meeting these quotas. Beverages are where they make a lot of money. Because we charge $2 for something that costs the restaurant less than one cent per ounce. We do give free refills on soda, but most customers will only need one refill.
Hi, I do the exact same thing that you do, because I believe that drinks are completely the main thing that makes a restaurant bill overpriced.

I believe that there should NOT be a charge on tap water for certain. I think that this should be included in an overall meal of whatever else one may order. I think that the food business can absorb a glass of tap water based on their food prices. Just my opinion.

But also, I've had to learn to be careful, because if I say "water"- they might bring me a beautiful bottle of sparkling water that costs 5 bucks or something like that. They'd even opened it already. Yup... hmmm.
Happened to me in Portland, Oregon! Ooops. I'd say I learned I need to be more specific.

So now I'm heard saying "TAP water, please..." maybe I should start asking if it's included or if there's a fee, cause I've not encounted what you have.

Good question and thanks for bringing it up! :-)
I don't mind a small charge like that. Cost to clean glass, cost to manufacture ice, cost of actual water, cost of straw, cost of lemon wedge, etc adds up to something.
En México...
I can go either way with the charging or the non-charging. I can understand that it's someone job to clean, and someone's job to serve, so being charged 30 cents is a lot better than being charged 2 bucks.

HOWEVER, which I found odd, was that I had gotten into the habit two years ago of ordering water. (I was on a water kick like whoa!) When I went to Mexico, it was either ¿agua o coca?, so naturally, I ordered water due to my kick.

Come to find out, Coke is cheaper in Mexico than water. Since neither can use the water system, and water actually costs MORE to filter than buying the bottles of Coke, it was about 20 or so more cents to buy water than it was to buy Coke...

... just thought I'd share!
I have never ever been charged for a glass of water, even when traveling. Where do you people live?
This is what I'm wondering! I mean, if I order a bottle of sparkling water, sure, but for regular tap? Never.
I used to serve.

I don't think water should be free. I used to have to consistently refill people's water, and the tips would be lower for extra service.
I live in Minnesota, and I believe here they legally are required to provide free tap water. It's Minnesota though, and fresh water is very cheap. I've never been charged for water, and it wouldn't work here because people would complain. But I think a small fee is reasonable if you use their dishes or paper cups.
Having just gotten my first-ever water bill, I can understand why restaraunts would want to charge for water.
Really? Water prices must be much different where you are, I feel exactly the opposite. I can't imagine a cup of water costing more than a penny when our monthly bills for the 7-resident house I lived in in college (Buffalo, NY) was never more than $20. And I'm moving to a 2-bedroom apartment in NC in August, where we'll be charged a $5 monthly flat fee for water, which I still feel is kind of a lot!
Oh you are SO much better person than me. I carry a cold bottle of water in my purse with me when I go out to eat. I ask "do you give complimentary water with the meal?" And if the server says "well, it's 25c" then I say, ok, well I brought my own, so just skip the drink"... you'd be amazed how many times they will bring me a glass of ice water and tell me it's on the house....

Sometimes I've even made the comment, "would you ask your manager how much it is costing him to give free water?"... I don't want you to be offended, I want the manager to be.

rofl.
I think water should be free. I don't eat in restaurants much, but normally order water - not necessarily because I need a drink, but because it is free. I've never heard of charging for water locally, and one of the few things that was successfully ingrained in me from childhood was to never waste money on restaurant beverages. However, if I went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant at one of the times of day that I need a coffee fix, I would order coffee. My favorite restaurants are Mexican, and I must say the coffee is usually really bad, and one probably does need the water!
the profit that a restaurant makes on cups of soda is more than enough to pay the water bill easily enough in order to offer free water to their guests.