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TOPIC: water

water 20 Jun 2004 12:36 #26656

  • leeler
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Do you give any out for free? I have added bottled water and it sells but I still get lots of people asking for tap. Should I charge a modest fee (a quarter or 50 cents or something)?
"What a crazy business"
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Re: water 20 Jun 2004 12:51 #26657

  • LanceC
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I sell bottled, and if people want water in a cup, I sell a cup with ice and point them to the drinking fountain that is colder than out of the faucet. Re-coop at least the cost of the cup and the lid and straw.....
lance
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Re: water 20 Jun 2004 13:43 #26658

  • BECKWITH1
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We sell bottled water. We have a drinking fountain. We will also provide a cup and lid for .25 (also ice). The charge for the cup simply covers the inconsiderate people who ask for free courtesy cups so that they can pour their outside beverages in them. That is how we put a stop to the abuse. Believe me it is not a profit center. Just a way to keep everything in line.
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Re: water 20 Jun 2004 14:18 #26659

  • outaframe
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Well, this is another "gray" area, and you do look like a "money grubber" IF you charge: what's next, charging for a gulp of air?... Still, if you offer them a free drinking fountain, I feel that's reasonable to recoup the cost of the cup IF they insist they must have one... Another point is that they will normally take the cup into your auditorium, may spill it, and for certain will not put it in the trash for you!...

A RELATED TOPIC <> How do you handle people who walk in off the street wanting to use your rest rooms?... This is kind of like the drink of water/gulp of air thing... Of course, you can't charge them, but have you ever denied their request?... I haven't, but grit my teeth when they are trashy looking, have been drinking, or come as a group... Groups (especially teens) go in one at a time, and as soon as they're out, I check the rest room... Still, it puts you in an uncomfortable situation...
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Re: water 20 Jun 2004 15:12 #26660

  • MovieGuy
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Oou doors are clearly marked..."Restrooms Are For Customers Only". We ask then for their ticket if they want to use the restrooms. No ticket, no restroom. Some people get "pissy" over it. Too bad, its private property. We have had too many outside restroom users try to sneak into a movie. Go to the bathroom at home!
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 01:03 #26661

  • rodeojack
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Agreed... our restrooms are for customers.

We sell ice water in our medium pop cups for .50 ... refillable for free. If they don't like that, we point them to the really free drinking fountain. Ice and cups cost money to make, purchase and stock. At the drive-in, I had trouble with families that would bring out their big bottles of pop and expect me to provide free cups so they could dole it out to the kids.

We don't get a lot of flack over charging for the cups, since there is a free option bolted to the wall. Last night, I sold about 80 glasses of water and 85 bottles. I don't feel too guilty.
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 01:34 #26662

  • BurneyFalls
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If someone needs a cup of water because they are choking or they need to take some life-saving medication, I will give them a courtesy cup. Otherwise, I charge 20 cents for a small and 50 cents for a large cup of ice water. Bottled water is available for $1.50--mostly sold to out-of-towners who don't know we have bottle quality water out of the tap.
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 05:29 #26663

  • jimor
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Glad to see that most here are providing a drinking fountain, or "bubbler" as any true Milwaukeean would call it. It has always boiled me that some cinemas/theatres are too cheap to even provide that, thinking that if one is thirsty he should buy one of their soft drinks, and that they will thereby force him to do so. Some concession girls have even had the bored look on their faces when I offer to pay for a cup of water, and tell me that all they have is soda (pop) on tap and that I will have to buy one of those. They are too lazy (or instructed?) to go to a sink that is probably in the back room and get some water into a cup. When I then ask for an empty cup that I will pay for to fill it in the men's room, they say that they are not allowed to sell cups for that purpose since it is against the "health code to take such into a restroom," which it is NOT, of course. From then on, any place that did not have a bubbler was off limits as far as I am concerned.

Appeal to the manager you say? Try finding one who is over 18 in a multiplex and has adult attitudes; besides, I am there on my time to enjoy my time, not get into a 'discussion' with a kid who obviously couldn't care less. More than once I have written a multiplex's home office about such situation and copied the local cinema about it, but have never seen a change, and only once received a form letter in response, the 'we're sorry for your disappointment, but we are always improving our sterling quality of award-winning service and look forward to seeing you at many more screenings at the famous blankty-blank cinemas!' type of response. Such tripe and hype I do not need, and never have returned but once to see if any bubbler ever did materialize. It didn't, and I didn't.

