How to Boost Restaurant Sales with Filtered Water

As a former restaurant employee, I’m well aware of the necessity of boosting check averages in order to increase tips. Usually (though not always), the higher your sales, the more money you are likely to make as a server. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry before knows that offering guests bottled water is one of several techniques that can help you boost sales.

But the bottled water industry, as of late, has received so much backlash, and in today’s economic recession, fewer people are buying bottled water at restaurants, despite the clever efforts of servers to pressure them into it:

“Sir, do you prefer still, sparkling … or just tap”  (said with a slight air of condescension and maybe even a small frown)?

These days, most people are not afraid to say “Charlotte’s (or whatever city you live in’s) finest”, with a confident grin. It was always frustrating to me when I was a server; however, now that I see the absurdity of bottled water (and now that I am thankfully no longer employeed in the food and beverage industry), I have joined the ranks of fellow tap water drinkers. After all, it’s “free”.

I used to receive this question, quite often, however: “Is your water filtered?” Sadly, in the last restaurant I worked in, it was not. You could taste the trace amounts of metal that often give unfiltered water that “tappy” taste. (Looking back, I understand now, why people would ask for water with extra lemon…). Perhaps the reason for serving unfiltered water was simply cost – not paying for foodservice water filters is less expensive, after all… or is it?

What if selling filtered water, by the glass, instead of serving unfiltered water for free, could actually help restaurants boost their sales? Bottled water is ridiculously priced, but if restaurants invested in filtration systems, perhaps they could sell glasses of filtered water for less than a dollar a piece, (refills included?) and still make a small profit off of water sales. At the very least, they could recover the cost of the filtration system, make their customers happier by serving filtered water, and boost their overall reputation if nothing else. If people have the choice between tap for free and filtered for the price of what ultimately amounts to pocket change, I’m willing to bet they’d choose the latter. What do you think?

You could even serve it in a stemmed glass, as this tends to make non-bottled water seem more appealing

Buyer’s Guide: Whole House Water Filter Systems

Our whole house water filter systems buyer’s guide is meant (like all of the other buyer’s guides on our site) to assist you, the consumer, with your decision to opt for fresh, clean filtered water in your household. Here are just a few things about whole house water filters, and what makes them unique:

1. They are designed to remove sediment, dirt, sand, rust and heavy metals from your water. All of these contaminants can be harmful to the household appliances which are connected to your home’s water line. Some whole house filters also effectively reduce the bad taste and odor of chlorine.

2. They filter much larger amounts of water than other conventional home water filters, including faucet filters, undersink filters and countertop filters. If you live in a large household, you may want to opt for a whole house filter, instead of, or even in conjunction with, one or more of these other filter systems.

Which whole house filter is right for you? Get your water tested, and then read our buyer’s guide to find out!

Fiji Water Will Pay Extra Imposed Tax to Remain in Business

Fiji Water

Fiji Water: Taking good water away from people who need it most.

Two days ago, Fiji Water‘s only production plant announced that it was shutting its doors, following a significant bottled water tax raise by the country’s military ruler. (There was talk of sourcing the water somewhere other than in Fiji, but then it wouldn’t really be “Fiji Water,” anymore, would it?) The announcement saddened many here in the U.S., as Fiji water is probably the most popular brand of premium bottled water on the market. I’m sure advocates of bottled water were saddened. Workers of the plant wept openly at their job loss. But those of us who maintain that bottled water is an unnecessary and expensive commodity that’s helping to destroy our planet were perhaps more saddened by today’s news: The Fiji plant will reopen tomorrow.  They have decided that the tax (15 cents per liter – up from only one-third of a cent per liter) is payable. The Fijian government’s total annual tax-take is expected to raise from F$500,000 to F$22.6 million.

But why don’t we consumer-obsessed Americans take our eyes off of ourselves for just one second to think about why the Fiji Water company is willing to dish out such a ridiculous amount of money to remain in production?

It’s now well-known that the success of bottled water in our nation is largely due to clever marketing tactics, most of which, sadly, we are gullible enough to fall for. Fiji is the most popular premium bottled water brand because it is well-advertised. Now, I know most of you Fiji lovers would say that it tastes different. But that idea just takes me back to a time when I was over at a friend’s house, drinking cold water which he had poured from the tap into a wine glass; I looked up at this friend, after a few sips, and said, “mmm… this water is really good! Is it Fiji?!?” And that, folks, was the day I stopped buying bottled Fiji water. I realized, at that point, that I had been tricked into believing that this Fiji-sourced artesian water was really better than what I could get at home for the price I already pay when I receive my monthly water bill.

The exotic factor is Fiji Water’s highest selling point. After all, who wouldn’t want to drink water that is bottled from an underground artesian aquifer in Fiji and never touches 21st century polluted United States industrial air until a consumer unscrews the cap? Fiji water is willing to remain in production, regardless of the tax, because they have done the math. They know that consumers will pay for it, and they know that they will still make a significant profit. Staying open, for them, is better than shutting down. It was a smart business decision.

But I can’t help but feel sorry for the people in Fiji, as well as those in other developing nations. We have access to clean water straight from the tap, along with filters that purify it even further by reducing the presence of chemical disinfectants; yet we choose to drink bottled water, simply because it comes from an underground aquifer in an exotic country, and we are gullible enough to believe that it really tastes that much better and is worth the price of $3-4 per liter (plus the extra $0.15 the company will probably now add to the cost to cover the tax). Moreover, we haven’t given a single thought to the fact that those in Fiji, not to mention those in Haiti, Indonesia, Africa and other developing nations, have to hike miles a day just to get access to dirty water that will probably either kill them or make them unbearably sick. Nor have we given thought to how much water and oil are wasted in the production, transport and disposal of this convenient luxury – a luxury that many others don’t have.

Now you may be thinking that bottled water has often been the saving grace for those in underdeveloped countries. But, giving them bottled water is like putting a band-aid on cancer. There are better, more permanent solutions, like helping these countries build a stable clean water infrastructure and teaching them how to manage it long-term.

The message is simple: think twice before you buy that next bottle of water, as it may only further contribute to the suffering of those less fortunate.