The gastronomics of bad service
My first monthly Gastronomics column is up at NYMag, on the subject of the economics of bad service. Why are restaurants which do the best job of maximizing discomfort, inconvenience, and noise also the ones which are the most popular? My theory is that it’s all about signaling: that if restaurants succeed at manufacturing crowds and long waits, people reckon that the place must be good, otherwise everybody else would never put up with such things. And so they become self-fulfilling.
There’s a lot more other stuff to cover in this space, so do let me know if you’re in the restaurant/bar business and are happy talking about matters financial and economic. Or if you have any questions which have been niggling at you about the way that these places make money.