Are there places you just don't tell others about?

I mean you probably tell your closest people but wouldn’t want to broadcast it over the social media? Places that are either so special you can’t talk about it because you have some messed up perception of intimacy with it? Or a place that’s so delicious and authentic that you just don’t want all the foodist foodmunchers to realize what they’ve been missing and have to see them sitting there with perplexed, analytical looks when eating while you’re slobbering with oil stains on your shirt (actually happened to me today)



Yep. There is a cuban diner I’ve been going to for 15 years now on South Beach.

It’s busy enough with locals and I can’t get a seat at the counter to get my caldo de res as it is.

That’s the one place I keep for myself.

should be pretty easy to find… come on, bearbros!

No doubt.


See you there later tonight?

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No. I want people who try hard and make good food to succeed. Nothing makes me more depressed than high quality places that are struggling to stay open. Even if they’re popular, they deserve to raise their prices. (One thing that annoys me is restaurants that are over-popular and should clearly raise their prices to make more money. Basic business common sense. Lines out the door do not make you money.)


Puerto Sagua?

Love Puerto Sagua but I go there for the masitas de puerco.

And I will no longer reply to guesses :wink:

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You guys are all assholes :wink:

Share your secrets!!


I have always wondered why more restaurants don’t do that.

Fine dining places are the only exception to the rule, but even they seem to put limits on how far they will go funnily enough.

I would like some economist to do an analysis of the irrational behavior haha

Diners are generally very price sensitive, esp. as you move down the price range in menu pricing.

One of the reasons a restaurant might be so popular is because of their price point. Raise it even 10%, and you might lose much more than just 10% of your volume. Could be closer to 50%. It’s a very inelastic price curve.

People are, after all, creatures of habit. You get used to paying $X for some food or drink item. If you now have to pay $X+1, you will either want more or better food (or drink) – either in terms of quantity or perceived quality.

Add to that restaurant margins are slim to begin with. Just because you increase 10%, and lose even a comparable volume of customer rate, you might not come out ahead. Some restaurants are volume businesses. It’s why they have cheap prices.

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We’re talking about places with lines out the door all day every day though. How sensitive to prices are diners really?

Saison started at $55 in the Mission and now sells out months in advance at $398.

They are MORE popular at $398 than at $55.

Is it because fine dining is the only arena that price hikes can be absorbed by the target market?

I hope you don’t mean to suggest that Saison as a 3- night pop-up is comparable in terms of food quality and quantity as it is in its current iteration.

Having been to both I would argue that Saison was probably a harder table to get in its infancy at 55/night than currently at 400/night. Whether that fits your definition of “popular,” however, is debatable.

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“Having been to both I would argue that Saison was probably a harder table to get in its infancy at 55/night than currently at 400/night. Whether that fits your definition of “popular,” however, is debatable.”

How would you argue that? Because it was open fewer nights per week? When it was open it was easier to get into. I do imagine the quality of cooking is the same though.

More people go now than they did previously.

Your better argument is that they scale the quality with the price increases. I guess that’s true.

But it would still somewhat defy basic economics if a place like, say, State Bird Provisions couldn’t raise its prices by 2x and still easily survive given the 2-300 person line there is outside of it every day. Would literally all of those people stop eating there because of that? Surely the reputation would be enough to sell it?

I don’t really know, LA seems to be mostly free of places with huge lines or wait times, so I suppose it’s not that relevant to us. It’s more just an interesting refutation of classical economics to me than anything else.

Ever been to DTF?

Lines out the door, everyday. Every hour of every day.

Their prices while high (comparatively speaking) have not increased (save with the exception of inflation and what-not). What do they do to capture the additional volume (or profits)? Build an exact same replica store next to their original location.

That’s more ballsy than Starbucks trying to monopolize every other street corner in downtown.

And there are still lines at DTF.

And trust me, the folks behind DTF understand the restaurant business better than you and I put together on brain steroids.

Plus, they also have the best feng shui master in their back pocket. But that’s another thread entirely.

econ majors get boners when seeing random online peeps say “inelastic price curve”

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Of course all of this assumes that the Gauss–Markov theorem applies to the relationship between prices and demand for food, and that there is no heteroscedasticity in our assumptions.