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Old 19.11.2011, 00:47
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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I don't know where you dine, but I lunch in Zug every week with an Expat Woman's group I am a member of. So far we have only been to one Restaurant the gives Free jugs of water. All the others charge about three francs for a glass of water.
So we now frequent Spargo's because of this. My American friends said to me. ` Dorothy you are not in Kansas anymore". So I probably should change my name to Dorothy!
As a real "Eau de Vie" is usually around CHF 11.--, a glass of tapwater has to be CHF 4.95 and a jug CHF 19.95
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  #242  
Old 19.11.2011, 15:13
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

Wow, 13 pages with mainly complaints about eating out in Switzerland. However much I sympathize and cannot really judge on the other side of the Röstigraben, things are in my opinion not so bad on our "side", Admittedly, I also prefer to eat out in France Voisine (where I live) rather than in Geneva where I work but if you look around you can find pretty good "low price" food around Geneva. Close to the office, plenty of places offer a good lunch meal below 20fr. And absolutely nothing can beat the daily plat du jour on the Bains des Paquis, which is 12 chf and it comes with the best view on Geneva. The luxury of being to able to jog along the lake with a quick lunch on Bains the Paquis on a sunny day always makes me think I am really priviliged to be able to work here. And yes, tap water is for free:-)
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  #243  
Old 19.11.2011, 16:18
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Wow, 13 pages with mainly complaints about eating out in Switzerland. However much I sympathize and cannot really judge on the other side of the Röstigraben, things are in my opinion not so bad on our "side", Admittedly, I also prefer to eat out in France Voisine (where I live) rather than in Geneva where I work but if you look around you can find pretty good "low price" food around Geneva. Close to the office, plenty of places offer a good lunch meal below 20fr. And absolutely nothing can beat the daily plat du jour on the Bains des Paquis, which is 12 chf and it comes with the best view on Geneva. The luxury of being to able to jog along the lake with a quick lunch on Bains the Paquis on a sunny day always makes me think I am really priviliged to be able to work here. And yes, tap water is for free:-)
The situation "east of the Röschtigraben" is fairly similar, in so far as there are cheaper places, but by average, restaurants on both sides are clearly more expensive than places across the border. What however IS cheaper west of the Röschtigraben are the wines

The idea to have a bit of tapwater beside a coffee is a positive import from the Mediterranean. Quite many café owners have realized that people having a bit of tapwater beside the coffee do NOT drink less payable beverages.
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  #244  
Old 08.01.2012, 16:24
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

Absolutely!
I remember asking for "tap water" at Movies, which they brought, but made me pay 5 francs for because it was ZH2O. At least some places do offer free tap water.
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  #245  
Old 08.01.2012, 17:01
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Absolutely!
I remember asking for "tap water" at Movies, which they brought, but made me pay 5 francs for because it was ZH2O. At least some places do offer free tap water.
5 francs is robbery. I might expect between CHF 1.-- and CHF 3.-- . But this is just one side.

There are some good coffee shops (some of them parts of chains) who routinely place a glass of water beside your coffee. I like that concept, imported from Italy. And so, usually take use of the water. BUT, when looking around, I can see that most customers do NOT drink any part of that water !

If you ask for tap-water in a restaurant it is generally assumed that you need it to swallow some medicaments. "Normal" people simply do not drink tapwater in a restaurant. To drink tapwater in a restaurant would be as if you brought your grill along with you from home and asked for the meal to be brought to your table UN-grilled to having it finally prepared beside your table.
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  #246  
Old 09.01.2012, 21:31
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

Our local bar gives free water... but you have to order a glass of wine to go with it!
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  #247  
Old 09.10.2012, 22:31
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Charging for tap water when eating out?

Normally when I go out I just get a glass of tap water with a meal. In Australia they never had a problem with this, and would be happy to get you a glass of water for free.

Not the case in Switzerland. Every place I have been to charges for tap water. Tonight I ordered a basic meal at a pub and asked if I could have a glass of tap water.

"you mean mineral water?"
"just tap water is fine"
"that will be 3 CHF"

*shock*

"oh its ok, don't worry then"

He then shook his head and gave me a dirty look as if I had just asked him for one of his kidney's. All I wanted was a glass of tap water.

Given that Switzerland has an (almost) unlimited supply of clean drinking water, why do they charge for it? Its not as if it costs any extra to them - they are just making 100% profit out of nothing. Is it really so difficult to turn on a tap that they have to charge 3 CHF for it?

Another time I took my own water bottle in my bag to a chinese restaurant, because I knew they would also charge for tap water. The waitress actually came over to me and asked me to put it away! This was just because they wanted to charge some ridiculous fee for free water.

Is this phenomenon all over Switzerland or have I just been unlucky? Has anyone else experienced this?
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  #248  
Old 09.10.2012, 22:50
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

10 years I've been here, ate in lots of restaurants, drank lots of tap water and not once been charged for it.
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  #249  
Old 09.10.2012, 23:29
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

Me neither. Just yesterday i was at a restaurant with some friends and asked for tap water. Not only did the waiter bring it immediately, get that. He actually smiled!!
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  #250  
Old 09.10.2012, 23:40
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

I always get tap water, it really depends how you ask for it. Watch your local friends do it, I usually order coffee and "would you mind bringing me just a glass of water, tap water is fine, thanks a lot" works pretty well.
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  #251  
Old 10.10.2012, 01:53
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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I always get tap water, it really depends how you ask for it. Watch your local friends do it, I usually order coffee and "would you mind bringing me just a glass of water, tap water is fine, thanks a lot" works pretty well.
I in many, even most cafés get a glass of tap water automatically without even asking. Don't know why, but nice it is. I never ask for it. In restaurants, when at the end ordering an espresso, there very often comes a glass of tap water with the coffee.
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  #252  
Old 10.10.2012, 02:08
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Re: Charging for tap water when eating out?

