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Why does water in Ibiza clubs cost €12 a bottle?

While the heavy cost of alcohol in Ibiza clubs may be excusable, charging the same for water is not

  • David Pimbleton
  • 15 July 2015

We've all been there: you've just handed over €70 to the snooty PR on the door, then you rush to the bar, your mouth dry, eagerly anticipating your first drink of the night. The girl behind the bar looks you up and down. She pouts, pours you a JD and Coke, then she slides you the €20 tab. Welcome to Ibiza!

Paying €19 for a mojito, €16 for a vodka limon, €12 for a beer and €10 for a bottle of water is now pretty much the norm across Ibiza's clubs. But why do Ibiza's coolest bars and hottest superclubs charge such extortionate prices? Let's start at the beginning.

Most of the goods you eat, wear, smoke and drink in Ibiza have to be imported from mainland Europe, and the cost of shipping these items is passed on to local businesses in Ibiza, who in turn pass the cost on to you. Ibiza is a seasonal business and everyone on the island is trying to accumulate 12 months-worth of revenue in just five months. All of which means you'll be charged that little bit extra at the bar.

Now, it's also important to note that club owners in Ibiza don't think the same way as they do in the UK. In the UK, a long queue at the bar suggests prosperity; in Ibiza, a long queue at the bar means drinks prices need to be raised immediately. It's all about economies of scale – in this case: employing the least number of people to make the most profit. After all, why employ three bartenders to prepare three drinks at €5 per head when you can employ one bartender to prepare one drink at €18? It all makes perfect sense in Ibiza!

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