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A London restaurant has introduced a pricing model similar to that of the travel industry, with a flat discount at less busy times, which could be a game changer should it prove successful.
As Bloomberg reports, Bob Bob Ricard in Soho, which until recently was led by chef Anna Haugh, will be trialling price reductions of up to 25% on its à la carte menu (drinks, sadly, are not not included) at off- and mid-peak times, such as Monday lunchtimes and Sunday dinner, in an effort to fill the restaurant. Flexibility pricing based on supply and demand has long been used by airlines and hotels.
“To stay competitive, we need to be able to serve people a fantastic lunch without charging ridiculous prices,” the restaurant’s owner Leonard Shutov said. “And one of the ways of doing that is ensuring a more even occupancy throughout the week so that we are not subsidising our Monday lunch with a Saturday dinner.”
Diners at the restaurant, which famously has a “Push for Champagne” button at every table, typically spend £100 per head, according to Shutov, and want the full experience every time they visit, rather than inexpensive, fixed-price menus. Dishes on the menu currently include Beef Wellington for Two, priced at £44.50 perperson, now reduced to £34.50 during off-peak times, and white sturgeon caviar, which is reduced from £29 to £21 for 20g.
And if successful, you could be seeing flexible pricing in many more restaurants. Commenting on the move, Des Gunewardena of D&D London, which owns around 40 restaurants worldwide said: “We have talked about this a lot of times over the past 20 years, thinking why aren’t we like airlines or hotels? … It will be interesting to see what their experience is. We might give it a go.”
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