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Normally when I go out I just get a glass of tap water with a meal. In Australia they never had a problem with this, and would be happy to get you a glass of water for free.

Not the case in Switzerland. Every place I have been to charges for tap water. Tonight I ordered a basic meal at a pub and asked if I could have a glass of tap water.

"you mean mineral water?"
"just tap water is fine"
"that will be 3 CHF"

*shock*

"oh its ok, don't worry then"

He then shook his head and gave me a dirty look as if I had just asked him for one of his kidney's. All I wanted was a glass of tap water.

Given that Switzerland has an (almost) unlimited supply of clean drinking water, why do they charge for it? Its not as if it costs any extra to them - they are just making 100% profit out of nothing. Is it really so difficult to turn on a tap that they have to charge 3 CHF for it?

Another time I took my own water bottle in my bag to a chinese restaurant, because I knew they would also charge for tap water. The waitress actually came over to me and asked me to put it away! This was just because they wanted to charge some ridiculous fee for free water.

Is this phenomenon all over Switzerland or have I just been unlucky? Has anyone else experienced this?
Well in Switzerland unlike Australia u can drink tap water, so u can drink from the bathroom if its really a problem.
But i actually always got served free tap water in Bern when asked.
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  #253  
Old 10.10.2012, 08:07
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

The restaurants I have been charged for, I just don't go to anymore. My favorite restaurant happily brings a pitcher of tapwater, free of charge. They even bring 2 plates to split their 50cm pizza with a friend
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  #254  
Old 10.10.2012, 10:15
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Re: Charging for tap water when eating out?

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Well in Switzerland unlike Australia u can drink tap water, so u can drink from the bathroom if its really a problem.
But i actually always got served free tap water in Bern when asked.
Yes but even when they ask you for drinks and you say "no thanks" they still give you a dirty look as if to say "how dare you eat in my restaurant without buying my over priced drinks".
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  #255  
Old 10.10.2012, 10:45
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Normally when I go out I just get a glass of tap water with a meal. In Australia they never had a problem with this, and would be happy to get you a glass of water for free.

Not the case in Switzerland. Every place I have been to charges for tap water. Tonight I ordered a basic meal at a pub and asked if I could have a glass of tap water.

"you mean mineral water?"
"just tap water is fine"
"that will be 3 CHF"

*shock*

"oh its ok, don't worry then"

He then shook his head and gave me a dirty look as if I had just asked him for one of his kidney's. All I wanted was a glass of tap water.

Given that Switzerland has an (almost) unlimited supply of clean drinking water, why do they charge for it? Its not as if it costs any extra to them - they are just making 100% profit out of nothing. Is it really so difficult to turn on a tap that they have to charge 3 CHF for it?

Another time I took my own water bottle in my bag to a chinese restaurant, because I knew they would also charge for tap water. The waitress actually came over to me and asked me to put it away! This was just because they wanted to charge some ridiculous fee for free water.

Is this phenomenon all over Switzerland or have I just been unlucky? Has anyone else experienced this?
I agree, charging a significant amount for water is a bit much, but bringing a bottle of water with you to put out at your table? No, I can understand the staff asking you to put it away.

As others have said, some restaurants do give free tap water, some don't. Keep track of which do, and stop patronizing the ones that don't. If "everyone" does this, they'll eventually get the hint.

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I always get tap water, it really depends how you ask for it. Watch your local friends do it, I usually order coffee and "would you mind bringing me just a glass of water, tap water is fine, thanks a lot" works pretty well.
The difference between this and what it sounds like in the story of "AussieSwiss" is that you ordered a drink and were given the water on the side.


I've been in one or two restaurants that have signs in the bathroom that the water from the tap is not suitable for drinking, otherwise, I'd suggest to ask for an empty glass, and get some water yourself and see how they respond.
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  #256  
Old 10.10.2012, 11:40
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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10 years I've been here, ate in lots of restaurants, drank lots of tap water and not once been charged for it.
Me too. I don't know where these people are going, to be charged for tapwater, but some people will extrapolate from a single experience to assume that it's the norm everywhere.
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  #257  
Old 10.10.2012, 11:43
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Me too. I don't know where these people are going, to be charged for tapwater, but some people will extrapolate from a single experience to assume that it's the norm everywhere.
Perhaps its more common in the canton of Zurich?
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Old 10.10.2012, 11:48
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Perhaps its more common in the canton of Zurich?
I've spent 10 years in Zurich and never been charged for a jug of tap water never mind a glass of tap water.
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Old 10.10.2012, 11:48
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

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Perhaps its more common in the canton of Zurich?
Nope.

I've never been charged for tap water in 14 yrs of coming to CH & almost 7 living here [in ZH]. Never.
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  #260  
Old 10.10.2012, 12:13
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Re: Would it kill the restaurants here to give you free water

jays indian in basel charged for tap water jugs, we have never been back.
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