When does a restaurant cross the line from being expensive to absolutely taking the piss

Well, I’m not sure where that line is, but Michelin 1* Ynshir Hall is well over it, charging a ludicrous £300 per person for dinner. Now, I know that something is worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it. But this is in the context of two of our Michelin 3* restaurants charging “only” £175 per person.

Yep, that’s no typo. £300. €350. $417.

That’s fecking highway robbery for anyone stupid enough to schlep to rural mid-Wales to eat there (which I had been considering- till I saw the price).

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Whenever you think it does. The price for dinner at Masa is $595 per person, not including beverages and tax. At El Bulli, it was $325 - ten years ago. We just start to get inured to it. The first time I saw a $15 cocktail, I got the vapors. Now that seems normal to me.

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There is a restaurant here in New Orleans that we like a lot, but when they raised their prices a few months ago to charge $17 for a starter of whipped ricotta, we drew the line. They also have the nerve to charge $5 for extra flatbread to eat it with. There are plenty of very affordable yet still creative and delicious places here, which I am happy to patronize.

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Which one? Remind me to miss it when I (hopefully) visit NOLA again in a few months.

I’d rather not name and shame, but if you happen to see a menu with a $17 small plate of whipped ricotta, you’ll know. (Meanwhile, go to Marjie’s Grill for a wonderful meal of much larger plates for less money.)

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I’d like to better understand why?

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Because I don’t like the idea of slamming someone publicly; I don’t think this is so hard to understand. If anyone wants to pay $17 for a plate of whipped ricotta, as some people apparently do, it’s within the restaurant’s rights to charge that price. I can choose not to patronize them. I would much rather spread positive publicity about restaurants that I love.

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I fully understand. Although, having started this thread, you’ll appreciate that I completely disagree with your view.

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It certainly isn’t difficult to understand once you explained your reasoning. Thanks for the explanation.

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I disagree with it too but accept his reasoning.

You could PM @Respectfully_Declined to let him\her know the restaurant to avoid without publicly “shaming” the restaurant. :thinking:

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Thank you. The restaurant name isn’t important to me. I wanted to understand why he preferred not to name it. Much appreciate your thought!!

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It reminds me of a review website, local to me, which will only publish reviews which are entirely positive. Means that when you come across a listing which has no reviews, you have no way of knowing if no-one has reviewed it, or many have reviewed it all negatively. Even Tripadvisor is more use than that.

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No, actually it isn’t like that at all. As I said, if you want to avoid restaurants that are charging $17 for a plate of whipped ricotta, just look at the menu online before you make a reservation. This is information that you don’t need a review to tell you. If the restaurant were charging $17 for a plate of half an ounce of whipped ricotta and then also having a rude server put it on a dirty table after making you wait 45 minutes for it, THAT would be appropriate to mention in a review with the restaurant’s name, and I would do so.

I would also add that it is best to not assume that all people posting on HO are male.

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If you care enough about $17 whipped ricotta you can do a quick google. If it is the place I think it is, it also has preserved mushrooms, herbs, and pickled shallots. I’m assuming the price also includes flatbread, since there is an entry for additional flatbread.

The entres don’t look unreasonably priced.

As to the original point, I’m not sure where my “you’ve got to be kidding me” point is. We ate at Disfrutar in Barcelona and I think we spent upwards of 250 euros a piece there. We left very satisfied with the experience.

I think that’s the key. Our meal at the 3* Fat Duck in 2010 was then the most we had paid for a meal. But it was excellent. And I came away saying I’d been to then third best restaurant in the world. Can’t recall how much it actually was.

I mentioned in the OP two of our 3* places charging £175. Also, in the weeks before our first lockdown, we ate at two 2* places. Both in London where there are high overheads. Both charge around £150. And, by direct comparision with the £300 at Ynshir, the two 1* places local to me where we eat once or twice a year charge about £100. I am convinced, even without going to try it, that a 1* charging three times the “going rate” has defffo crossed the line.

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So we know the retail price, do we know their food cost, labor cost, overhead, and profit margin? Do you believe this restaurant is laughing all the way to the bank? Or are they are finally charging what it actually costs to run the business at a profit margin above ‘razor thin’?

How many articles have we all read in the past year about how hard the restaurant industry has been hit by the pandemic? Personally, I think this is time for some corrections in the industry - time to stop charging what people want to pay and start charging what it costs to make the product and run the business.

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Yes. At least in the short term.

It’ll be different when they see the effects their uncompetitive pricing has on the number of bums on seats.

If you can just do enough volume, you don’t need to make a profit!

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:eyes: Busy restaurants close all the time due to margins being so thin. An old thumb rule for fine dining was to charge 4 times the cost of a cover.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold