“I’d like the steak…and I’d like to decide the price as well.”

Dining out has never been a quite like this.  I’ve been to restaurants where I’ve overpaid, as well as to places so reasonably-priced I feel as if I’m practically stealing.  But never, ever have I been to an eatery that allows me to decide the price.  No, seriously, read it again.  You decide the price.

The newest innovation in the restaurant business is to provide food on a pay-what-you-can basis.  The entire menu is amenable–the customers’ ideals is what keeps these restaurants in business, not the steep entree prices. Pay what you can, or what you think the food deserves, or just simply what you feel like! It’s totally up to your own discretion.

There are only about a dozen pay-as-you-can restaurants currently in the US, but those in operation find that the generosity of some of their more affluent customers allows the restaurant to provide meals to those in more dire situations.  And with that brings an incredibly varied customer base, which broadens the perspective of nearly everyone involved.

Now you might be asking yourself, besides pure goodwill, what is the benefit of donating more money for a meal when you could literally eat for free? Well, the article that brought pay-as-you-go restaurants to mycatholicblog.com‘s attention explains it as such:

Classic economics presumes a measure of “homo economicus” — the idea that people make economic decisions out of pure self-interest — but restaurants such as these complicate matters.

Pay-what-you-can restaurants survive through “a mixture of shame and altruism,” said Philip Graves, an economics professor at the University of Colorado. “I think people do care for other people, and they would be shamed if they didn’t pay a fair amount.”

So, if mycatholicblog correctly understands the concept of pay-as-you-go restaurants: those in need are provided with sustenance, those who have are provided with an easy opportunity to give, and everyone gets a tasty meal out of the deal.    Hmmm…makes sense to us!

Bon Appetit!