Nice Try, Restaurant, But You Can't Trick Me Into Buying Bottled Water

A blogger who complains about food at Bon Apétit magazine is tired of restaurants attempting to trick him into buying bottled water when all he wants is some lovely, refreshing tap water with ice in it. The free stuff that comes out of the tap. Instead, the staff offer water without offering tap as an option at all. Most diners either didn’t notice the ruse, or didn’t care.

Here’s the scene, at a seafood restaurant in Las Vegas:

Tall Suit: “It looks like you don’t have any water yet. Can I get you flat or sparking?”
Me: “Flat is fine, thanks.”
Tall Suit: “Okay, I’ll bring you a bottle of flat.”

He starts to walk away. I’ve seen this trick before, so I catch him before he’s out of earshot.

Me: “Actually, we don’t need a bottle. Tap is fine.”
Tall Suit (thrown off): “Oh. Okay. Tap then.”

By not offering tap water as an option, it’s clear that he intended to trick us into buying a bottle of water. Judging from the amount of bottles of water at the tables around us, a lot of people fell for it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been through this routine at restaurants and, frankly, I’m tired of it.

I haven’t been through this routine, at least in the US, but maybe I don’t eat in nice enough restaurants. Have you experienced it?

I’m Sick of Restaurants Trying to Trick Me Into Buying Water [Bon Apétit]