Samantha Raphelson | NPR | February 6, 2018
If you’ve ever tried to catch an Uber on a rainy day during rush hour or after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, you’re familiar with dynamic pricing. That’s when the price of a ride costs more or less depending on the demand for drivers.
The pricing strategy has long been used by other sectors of the travel industry, such as airlines and hotels, to balance supply and demand, and last month, a luxury restaurant in London rolled out a similar model.
Bob Bob Ricard, the high-end Soho restaurant where every table has a Champagne call button, is now charging 25 percent less for its à la carte menu during “off-peak” times and 15 percent less during “mid-peak” times. Menu prices will remain the same at more popular dining times, such as Wednesday through Sunday dinner, when the average meal for two costs about $139.
The restaurant made the change to attract customers who don’t often eat at luxury restaurants because the prices are too high, says Leonid Shutov, owner and founder of Bob Bob Ricard.
“We’re a special-occasion restaurant, so people don’t come to us because they’re hungry. People come to us because they’re looking to celebrate,” he tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “We’re saying on days when there’s less demand generally for high-end luxury restaurants, we’ll give you a reason to consider coming to us on those times.”
The strategy is working. The number of customers has nearly doubled during the quietest times, Shutov says.