Russell Jeffrey bought the http://www.thewellingtoninn.co.uk/about.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Wellington Inn in Lund, near Driffield, North Yorkshire, 16 years ago as a derelict building. Nowadays it's a thriving venue that is popular with both locals as well as those from further afield, thanks to a reputation for quality food and drink that is the envy of those from miles around.
Earlier this year Jeffrey received a water bill that would have brought tears to the eyes of many a landlord. However ,he also believed strongly that the customer should be treated fairly. Customers always found a jug of ice cold tap water awaiting them, which would be constantly replenished throughout the meal. Still and sparkling mineral water was also available, although never actively sold.
In April, Jeffrey contacted in-house water bottling specialist Vivreau to discuss options and see whether there was a way to make his offering pay. It was not a decision he took lightly.
"I was intrigued by the profit potential of the Vivreau system to counteract the rising costs associated with running a public house. I really liked the idea of being able to charge for my water provision so we ran a 12-week trial, where we offered one litre bottles of branded water for which we charged, with unlimited free refills. To do this, I personally funded the free of charge element," he explains.
Jeffrey altered the wording on the menus to highlight the change and received virtually unanimous support from both his local customers as well as his new clientele. He installed a full system within a matter of weeks.
"Our customers always comment on the lovely bottle and the traditional cap on the bottle. Because the water is filtered and purified, it means that they get a better quality of water, for which they can certainly tell the difference."
Now serving over 200 bottles of Vivreau water a week, the Wellington Inn has gained an additional income of around £6,000 per year from having the foresight to invest in such a set-up. This is in addition to the savings that have been made from not having the cost of recycling glass that can occur with imported water.
For more information on the in-house water bottling system, visit www.vivreau.com