I frequent high-end restaurants around town fairly often and while I have no problems with spending lots of money on food and wine, I find the whole bottled water thing quite infuriating. Even if I am spending over $100 on a bottle of wine, they somehow make me feel cheap if I say "tap water is fine."
Well, it looks like there is finally a restaurant that is hitting this issue head on, and I want to give it some attention so perhaps other ones will get the idea. If we customers just accept it then nothing will ever change.
The restaurant (chez melange) sent this out in their email newsletter, and I think they capture my thoughts well. Am I alone in this?
Chez Melange Invests in Reverse Osmosis Water Supply
If you are keeping up with these newsletters, you are probably aware of how I spend a lot of time checking out other restaurants. Sometimes, I see something I really like and adapt it as my own. And sometimes, well, it doesn’t go so well. One of the current trends that I really consider a form of exploitation is this hard sell of the bottled water. It seems like restaurant patrons are made to feel unsophisticated, inadequate, and perhaps even thrifty if they respond “tap water” to the infamous “still or sparkling” question. I recently dined at a hot new venue across town and was shocked to discover that our party of four was charged us $32 for water (4 bottles of Evian.) This is madness. Not only has the bottled water been marked up significantly, but I have a hard time believing this same water was used to make the ice in my drinks or the water used to boil the pasta. It is my belief that for the health of their customers and the good of the environment progressive restaurants really need to move towards a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system.
Because of our focus on quality, community, and sustainability, Chez Melange has invested a significant amount of money into a Reverse Osmosis system. Now the water we use for all cooking, drinking, and even ice will be of the highest quality at no additional cost to you.
For those of you not familiar with Reverse Osmosis, here are some important facts to consider
1. RO removes far more impurities versus filtered water, most notably fluoride, lead, chromium, radium, arsenic, and many more
2. Bottled water is not as safe as tap water because it is not regulated by the EPA. Bottled water is considered a food product and is regulated by the FDA. The regulations for bottled water are different from tap water. Tap water is analyzed much more frequently than bottled water. Also bottled water is mostly contained in plastic bottles which may leach harmful cancer causing contaminates, such as Bis-phenol A (BPA). Reverse Osmosis (RO) not only tastes better than tap water, but it is the safest water to drink because it uses our EPA regulated tap water, and sends it through additional filtration which removes minerals, aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, magnesium, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nitrate, selenium, silver, sulfate, and zinc. RO is also effective with asbestos, many taste, color and odor-producing chemicals, particulates, total dissolved solids, turbidity, and radium.
3. Since there are no bottles, our environmental footprint is minimized.
4. Restaurants that use bottled or filtered water have a hard time using this water for all their needs. Because of cost, capacity, or convenience they are likely to limit use of the “good” water for drinking and maybe some cooking. Our RO system will be on all of our plumbing so it will not only be the water you are drinking, but also the water used for ice, cooking, even cleaning.