Bars are the liquid experts. Yet there is one area where many pubs and bars miss out and that’s the opportunities to be gained from serving water.

Just as with restaurants and hotels, many consumers no longer find it acceptable to buy single-use packaged waters as, even if these are in glass not plastic, there is a consciousness about sustainability that wasn’t present even a few years ago. Water chillers and even water coolers provide the answer.

This environmental aspect, along with the continuing interest in calorie-free water for healthy hydration, have led to a consistent boost for the water cooler sector. In 2018, the last year for which data is available, the sector grew for the sixth successive year, now standing at a market value of £140 million (Source: Zenith Global).

The BWCA believes that bars could be missing out by failing to provide healthy hydration on tap. Restaurants and hotels seem to get on board with the benefits of cheaper, sustainable, great-tasting water that is served in reusable containers, yet the bar trade still has a long way to go. Bars and pubs should grasp the opportunity of serving water with style as the healthy, alcohol-free option.

There is a trend amongst a large part of the hospitality trade for self-fill under sink chillers which offer a number of benefits to bars and their customers. These are very popular in hotels and restaurants and the BWCA sees this as a growing trend for bars too. These under-sink chillers filter and ‘polish’ mains water rendering it as delicious as proprietary bottled waters. It’s water with benefits.

These systems deliver either chilled still water or can serve still plus sparkling water options. They are very easy to use with a simple, quick-to-operate bar tap so for a busy bar-team it’s even easier than pulling a pint of beer. Importantly, the water is filtered and improved to remove unwanted odour and taste and to soften the water by removing some limescale. This equipment offers high capacity so is ideal for a busy bar team.

These waters are provided with smart carafes or reusable glass bottles which in some cases can be branded to help promote your bar.

The watercooler industry is one of the most sustainable sectors. The eco-friendly aspect of these systems not wasting packaging or liquid miles in order to serve water is an attractive part of the pitch to environmentally conscious consumers.

BWCA Members are all rigorously audited for unimpeachable standards of service and hygiene so, by using one of our Members, bars know they will have reliable and safe equipment.

BWCA Members also provide bottled water coolers and plumbed in units which use mains water. There are situations both in the front of house and back of house, such as in staff areas or the kitchen, where a water cooler can be useful. Which type you pick will depend on the availability of storage for bottles and the access to plumbing for a plumbed in unit.