Food industry sources said eateries nationwide are facing rate hikes and punters will end up forking out as a result
Restaurants are set to start billing customers for tap water, the Irish Mirror has learned.
Food industry sources said eateries nationwide are facing rate hikes and punters will end up forking out as a result.
Irish Water confirmed talks are set to begin next week about tariffs for businesses.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland spokesman Adrian Cummins said: “Some restaurants will charge for tap water if commercial water charges increase.
“I would say over 50% will implement the practice.
“Some charge €1 for a large jug or bottle of [tap] water, which is unlimited during the course of the meal.”
Restaurants and pubs have been paying water charges to local authorities for years.
However, since the establishment of Irish Water non-domestic clients are billed on behalf of the hated utility company.
A food industry source revealed: “We have been told by Irish Water to expect increases.
“There are more than 50 different charges in different locations, so one county might have a higher charge than another.”
Irish Water said a consultation process is set to start next week with the regulator but it could take some time before any hikes come into effect.
Spokeswoman Florence White added: “The Commission for Energy Regulation will shortly begin a process to define and agree the appropriate and enduring tariff arrangements for non-domestic customers of Irish Water in the future.”
However, Michael Kilcoyne from the Consumers’ Association of Ireland said being billed for tap water is not going to wash with diners.
He added: “I don’t think it would go down very well. It would be like charging customers for napkins.
“I’d think twice about charging for tap water.”