The Water of Life

Restaurants installing their own bottled water plants could be the way forward in the battle to cut down on both waste and road miles.


Top end London restaurant Quo Vadis has installed an Eau de Vie filtered water system from Classeq that allows Quo Vadis to serve bottled, chilled mains water that’s been fresh-filtered on site, in both still and sparkling varieties. The water is served to customers in branded Eau de Vie bottles, priced at £2.50.


The restaurant is part of the Hart’s Group which also owns Fino and Barrafina. Hart’s Group partner Sam Hart says: “The key point is that the Eau de Vie bottle is very stylish in terms of the design and graphics. It fits in with the overall ambience of the restaurant and so customers are happy. Purified water is nothing new in itself, but from our point of view as operators, it has to send the right message about quality to customers.”


The Eau de Vie system at Quo Vadis joins systems already in place at Fino and Barrafina. “It’s definitely an environmentally friendly option. Across all three London restaurants we serve about 3,000 bottles a week, so that’s almost 20,000 glass bottles a year which are not going into recycling,” says Hart.


“In addition, only one of our three London restaurants is in a borough where the council offers a recycling service. Even if you have recycling collections, they are normally only once a week, and in London in particular restaurants just don’t have the storage space for empty bottles. Add in the cost of transporting bottled water, as well as the environmental impact, and the benefits are considerable.”


Customers have no concerns about buying water that has been filtered on site, rather than transported to the restaurant in bottles, says Hart. “We say clearly on the menu that we are serving purified water, only very rarely do customers ask. A chilled bottle of water is part of the restaurant experience, and as long as it’s cold and tastes good, their expectations are met.”


At the heart of the Eau de Vie package is a special filter system called SilverSix, which removes the impurities that can affect the flavour and smell of mains water. The filtered water is then chilled and dispensed through a tap which delivers still and sparkling variants.


As well as its environmental qualities, the system also offers a high profit potential, with each litre of bottled water costing only pennies per litre to produce.