Friday, September 14, 2012

Prix fixe - excluding tax

The menu is $48, excluding tax and gratuity. Why not just say, "Fifty-two dollars (includes sales tax) + gratuity"? It's not like the sales tax is optional. What, you're going to dine out wholesale? Who will you sell the uneaten food to?

Looks like another sneaky way to "lower" the price, although technically this isn't deceit because only an idiot would imagine that there would be no sales tax. Or can you get the thing to go, and exclude sales tax? Who would do that?

What would be so wrong with $60, includes tax and 15% gratuity (you're welcome to tip more if you like). Or you could be precise, putting the tab at $58.92. A paltry $3.92 more than the fundraiser base price.

Yes, that fundraiser, the one I just wrote about. At the fundraiser, you could eat the equivalent of four or more hamburgers, listen to live music, have all the drinks you want and contribute to charity. The fundraiser included everything in the price, no ups no extras. Even parking, bless their hamburgery hearts.

Now I'm really confused. One special event lumps everything into one simple, yet higher, price. Another splits everything apart to make the price appear lower, but when all is said and done it comes out a bit more than the "expensive" price of the fundraiser - except it's almost certainly not all you can eat. I'm not even sure you can sample all the plates, or have to choose.

What's the best pricing strategy? A simple yet larger figure, or a smaller figure that will auto-inflate? Too bad I won't have data on the events. I'd be curious to see which sell out - although there would have to be some kind of factoring in the huge capacity of the fundraiser vs the low capacity of the restaurant.

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