Report: More People Now Ordering Tap Water at Restaurants

The last time you ate out, how many people at your table asked for water? Probably most of them, right?

Findings by a market-research firm that tracks restaurant trends has revealed that in the past five years, while restaurant traffic has declined by 1 percent, there has been a 6 percent drop in beverage orders. More and more people are asking for just water.

This represents a decline of 2.7 billion servings, according to the report by the firm NPD.

The survey, which involved 5,500 adults, stated that tap water orders have increased by 28 million servings since 2006, while orders for carbonated soft drinks and brewed coffee saw a decline. The latter two represented 49 percent of all beverage servings. Iced tea, however, is actually growing. The report also mentions that other "growth categories" tend to be newer drinks, including smoothies, iced/frozen/slushy drinks and specialty-coffee drinks.

Cited among the reasons customers are settling for water instead of a Coke? Free refills. Not mentioned is how many people answered, "It's the economy, stupid."

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