Embarrassed To Ask for Tap Water? The Good Food Guide Says You Shouldn't Be

7 November 2008

http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/7679/1823318887951892211lb0.jpg"Still or Sparking?" asks the waiter.  You scan the menu.  Bottled water - £3.50.  Thoughts run through your head.  "Would asking for a tap of water make the waitress gawk at me like a homeless porn star, and then spit in my food?"  Yes, they probably will. "Still, please," you respond.  The waitress smiles.  Oh, don't forget to tip 20%.

But know that you aren't alone, according to The Good Food Guide. Consumer polls by Which? and them revealed that more than 75% of the British surveyed believe restaurants extort on bottled water, while one fifth of consumers feel too embarrassed to ever ask for tap water when eating out.

Interesting, when you consider that about 50% of survey respondents said they can't taste the difference between bottled and tap water. In fact, 18% actually said prefer the taste from the tap.  Ironic.

But the bigger reason to consider tap water is because of the money you will save (and it's also better for the environment, apparently.  And that's how I'm going to rationalise it!).  Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of The Good Food Guide, said:

‘People looking after the pennies could easily save pounds by drinking tap water when eating out.'  In fact, £2-3 for that glass of water should be enough money for some tasty dessert.

While restaurants are not legally obliged to provide you with free tap water like pubs are, most will usually do so, include outlets like Starbucks, McDonalds and Costa Coffee.

...and if they don't, consider taking your homeless custom elsewhere.



  • fred f.
    Yeah, London tap water is just yummy.
  • Ted N.
    a handful of big cities have already banned bottled water in public spaces... I'm of the opinion one should be embarrassed to ask for bottled water, not the other way around. http://www.thinkoutsidethebottle.org/
  • Things B.
    [...] free, and I’m sure you have your own list. What about boxes from the off-license? What about water in restaurants? What about public toilets? Let us know in the comments [...]

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