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What the Latest Uber Effect Means for Your Dining Experience (Hint: It’s All Good)

Being able to afford high-end restaurants could soon become easier than ever. For everyone.

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BY Peter Economy - 20 Feb 2018

What the Latest Uber Effect Means for Your Dining Experience (Hint: It's All Good)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Remember life before Uber? It was a time when taxi cabs still reigned supreme. A time when prices were fixed, and ride fares did not change depending on the demand for drivers. Without this "dynamic pricing" model, rides -- like many other goods and services -- have the same costs, no matter how many other customers there are.

The travel industry is all too familiar with this pricing method (think airlines and hotels), but now this Uber strategy is heading into the restaurant world.

Bob Bob Ricard, one of London's leading restaurants, has started charging customers different prices, depending on the day of the week and time of bookings. Known for its luxurious menu and atmosphere -- the restaurant does have a call button for champagne, after all -- Bob Bob Ricard is introducing this pricing model to attract customers who often avoid costly restaurants.

The high-end restaurant has started to charge 25 percent less for its menu during times that are less busy, "off-peak" times, and 15 percent less during "mid-peak" times. Prices will stay the same when dining times are more popular -- when a dinner for two costs $139 on average.

"The idea just came from looking at how the rest of the world functions," said owner and founder Leonid Shutov. "Airlines wouldn't be able to exist, the business model wouldn't work unless you could balance supply and demand. Everything that we have taken that is widely accepted in the modern economy and applied to restaurants, seems to have worked."

The pricing model hasn't been in place for an extensive amount of time, but other restaurants are watching the experiment closely. It's hard to say if this pricing model will hit other industries, but what is known for sure is this: now, finally, being able to afford dinner at Bob Bob Ricard is more possible than before.

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