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March 13, 2011

Paying the Price - Restaurtant business

Hotels and restaurants are known for their ambiance and excellent service. It is said that the waiters at a five star hotel are always hovering in the background and would come to the guest as a soon as the guest raises his face and looks at the waiter. That is the level of service. The chefs of a five star hotel can customize the dish to the taste of the diner. 

The trickiest part of a visit to a restaurant is to order the food. The host and the guests are given the menu cards. The problem is that the guest too can see the prices. The guests get shocked with the prices and try to minimize the order so that the host does not have to pay a heavy bill.

A solution to the above problem could be very simple. The waiter finds out who is the host and gives him the menu with the prices. The guests are given the menu without the prices. They can order anything that they wish without bothering about the price.

A wag from the hotel industry came out with a interesting tidbit. According to him this practice is already prevailing in France. He provided a very interesting twist in the tail. In France when a couple comes to a restaurant they are given two different menus. The lady is given the menu with double the price and the man is given the menu with the real prices. The lady is very impressed with the money that the man spent on her!

New innovations are being tried out in the restaurant business. A British restaurant for the first time has allowed its clients to have the meal and allowed them to fix the price for the meal that they consumed. Contrary to popular belief that the clients will not pay a proper price, the clients paid little more than 10% than the regular price. That is the reward for being innovative.

The way of thinking about customers too has changed. The BART railway system is the life line of travel in and around the Bay area of California. The cafeterias that dot the BART railway stations have tuned their services to the arrival and departures of the BART services. The cafeterias keep showing the train timings. The impending arrival of the next service is loudly announced. This activates the travelers who finish off their coffee and rush to the platform. That is value added service to the customer!

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