Skip to comments.$8 For A Bottle Of Water
Posted on 05/10/2003 5:15:05 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
SYDNEY restaurants and bars are charging customers up to $8 for a bottle of water, making profits of 400 per cent on wholesale prices.
The cost of bottled water has sky-rocketed as pubs, clubs and restaurants resist giving their customers tap water.
Establishments across Sydney are charging similar prices. For example, a 750ml bottle of water at Hoyts cinema at Fox Studios in Moore Park costs $4.10.
The Cosmopolitan Terrace Cafe in Double Bay charged $4.50 for a 330ml bottle. Homebar in Darling Harbour charged $5 for a 500ml bottle, and patrons of the Harbour Kitchen Bar in The Rocks pay $8 for the same size bottle.
In some cases patrons are being forced to pay more for water than a glass of wine or beer.
At one bar, Passionflower at Darling Harbour, Chill Spings water is sold for $2.50 in a bottle that costs a little more than 30 cents from the wholesale distributor.
Minister for Gaming and Racing Grant McBride last week issued new pricing guidelines for pubs and clubs after some venues refused to provide tap water.
Under the new guidelines it is illegal to charge more for a bottle of water than a middy of beer or a glass of wine. And tap water should be provided free, or for no more than $1.
The new guidelines were welcomed by the Australian Consumers' Association.
The association said patrons should be able to ask for tap water because the prices for bottled water were so high.
The association's spokeswoman Gail Kennedy told The Sunday Telegraph a deregulated marketplace meant venues were able to put expensive price tags on their bottled water.
"These new guidelines ease the tension of the water issue," she said.
The increased popularity of bottled water meant it had become a status symbol, she said.
"Marketing water in terms of mineral content and country of origin gives water the same prestige as wine."
The Department of Gaming and Racing has received dozens of complaints over water prices.
"The complaints indicate that some venues are charging $5 for a small bottle of water, while others are limiting the supply of water," Mr McBride said.
A patron at a Manly hotel was told free water was only available at meal times and a Rushcutters Bay cafe refused to provide tap water at all.