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Appell Pie
Today's Restaurant Internet Exclusive
Monday, 03 February 2014 20:21

Was it worth it?

Appell HPMany years ago when I was young I remember my grandparents and their friends talk about “The Depression”. At that time I didn’t know what it meant but it was a feared event and spoken of in hushed tones. As I grew up I learned the value of a dollar and how hard it was to make one or two. I delivered clothes for a dry cleaner, I delivered packages for a neighborhood drug store for minimum wage and tips. I worked in restaurants as a bus boy and soda jerk and I learned that it’s hard to earn a living. I gained an appreciation for work and spending my money.

In 2008 we experienced the worst economic conditions since the Depression and I think it has changed the way that most people think about their money and their spending. I recently checked in to a hotel we view as a higher tier destination. I normally would not stay there and in fact I misunderstood the rate charged for the room as it was related to me by my wife. I am not complaining about the hotel but merely making an observation about money spent and value received.

Upon finding the room with no help from the signage, the door was ajar and on the floor of the suite living room was a soiled wash cloth. The room was nice and designed adequately. The flat screen TV had only about 10 channels and the “hotel Charge” of $18.00 added to our bill was for Wi-Fi and other hotel services including a towel at the pool. Wow. All this for $244.00 a night. I know there are hotels that charge more but with all of my memories of the Depression and our own 2008 Recession all I could do was ask “Was it really worth it?” I will not answer the question because everything is relative.

I will however report on another experience just up the road from the hotel. The Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida has been featured on several TV shows over the years and we passed it by chance going to the hotel. On our return trip we made it a point to stop and see it. It is an exhibit created by one small 100 lb. man using no mechanical tools in the 1930’s. The stones he designed and lifted weigh tons and he found a way to lift them and position them to create his castle. Admission for a forty minute guided interesting tour was $15.00. I found it to be good value. It’s not the price that makes good value it’s the product or service being provided that creates the sense of value. Many products are perceived as being high end but their quality or value allows them to charge the way they do.

When the time comes and you need to raise your prices, you need to take a look at what type of value you are providing. As a restaurant operator you may have to go back to wild caught fish instead of farm raised fish on your menu to justify your price. Always think of how your company is being viewed in relation to money spent and value received. Think quality and affordability. Your customers expect it now.

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