NYC restaurants consider charging premium to dine in peak hours
When it comes to surcharges, upcharges and general nickel-and-dimery, the airline industry has no equal, feeing passengers to within an inch of their lives each time they travel.
Though could the restaurant biz be next to follow?
Surely an economy that’s ravaged a sector with already-thin profit margins has led to some changes. Maybe you’ve noticed the little things that used to be complimentary – bread, say, or even dipping sauces or soft drink refills – are no more.
But a proposed charge to not what, but when, you dine could the new frontier in the cost of eating out.
New York City, you’d imagine, is packed with a million-odd restaurants (24,000, actually), and among them are some primo joints. Places to see and be seen.
*Bing: How to save money when eating out
Getting a table for a regular Joe? Forget it. At the Big Apple’s most prestigious diners, it may not be when you go, but who you know.
Some, at least, want to shake that up.
According to CBS New York, a select number of fancy New York eateries are bouncing around the idea of charging a premium for diners that eat during choice hours – weekends, and all days between 7-8:30 p.m..
“The restaurant business is a new frontier for this and it’s more is the guest willing to pay to go to a prime restaurant at prime time and pay more?” one source wondered. No precise figures are mentioned in the CBS report.
Regardless, some already admit they’d pay. “I would pay more because Saturday night is a night out,” said one Manhattan diner.
And, of course, charging extra based on the reading of a clock or calendar is not new. Using the airlines once more as an example, flying on a Friday afternoon will cost you much more than taking off Wednesday overnight.
But when will it stop? You’re not going to see a choice hour surcharge at Bar and Grill X; nobody would pay it. Though if the surcharge takes off as an idea at the hottest New York restaurants, what’s to say chain restaurants for the common diner might not follow suit?
Ever try and get a table at a place like Jack Astor’s, or the Keg, Kelsey’s or wherever during peak hours? If those restaurants decided to charge a premium to be seated, how many people might be willing to pay it?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Pete | Oct 19, 2021 12:51:03 PM
Imagine the extra business the restaurants that don't charge a premium to dine in peak hours, will get.
Posted by: Johnny Lunchpail | Oct 19, 2021 1:16:50 PM
Na, the restaurants imposing the premium are in a league of there own. People who have more cash than brains eat in those places.
Posted by: the growing list | Oct 19, 2021 1:28:23 PM
I already avoid buying at places that charge unrealistic surcharges, so in this case restuarants that do so would be added to the list as well.
On a side note it's amazing how much farther personal budgets go when you start having dinner parties at home instead of eating out for example. I find that there is usually more space for everyone and friends are more relaxed and have a better time mingling at a home party/dinner.Plus it seems to mean more if everyone realizes you have gone through the effort to plan and put on a nice dinner at home instead of taking the easy way out and just flashing your credit card after a meal in a restaurant.
My wife is also much more impressed if I take the time and trouble to make up a nice meal at home for just the two of us rather than the somewhat tired 'Shall we eat out?' Not to say going out once in a while isn't fun but if it's used to much it just gets to be the norm anyways and loses it's excitement factor. Throw in a surcharge for eating during normal dinner hours and it just loses even more of it's appeal.