Briefly: You have a very clever way to get customers to spend a lot of money, because everyone orders off trolley carts (without prices) rather than off menus. Guests choose their dishes after making an emotional, visual connection with the food, rather than making a rational decision based on the price. That all said, I dig it and award TWO STARS in my review for Eater.
Expect Burrito bowls to go up by $.25-$.50 due to rising beef, cheese and avocado prices. Will other chains follow suit with similar increases?
Would you rather pay $12 for pizza at Roberta’s or $17 at Franny’s? The answer is ostensibly simple, but because pizza is a hyper-local item, it’s likely you’ll pay the extra $5 if you live closer to Franny’s than Roberta’s. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the competitive environment for pizza in New York means you probably won’t overpay by much more than $5 for a good pie. Click through for my full observations on PIZZANOMICS for Eater!
We all know you can usually save a few bucks by hitting up a restaurant at lunch instead of dinner. But at Jean-Georges, you can easily save anywhere from $100-$200 per couple!!! My fun little chart above shows you how, or check out the full GAME PLAN over at Eater.
The Modern is one of Danny Meyer’s most successful restaurants. It gets more business than Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, North End Grill or Union Square Cafe. It’s not where one would expect Meyer to lower his entry-level price by $10, or slash the tasting menu down to five-courses.
But that’s exactly what he did, even amid our era of rising food prices and ninety-course tasting menus. It’s less a story about money though, and more a story about saving people time.
Check out my full EATER ESSAY right here, good peoples!
"I do not fault any business for any corkage fee they choose to charge - $50, $100 or $1,000. What would we say if a customer walked into Luger’s, brought in a great cut of rib eye with asparagus, olive oil, sea salt & pepper, passed it to the host and said "Medium please. Don’t worry, I will buy some drinks. Table for two!" — James Mallios, owner of Amalia.
That’s one of the many fine comments reacting to my Eater piece about how Per Se has increased its corkage fee to $150 per bottle. Check it out.
Thomas Keller’s Per Se ($310) and The French Laundry ($295), two of America’s most expensive restaurants, are now commanding what are surely America’s highest corkage fees, at $150 per bottle, as I reported this afternoon for EATER. That’s OODLES more than what most other high end restaurants charge; Joel Robuchon in Vegas levies a $100 fee, while Masa in New York asks $95.
Are such policies necessary to sell wine and maintain a restaurant’s profit margins? Do they hurt consumers who are looking to enjoy their own wines in a restaurant? Should guests even be able to enjoy their own wine in a restaurant? We don’t bring our own fish into Le Bernardin, after all, so why should it be appalling that Le Bernardin doesn’t allow outside wines? Whatever your position, please do state it in the comments!
There don’t appear to be any lobster roll or truffle-style “MP” prices for margaritas on American menus just yet. But consumer lime prices in the U.S. are more than double last year’s as heavy winter rains hurt the winter crop in Mexico, where 98% of our limes come from, NPR reports.
Also hurting the Mexican crop is a tree-killing bacteria called Huanglongbing, which has wreaked havoc on Florida citrus, and which could threaten California crops as well, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The threat of disease notwithstanding, lime production should pick up, says NPR, citing Mexican authorities, which is likely why some U.S. restaurateurs are simply eating the higher prices rather than passing them along to the consumer.
Over at Eater, where The Price Hike’s Ryan Sutton (that’s me) works full time, Hillary Dixler has a fine roundup of precisely how Rosa Mexcano and other restaurants are coping. It’s a GOOD READ.
Alma in Los Angeles, Bon Appetit’s best new restaurant of 2013, is going tasting menu-only. For some, this will be a PRICE HIKE, as chef Ari Taymor will no longer offer his $65 five-course option. For others, this will be a PRICE DROP from the current tasting, priced at $110. Click through for my full Eater interview with Taymor; he talks why he’s changing things up and whether he’ll go service-included in the coming years. (Graph Credit: Eater).
“On Saturday nights we offer our regular menu, which is an eight-course menu and it’s $180. On Tuesdays, we offer a five-course menu and it’s $95. Although there’s a few more courses on Saturday, it’s nearly half the price on Tuesday, and I think that’s definitely an attractive proposition for people.”
Ben Shewy, the general manager Australia’s Attica (a name that probably wouldn’t work in New York), talks to the good people at Eater about his restaurant’s variable pricing model.
Alinea, Next and Elizabeth in Chicago all serve tasting menus whose price depends on the night of the week, but Attica in Melbourne is the first restaurant we know of outside the United States who does so as well. In other words, expect to see more of this, everywhere.
Now technically, true variable pricing is offering the same menu at a different price, but this is a unique enough situation where I’d argue we can expand the definition a bit.
Attica debuted on the “World’s Best Restaurants” list at #21.
“À la carte was really bugging me — the sort of tyranny of the entrée was ever-present. I wanted to move away from that. It wasn’t fun to make $33 portions of food. I find it much more compelling to make a four-biter that leaves you wishing that you had a fifth. I think “the tyranny of the entrée” is the right way to put it. I don’t want to build this giant plate of food. That process ceased to be that enjoyable from a creative standpoint. I do like to embrace challenges and opportunities, but [creating entrées] wasn’t something that continued to excite me”
You want de true true? WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne speak de true true.
Props to Eater’s Gabe Ulla for the fine interview
. This is a good thing, as we’ve long argued against the necessity of entrees here at The Price Hike and The Bad Deal. For more WD-50 reading, here’s my Bloomberg News review
of the restaurant.
Starting next year, New York City businesses with 15 or more employees will be required to give their workers 5 days of paid sick leave. Like any government regulation that imposes a cost on small businesses, that cost will likely be passed onto the consumer.
William Tiggert of Freemans & Peels says the bill could increase payroll costs by 4%, and so it’s not improbable to suggest that menu prices would rise by that much.
Make no mistake: We at The Price Hike fully approve of paying more for dinner so the good people who work hard to serve us good food can live better, healthier lives. This law should also decrease the risk of nasty food born-illnesses, as sick restaurant workers will stay home without fear of losing their jobs.
That said, every individual diner has his or her own individual income restraints, whether real or psychological. So you tell us — would you be willing to pay 2-4% more for dinner in New York or elsewhere so that restaurant workers can receive paid sick leave? And we hope you don’t mind us biasing our own survey by saying we hope your answer is a resounding YES! As we always say, good food costs good money.
“It may seem crazy to say that you may disappoint people by not putting expensive bottles of wine on your wine list, but it is the truth. And you are also depriving your business of revenue. By putting bottles on the list that are over $100, that are over $200, that are up to $1,000… I mean we have a bottle of Chateau Haut-Brion 1999 and that is $995 and that bottle will sell eventually. Someone will roll in and drink that bottle of wine. Like I said, we want to offer something for everybody, even for rich people.”
That’s how Pearl & Ash’s Patrick Cappiello responds
when Levi Dalton notices that over half the wines at the downtown Manhattan restaurant are $100 or higher. Click through for the full interview
. And check out Pearl & Ash’s full wine list
, fellow brothers and sisters. (Source: Eater).