This is topic One World Cafe in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Mike (Member # 55) on :

I heard about this on Marketplace (yes, I listen to NPR). It has one of the more interesting business models that I've seen:

Customers can fill their plates with as much, or as little, as they want and -- here is the second business breach -- pay what they feel their meal is worth. In place of a cash register, Cerreta has a brown basket where patrons place their money.

And apparently it works. So two questions:
1. Anyone here been there? How's the food? [Smile]
2. Why don't more places do this sort of thing? (I am not an economics expert.)
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
I can't help but think that the success of places like that are going to depend hugely on the local population and whether or not people feel like they are being watched and whether they feel like they are a part of the community.
Posted by ana kata (Member # 5666) on :
I was trying to imagine how things would work in the Crystal City, and I pictured something like this. That is cool. I can't help but have the feeling that it won't be able to sustain itself long term, though. What if, say, someone who seemed plenty prosperous came every day and ate a whole lot of food and paid nothing? Would they ever ask them not to come back? Would they have any way of discouraging them? Cause I know of at least one person for sure who would think, "Cool! Free food! I'm never going anywhere but here again!"

Then if they accumulated a number of people like that, how could the other patrons afford to support them? Those who paid would need to give more and more in order to keep the place afloat.

I think it would only work if there were some way to discourage and even eventually bounce, if neccesary, people who tried to take advantage.
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
This is the place I was referring to in the second paragraph of this post. I thought it was a local thing. Is it national?

[edit: Just checked the link. I guess it is just a SLC thing.]

[ December 24, 2003, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
See, places like that, I tend to pay more than I usually would (provided the food is good). Why? I suppose because I would appreciate the environment and feel welcome and respected as a person.

Or something.
Posted by Mike (Member # 55) on :
Speed- yeah, I thought someone might have posted about it before. Oops... [Big Grin]

AK- I'm not sure moochers would necessarily become a problem. I can certainly imagine the possibility, though. Then the question becomes, can you do something about it without alienating your customers? Not easily, methinks.
Posted by blacwolve (Member # 2972) on :
I think the paying customers would.....take care of the problem with moochers. [Monkeys]

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