At One London Restaurant, the Bill Is up to You


With the global economy floundering, restaurants have tried to come up with as many resourceful ideas as possible, from prix fixe dinners to built-in tips, to draw in diners and keep businesses afloat. At London's Little Bay Restaurant, however, one restaurateur has gone where few others have gone before: for the month of February, he's letting his customers decide how much they ought to pay for their meals — if at all. To learn why, read more.

"It's entirely up to each customer whether they give £100 or a penny. All I'm asking is they pay me what they think the food and service is worth," said Peter Ilic, the restaurant's owner, in a statement. "It just seemed the right thing to do with everyone . . . feeling pretty miserable."

This tactic sounds like it could be problematic, considering diners at the restaurant feast on such high-cost items as duck salad and caviar-topped haddock soup. But according to Ilic, the restaurant's made above its average spent per head over the last five days.

This focus on the honor code of customers isn't the first we've seen — last year, we told you about a San Francisco bar with a billing system that relies on the honor code. This is the first incident where I've heard of customers being given the power to decide how much they think a meal is worth. Since most of you said you wouldn't pay the full amount at an honor code-based system, I'm rather surprised by the news that the restaurant's seeing profits. After watching the clip below, tell me: Has Ilic put an admirable concept into practice, or is he simply setting his restaurant up for failure?

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