P.S. (The taste of tap water here is among the best in the nation, so bottled water, which is now often sold, is not really necessary from that standpoint). Let those who crave a brand name on their drinking water have such and pay for it, but if a cinema wants to be a real money grubber, just make no bubbler available!
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 09:33 #26664

  • leeler
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well, I don't have a bubbler (or drinking fountain as we call it in the rest of the world) but I pass out many cups full and was thinking about instituting a quarter a cup charge for them.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 11:41 #26665

  • Reel-Life
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Charging for courtesy cups? Where's the courtesy in that?
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 13:50 #26666

  • outaframe
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To anyone who doesn't already have a free drinking fountain, I would strongly suggest that you install one ASAP... I'd bet the family jewels that it's a violation of your local health codes to not have one, and that the moment you start charging for a cup of water, someone is going to file a complaint... In all fairness, it's unreasonable to confine a crowd of people for two hours or longer, and not recognize that some will get thirsty and/or need to use a restroom... We are at least, to that extent a public service provider, and NOT Hitler taking the condemmed on a train ride to the death camps!...

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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 19:02 #26667

  • BurneyFalls
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I don't know if it is required by law or health code or not. As far as I know my theatre, which was built in 1940, has never had one and there is currently no place to put one. No one has complained about paying the nominal charge and I have been charging for ice water for about four or five years.
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 19:13 #26668

  • rodeojack
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One of the theatres I grew up working for has never had drinking fountains, per-se. It's an 1890's vintage Oddfellows building, substantially in original condition... including antique single-stall mens' room for an auditorium of 380.

There IS a "fountain head" mounted on the sink in both restrooms... so that might qualify. No formal fixture in the lobby or concession areas though. As with Burney, no problems with the community or health department, and the owner doesn't give away anything, either.

As for two-hour confinement, nothing in this business forces anyone to do anything against his will. Services offered are what they are. If the public doesn't like it, they can speak by taking their business elsewhere, which is entirely reasonable.

The comparison to providing free drinking facilities to whether a restroom is available seems a stretch to me... and restrooms ARE required.

Now, this isn't to say that I wouldn't provide services in my operation... just playing devil's advocate here.
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Re: water 21 Jun 2004 22:01 #26669

  • coryray
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Outaframe's quite right, as a quick search of the subject shows that the majority of the states do in fact require "cool" drinking fountains OR cups of water from each counter provided on request. Some requirements indicate the height of fountain/s for all patrons, including those with disabilities.

We removed our old fountain years ago and provide courtesy cups of tap water on request. If I refused someone's request, believe me, there'd be hell to pay down the road, especially in the letters-to-the-editor section of the local daily paper.

Besides, who'd really refuse someone a drink of water?
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Re: water 22 Jun 2004 10:39 #26670

  • puzzlegut
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At our 1-screen, we do not have a drinking fountain. If anyone asks for water, we'll give them a small cup of ice water for free. The only exception we make is for one woman who we give a large cup of ice water and that's because she comes just about every week and will generally buy a few concession items. We don't get too many people asking for ice water so it's not a big deal. We also sell bottle water for customers.

At our 4-screen, we do have a drinking fountain. Sometimes we'll get people who will ask for a cup of ice for the drinking fountain. We only give out some cups for free. If people are buying other concession items, it's not as bad to give them a free cup for water. We also have bottle water if people want to buy it.

There have been a couple of times where people at our 4-screen asked for a larger cup for ice water. There was one time a woman asked for one and I told her we could only give out small cups. I probably could have sold her one of the larger cups but I wasn't sure how much would have been suitable to charge. I guess she wanted a large cup so that she didn't have to keep coming out to keep her water filled and I told her I would be more than happy to keep filler her a small cup of ice if she wanted more. She ended up leaving the counter in a little bit of a huff and went into the auditorium. Even the other woman that were with her told her to take the small cup for free but she wouldn't. They didn't even buy any concessions.

As far as the bathrooms go, we seem to have more people doing that at our 4-screen. I get annoyed when people do that. It's one thing when people ask if they can use the bathroom and we are not busy in the lobby. That I don't mind. But it's when people walk in and don't even look at you and walk straight to the restroom and then either speed walk back out or sneak out through the mall exits. I guess as long as it doesn't get out of control, we aren't going to make a big fuss over it.

On another topic that is slighly related to this one, we had a guy ask for a cup full of butter. I looked at him strangely and asked him why he wanted a cup full of butter. He said he wanted it for his popcorn that was in the auditorium. I told him that if he brings his popcorn out to the lobby, we would be more than happy to put more butter on his popcorn for him. I don't think I saw come back out to the lobby and I don't think I was being unreasonable by not giving him a cup with butter in it. All people have to do is ask for more butter on their popcorn and we'll put more butter on for them.
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