Saturday, October 21, 2006


During dinner with my long-time (since grade school, imagine that!) friend Sh. last week [see previous post about Zensho Japanese resto], we wondered why the eat-all-you-can price for dinner was PHP100 higher than for lunch.

I have also observed this for Alba's Restaurante Espanol, which charges PHP475 and PHP575, respectively, for their lunch and dinner eat-all-you-can buffets (including paella and cochinillo). Quite frankly, i've always wondered why they set different prices for the same type of meal.

The obvious answer is that there must be some special dish(es) available in the dinner buffet, which isn't offered during lunch time. But this doesn't seem to be the case for Alba's, based on the couple of times i've eaten there.

And i know that in the US, one can see from the menu of some restos that entrees are priced higher during dinner than for lunch. (One Japanese resto in SanFo comes to mind) So why this price difference?

Sh. and i formulated some theorems:

Is the dinner crowd generally more affluent, and can afford (or is willing) to pay a higher price? Thus, the resto is maximizing profits by charging more.

Or does the dinner crowd eat more food, costing the resto more money? Therefore, the resto charges more to maintain its profit margins.

Or does the dinner crowd take more time eating (unlike the lunch crowd, which is more likely to have to go back to the office, etc.), thereby reducing the resto's turnover, and forgoing income from people who wanted to eat, but didn't want to queue? Thus, the resto charges more to compensate for the foregone income from would-be customers.

Or perhaps it is more costly to serve dinner (i.e. electricity costs, security / parking attendant, overtime pay for waiters, etc.) than lunch? Hence, the resto charges more to cover the extra costs.

Or maybe the resto deliberately sets the price for lunch lower, hoping customers would eat during lunch time (i.e. "slow" period), instead of dinner time ("peak" period)? But this assumes customers are flexible and/or indifferent regarding when they can or when they want to go to the resto.

Sh. and i failed to find an explanation which totally satisfied us.

Can anyone out there provide the answer to this dismal economist?

Friday, October 13, 2006

G.U.S. NITPICKS!! (v. 9)


It's pretty funny that this resto has been around for something like 7 or 8 years, by my count, and i live
fifteen minutes away from it, but i haven't been here ever. I guess you could say i see it every time i eat at the Teriyaki Boy right across the street, haha.

Anyways, as my bubbly kumare Sh. was treating for her. . .ahem, 27th birthday [fit of coughing], i suggested this place. And it turned out to be a pretty good choice.

A few steps from the door, we noticed their banner proclaiming their eat-all-you-can promo (PHP385 for lunch and PHP485 for dinner). Since Sh. and i tend to eat tons and tons of food whenever we eat out, we figured it was a good deal. You could say "Eat until bondat!" is our gustatory motto.

Turns out their set-up is that the waiters provide you a checklist of dishes included in the eat-all-you-can, and you tick off the items you want, and they cook it on the spot for you. So, it's NOT a buffet, where the dishes are under the glare of the spotlights all night and dry out as a result.

Sh. took care of most of the ordering, and amongst the dishes we enjoyed were the Oyster Motoyaki, Sukiyaki beef steak (which was quite tasty and chewy), Cuttlefish teppanyaki, assorted sushi, etc.

The Ebi tempura wasn't that great though; their sashimi selection was average; the Oysters teppanyaki didn't work at all (the oysters were drowned in some sort of weird-tasting sauce, we agreed); the lambchops were a bit tough, but flavourful.

For drinks, Sh. ordered their grape shake, which she found quite good. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a grape shake! :D First time ever i've heard or seen it, although Sh. insists Cibo serves one as well.

Zensho's conditions, by the way, are: No left-overs, no sharing (otherwise, you pay double the price).

Of course, the astute reader will notice that pricey items such as unagi, salmon, gindara, etc. are not included in this promo, and have to be ordered separately ala carte. But this is not unexpected, anyway.

Overall, it was very good value for money, esp. given the amount of food Sh.. . oops, i mean, we ate.
A return trip is quite likely.

(Zensho Japanese restaurant is located at the Dallas Commercial Building, T. Morato Avenue corner A. Roces Ave., Quezon City)