No More Free Drinks!

One of my favourite places for lunch is a tiny Thai food vendor in the food court. Usually when I have a craving for Thai/Chinese/Spicy food, this Thai place is the place to go. On Friday, as usual, I ordered my medium spicy tofu Pad Thai. This time, I noticed there are some changes of the store policy. Next to the cashier machine, there's a hand-written note about the new water policy. It said, "No more free drinks. We charge 10 cents per glass of water."

I always thought it was a nice gesture to prepare ice water for customers who ordered spicy Thai food for free! This Thai place is a monopoly business as it is the only Asian food vendor in the food court. And because of that, the average wait time from ordering to getting your food from the kitchen is about 20 minutes. That's about 1/3 of the lunch time of an average cubicle dweller! So if time is money, and a 'busy' customer like me spend so much time on lining up and waiting for the food, I think I deserve a better customer service and perhaps, at least a glass of water.

Does this Thai place have the right to start treating the customers poorly since it is the only Asian Food store for the entire complex?

I know it costs money to buy the plastic cups and straws, but charging the customer a dime for the water seems to be a "cheap" gesture. How about raising the price for everything in the menu by 10 cents? I'm sure the customers would not notice about it.

Sure, 10 cents for a glass of water is a relatively insignificant amount compared to a 7 dollars meal. And I'm sure a lot of people are willing to buy a glass of water from the store. (For obvious reason- you need to have something to drink while eating hot and spicy food. ;)) But still, the message behind the "No More Free Drinks" doesn't sound right.