Johnson Babalola
December 2, 2023

When Boiled Yam Met the Drought of Complimentary Water!

While seated at a restaurant in Abuja, relishing a plate of boiled yam and fish sauce, I overheard a woman nearby expressing her frustration to the waiter. “What do you mean there’s no water for complimentary breakfast, only tea or coffee?” she demanded. The waiter explained he was following instructions, to which the woman retorted, “What kind of instructions deprive me of water as part of a complimentary meal?” The waiter suggested buying water, but she insisted, “The meal should be complete; without water, it’s not.” After a brief exchange, the woman reluctantly accepted tap water.

Later, at a hotel in Ikeja, I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast of sweet potatoes and egg sauce. Despite the pleasant environment, I noticed there was no water provided unless purchased separately. Opting for tea, I overheard a man across from me expressing his discontent to a waitress. “Is there no normal water?” he asked. The waitress replied, “No, just tea and coffee.” The man left the dining room, stating, “That doesn’t make sense to me, and it won’t make sense to anyone except your managers.”

Reflecting on these encounters, it seems that some hotel owners in Nigeria may benefit from additional training in basic customer service. Providing guests with water as part of their complimentary meal should be a straightforward practice.

Johnson Babalola, a Canada and Nigeria based lawyer, leadership consultant, storyteller and corporate emcee, is a public affairs analyst. Follow him for discussions on real life issues that affect us all.

You can obtain a copy of his newly released book, REJECTED on Amazon, FriesenPress, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook Store etc.