Maybe you've experienced this before. You and/or the family roll into a slightly over-priced, counter-service restaurant in your own fair city. You don't expect much, maybe some turkey on a creatively named bread - you know, like ciabatta or focaccia. They hand you a small bag of Block and Barrel chips, a cup and off you go to find your seat.
All seems well, all except one cup seems to be different from the others. And so the water drinker's painful discrimination begins (cue music in the key of D minor - the saddest key as we all know).
Have you experienced this? I did today. And the day before that. And a couple of days before that. And countless times before that. Well usually my wife is the one with "that" cup, but when momma isn't happy....
If you order water at a typical establishment, this is what you get.: A 7oz. cup that, when ice is added, will satisfy you until just about the time you are seated. What a treat! Water drinkers are penalized with a child-sized cup. Thanks for caring Mr. Restaurateur!
Now I think most of us expect tap water, rather, whatever you call that pale yellow fluid that comes out when you push the special button next to the lemonade dispensor on most any fountain drink machine - well we expect that to be free.
The following equation applies: cheap cup + yellow water-like liquid = free
However, I hypothesize that the paramount reason for this cup at the vast majority of counter-service restaurants is to "keep you honest," AKA, "We better not see Coca-Cola in your pitiful, inferior, child-size cup."
When I was in college I worked at an upscale hotel in downtown Nashville. Per the norm, we had the typical closet hangers that you were unable to remove from the bar in the closet. These are horribly inconvenient for those that use them - and trust me, they were used at this hotel. When the hotel came under new ownership one of the first changes was to remove these hangers and replace then with traditional wooden hangers. As our new GM said in a meeting, "We are getting rid of the 'we don't trust you' hangers. If a guest is willing to pay $350 dollars a night for a room here, then we should trust them with a hanger." Smart man.
Why can't restaurants trust the water drinker? Why? Just give them a regular cup like those from which the rest of us so pridefully sip our sweet loose tea nectar (Splenda, of course). Please?