This is What Restaurant Buzz Looks Like to An Economist


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The late Gary Becker, an economist at the University of Chicago, explored the notion of social influence on restaurant pricing in this paper, published in 1991. Restaurateurs instinctively understand that demand is fickle, and Becker proposes a framework for codifying that phenomenon. The idea is that an individual’s demand for a restaurant isn’t actually based on the individual’s demand for that restaurant. It’s based on the aggregate demand from all individuals for the restaurant. Behold, buzz. And he offers this: “The positively inclined demand curve in the vicinity of S explains why popular restaurant remain popular despite “high” prices.” Who’s in for Sushi Nakazowa tonight?

*Via friend of Resy Jeremy Philips