Restaurant Water – Yuck!

A popular question posed to me is; “Why does the water in my restaurant taste horrible?” Indeed, most people, from time-to-time have experienced nasty tasting water in a restaurant. Even the most expensive and exclusive restaurants frequently put out some of the worst tasting water imaginable. Let’s look at the reasons a trip to a restaurant will quite often fill our senses with repulsive water taste and order.

The number one reason restaurant water tastes so bad is that many restaurant owners believe that they have a responsibility to join the world water movement and offer their customers “filtered” water. No matter how many times I harp on this, millions of people still think that adding a filter somehow makes them a water doctor. Again, when you alter water, you have altered the properties of water and you have become your own water treatment plant. I hope as a restaurant owner you are ready to accept the liability for the health risks you have exposed your customers to.

  • Most filters remove chlorine. This allows bacteria, mold, fungus, viruses, and other organisms to grow inside the faucet, in the soda gun, in the ice machine and anywhere else water is used.
  • If the situation is such that bacterial slime builds up inside glasses, even the dishwasher may not remove it.
  • Restaurants often have open containers of ice that the servers dip into to fill glasses. If the ice was made with non-chlorinated water, while it may be free of mold, bacteria, etc., as it sits and some melts, the unchlorinated water will allow these organisms to grow. Once they do, the ice bins will stay contaminated unless sanitized under hot steam and detergent.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, some restaurants use chlorine in their dishwashers and some may use too high of a dose, Chlorine residual on the inside of glasses can cause some chlorine odor to be given off once the class is filled with fresh water.

So, what is the key to great restaurant water?

  • Get rid of the faucet water filter and use tap water for drinks, ice and drinking water.
  • Offer bottled water products for customers who turn their noses up at tap water.

These two steps will keep your customers safer and help you generate more revenue selling high-end, fancy water products.