Restaurant H-2-0

The following is something that I find irritating, and I've been meaning to write a post on this topic for years.

When I go to a restaurant, I understand that there are small up-sell opportunities that employees employ to try and maximize their profit. Finding ways to increase the bill amount at a restaurant equates to a larger tip for waiters. Daily specials, a separate wine list, and asking if you'd like coffee or desert after your meal are examples of this.

The one tactic that irks me to the core - is when a waiter asks: "Can I get you flat or sparkling water tonight?" (Notice - not even giving "tap water" as an option) The main premise here - is that they want to seamlessly peer pressure you into ordering the $10 bottle of water rather than enjoy the free tap water (which in New York is known as some of the best in the world)...

At this point - when asked this question - I instinctively answer "TAP is perfect" in an annoyed tone... (In attempt to relay that "Homey don't play that - so nip it in the bud"... My routine never works, though...up-sells continue throughout the meal).

If a restaurant mandates that waiters say this ... I prefer it to go something like this: "Is tap water OK for the table or would you prefer sparkling?" ... This way - the server doesn't insinuate that you are a cheap bastard because you don't want to spend $10 on a bottle of water that the servers will continue to fill up so you quickly finish the bottle(s) and order more...

I guess I find it so annoying because it's one of those cases when I KNOW a business is up-selling me and while they think they're being smooth -- they're making it worse... Customers are smarter than we used to be - I think acknowledging that goes a long way these days...

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