Recently I had a very unpleasant dining experience at the Indonesian restaurant Rice Table at Orchard. The price is not cheap (around S$30/head for dinner) and I have a lot of reservations for its food and service quality.
I went there with 10 other friends for dinner. Two of us ordered warm water because we had throat problems, while the others ordered juice or soft drinks. When we asked for refill of the warm water, the waiter told us its their restaurant's policy not to serve plain water, and serving us the warm water was a 'mistake' apparently made by another waiter, but they said mineral water is for sale at $2 per bottle. After arguing to and fro with the waiter and his manager, we were going nowhere. Fuming, we talked among ourselves of not patronizing this place anymore. Then after like 10 minutes, the same manager came with a jug of warm water, apologized for 'the mistake', and sheepishly refilled the glasses. Why didn't they just refill the glasses swiftly until damages were done by pissing off so many potential customers?
I always don't understand what these people are thinking. They just want to squeeze $2 more from the customers? I feel serving plain water is a basic courtesy from an eatery. Just like you have chairs for customers to sit, despite the fact you can still eat while standing.
I highly not recommending places that charge for plain water and chairs.