This has been going on for decades

High-end British restaurants may cut their food prices during less busy times after luxurious Soho eatery Bob Bob Ricard announced it would be implementing “airline pricing”.

What does anyone think the “pre-Theatre Menu” is?

12 comments on “This has been going on for decades

  1. Someone advised me once about starting a business. Rule Number One – don’t open a restaurant.

    You have all that capital tied up in expensive buildings and equipment, but you only use it for a limited number of hours every day. Not consecutively either. You need to be open for lunch and then for dinner. With an inconvenient few hours in between. Which is why waitresses are usually casual – how do you make that a full time job?

    It is very tempting to get better use out of that capital equipment by stretching the hours. That is, serving cheaper food off peak. Who could object to this? A lot of people may be a little money-poor but time-rich. Old Age pensioners for instance. They can come for dinner at 4 and they may be cautious about the bill. Great! This is a win-win.

    The problem is that restaurants may well lose customers if they drop prices. Top end restaurants are often luxury goods in effect and people are paying because other people cannot afford to go there. Top end food is not actually that good. It is just exclusive. If people think that ordinary people have been let in the front door, they might not want to go. Which is fine by me. I am not complaining but it makes everything so much harder.

    The change I like is the one in the US where you get a discount if you finish your dinner in under an hour. Most places assume people will take an hour and a half. If they can get people out faster, they can get new people in quicker. Does London do it yet? No where I know of. Perhaps the civilised alternative is just to give everyone free water until the pressure of their bladder forces a move.

  2. @SMFS
    “That is, serving cheaper food off peak. Who could object to this?”

    See also the Lunch Menu.

  3. @SMFS
    “That is, serving cheaper food off peak. Who could object to this?”

    Go search the articles about holiday pricing and you’ll find your answer. Which is “literally everyone who’s made life choices disallowing them from benefitting”.

  4. Yarmouth market chip stalls have always given punters on holiday in peak season a smaller portion than locals in the winter.

    I would advise anyone buying chips at this time of the year at the market to avoid wearing brightly coloured tracksuits which will make you appear Lithuanian thus ensuring a decent sized portion.

    The standard excuse used by chip stall holders if questioned about portion sizes is ” its all cos of brexit”

  5. “Someone advised me once about starting a business. Rule Number One – don’t open a restaurant.”

    I know a family who made a small fortune (millions) from decades in retail, than canned it all in to open a restaurant despite their lack of experience in that sector.

    Turns out that losing a fortune is easier than making one.

  6. @Rickie
    Having been to Yarmouth, I was under the impression the local population was mostly E. European, if not solely Lithuanian. A sort of displacement of the Polish Commonwealth of the early C17th.

  7. Lithuanians seem to be everywhere in Norfolk..its as if the Poles have vanished.

    The largest ethnic minority is English, when you have coach loads of indians and pakistanis from the midlands in the summer mixed in with tracksuit wearing eastern europeans .

    Yarmouth is a funny place to visit…its odd , real odd.

  8. Does anyone else remember the Businessman’s Lunch as advertised by Chinese restaurants? I suspect that partly they just wanted people to sample Chinese food so that they came back for more in the evening. You’d have to say that the strategy was a great success.

  9. US restaurants have had the Early Bird Special since time immemorial.

    I read somewhere that currently about one in six Lithuanians lives in the UK.

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