The best water in the world on Kijkduin beach.
Machiel van Dooren, co-founder of Made Blue Foundation, went on the beach of Kijkduin in conversation with Brigitte van Benschop (Beachclub Titus), Sandro Mona (Standtent 14) and Bas van den Brink (Beachclub Birds) about the switch from bottled water to locally bottled Made Blue Water and about the impact, sustainability, doubts and experiences with the best water for the world..
Clean drinking water
Access to clean drinking water is self-evident to us. However, this is not the case for 771 million people on earth – about the same as the entire European population. Fetching water is a full time job for them. Water that is often polluted, resulting in many diseases.
Made Blue Foundation wants to do something about that with the best water for the world. Made Blue supports entrepreneurs in the catering industry with serving bottled still and sparkling water on site and asks for a donation for every bottle on the table that guarantees 1,000 times as much clean drinking water in developing countries. This is becoming increasingly successful thanks to more than 350 ambassadors involved, such as at three special locations in Kijkduin.
On the menu immediately
Before Bas started Beachclub Birds a few years ago, he worked at HMSHost, responsible for the operation of catering at Schiphol. HMSHost has been associated with Made Blue as a donor since 2015: for every consumption sold at Schiphol, 4 liters of clean drinking water are donated to, as much as was required on average to prepare the beverage consumption.
Bas was already familiar with Made Blue when he started Beachclub Birds together with Justine: Made Blue came on the map right from the opening.
Bas: “The message on the bottle is much more tangible than general signs about ‘we donate to…’. What also helps is that the size of the glassware usually gives the guest a little more and for a reasonable price. Add to that that you do something good and save a lot on waste and transport.”
Guests immediately accept it and understand the story behind the water behind more and more. Since the start of Birds, we have already provided 22 million liters of clean drinking water, we are aiming for 100 million!
Bas van den Brink, co-owner Beachclub Birds
For Brigitte and Sandro, the switch was a bigger challenge: they had heard of Made Blue Water through Bas, but in recent seasons (premium) bottled water was served and that went well. Sustainable business operations, the large amount of glass waste and the excellent quality of Dutch tap water were the main reasons for taking the plunge, but there are doubts.
Brigitte: I thought it was exciting, Made Blue Water and the well-known premium mineral waters are different. However, we don’t hear anyone about the switch. We still offer an alternative in the form of bottled mineral water, but Made Blue is the standard water that is served: guests are totally fine with that. Made Blue Water is easier to order, because of the price, but also if only one or two guests at the table want a glass of water.
Sandro: “We also offer small bottles of bottled mineral water in addition to Made Blue Water. It is our first season with Made Blue and I was excited to switch immediately with small bottles, because of crowds behind the bar: do I have to go then? can the water tap meet the demand? We are now noticing that Made Blue is increasing its turnover.”
Brigitte: “We don’t tap anything in front, the water pressure is good and the water tap can easily handle a high volume. I did change the routing: runners tap the water themselves, that no longer happens behind the bar.”
Bas: “That’s a good idea. We don’t tap anything in advance and serve in half-liter or full-liter carafes, there is a very good response to that.”
Despite doubts at the beginning, I am now very happy with it and it also saves a lot of work at the bottom of the line.
Brigitte van Benschop, Beachclub Titus
The switch from bottled water to making your own water entails the necessary changes: instead of the storage, pre-cooling and disposal of glass bottles, there is now a flow in which a bottle rotates continuously: from the rinsing machine to the water tap, on table and back. Were you dreading the change in the way of working and a different layout?
Bas: “It saves a lot of space in storage and in the cooling, otherwise it is impossible to get around on hot days.”
Brigitte: “Despite doubts at the beginning, I am now very happy with it and it also saves actions at the bottom of the line.”
Lemonades and ice-tea
Do you also use the machine for preparing lemonades and such?
Sandro: “We work with a fixed syrup brand. We use the Made Blue water tap to offer lemonades, made without fizz. We used to do children’s lemonades, but we don’t do that anymore.”
Bas: “But when you come to children with a ‘freshly squeezed passion fruits lemonade’, don’t they turn their noses up?”
Sandro: “I thought so too, but that is not the case, everyone reacts very well to it. Parents today want responsible drinks, for their children but also for themselves. I can also simply ask a good price for it.”
Brigitte: “We also use the Made Blue water tap to prepare homemade ice tea, which also works very well.”
Starting next season, I also want to offer guests the opportunity to take a bottle home.
Sandro Mona, Strandtent14
The message on the bottle
With Made Blue, every bottle on the table provides 1,000 times as much clean drinking water in developing countries. How important is that?
Brigitte: “The story on the glassware makes all the difference; it is not just water in a carafe from the wholesaler. With the switch to tap water I expected much more comment from guests, but with the message of Made Blue and the I don’t notice any of that at all in communication material.”
Brigitte: “People also think the glassware looks beautiful. Especially with a cool print like Sandro did: Haags Dùín Watâh.”
Sandro: “Yes, that’s right, I’m very happy about that. From next season I want to offer guests the opportunity to take a bottle home.”
In the meantime, ‘the counter’ has already reached more than 25 million liters of drinking water realized on behalf of the three locations on the beach of Kijkduin. Not only does that sound like a lot, it is. 25 million liters gives more than 325 people access to clean water and hygiene, today and for the next 10 years ahead: that counts!
Especially when you consider what it means even more: not having to walk miles every day in search of water and therefore be able to go to school, work or take care of a family. It also avoids the need to boil contaminated surface water prior to consumption and thus much CO2-emissions. Moreover, in slums, access to drinking water has a direct effect on plastic waste.
Bas: “It is often difficult to realize an impact: what is your impact if you transfer money to a good cause? With Made Blue, the impact is extremely tangible.”
The best water for you
At Made Blue we call our water solutions the best water for the world.
They can also be the best water for you and your guests. We always have a suitable solution and the most beautiful glassware! Is that the best water for you?
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