Johannesburg - An apparent lack of suitable jugs at a Wimpy restaurant in Parys left a waitress resorting to serving water in a tub of stain remover, the Sunday Independent reported.
The Sunday newspaper received an e-mail from one Alastair Joel who went to the restaurant with a group of friends on New Year's Day.
"Everything was fine up until we asked for a jug of water for our table," Joel was quoted as saying.
"We didn't ask once, twice but rather thrice until it was brought. And no, we were not served the water in a glass jug, but... in a plastic stain remover tub used for chemical products/detergents".
Joel said they were given plastic cups.
The newspaper published a photograph showing the bucket on a restaurant table with a bottle of Wimpy-branded tomato sauce next to it. Joel said at the time the group asked to see the manager, who told them the tub was clean, but ordered the waitress not to serve water in it.
Wimpy managing executive Val Bourdos confirmed the incident to the newspaper. She said the "rather unusual behaviour" from the waitress did not adhere to "stringent operating standards".
Bourdos said the group of 10 friends arrived and ate breakfast at the Parys restaurant before asking for water.
"The waitress brought them water in several glasses, which is Wimpy standard, but they said the water was not enough and requested that she bring the water in a jug. We do not have water jugs in the restaurant, so for the second round of water, the waitress used a milk jug that is used at our coffee station (which was too small) and did not satisfy the needs of the customers."
Bourdos said the group then asked for a "large container/jug of water".
The waitress alleged the group had told her they were "hung over and needed a lot of water to drink".
She apparently then told them the restaurant did not have large jugs, but she would see what she could do.
"The waitress then proceeded to bring them a bucket of water with ice with several Wimpy takeaway cups."
Bourdos said the manager was called to the table and one of the customers apparently reprimanded her.
"The manager removed the bucket from the table and advised the customers that the waitress should not have used the bucket."
Bourdos told the newspaper Wimpy would not try and rationalise or motivate the use of the tub.
"The serving of water in a bucket is not endorsed by Wimpy... We do not support the fact that the waitress used her initiative to address the customers' need with this 'large container' - albeit fully sterilised."
Bourdos said Wimpy apologised for "this non-compliant behaviour".