Rather than keeping prices consistent across the week, the restaurant will charge 25% less for ‘off peak’ bookings (Monday to Thursday lunch, and for Monday dinner). ‘Mid peak’ bookings at lunch on Friday to Sunday and dinner on Tuesday and Sunday will be discounted by 15%.
Restaurants have long offered deals such as happy hours, cheaper menus for pre-theatre bookings and set lunch menus that cost less than a la carte. However, Bob Bob Ricard owner Leonid Shutov says these often do not represent the true nature of an ‘off peak’ discount.
“When restaurants do offer special menus, these are inevitably pared-down, budget versions of their normal fare - not quite the same as having the real deal at a better price,” he says.
“The entire à la carte menu will be offered as ‘off-peak’. Diners will simply be handed menus listing applicable prices; they will not need to concern themselves with unseemly calculations.”
Dynamic pricing strategies such as Bob Bob Ricard’s are seen as a way of boosting custom outside of prime times. With increased competition and consumers tightening their purse string, operators are turning to new ways to boost business, attain new customers, and retain regulars.
Systems such as restaurant ticketing system Tock make dynamic pricing easy for operators to adopt, as diners choose from a selection of prices (which are varied according to time and table location) prior to confirming a booking.
Restaurants including The Clove Club and Luca in London and Home in Leeds already use the ticketing system, with The Clove Club in particular employing it to allow price variations.
Clapham restaurant Chez Bruce also employs variable pricing, with a notable difference between the price for a three course meal at lunchtime (£35 Monday to Friday and £39.50 on Saturday, Sunday and the whole of December) and at dinner (£55).