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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Bagel Salesman and Annalakshmi

Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame writes about a Canadian pop singer who is allowing her fans to determine the price for online music downloads. Dubner draws parallel between this and the Bagel Salesman story in Freakonomics. The Canadian pop singer example can be extended to Annalakshmi Restaurant as well. Unlike it’s Indian branch, the Annalakshmi restaurant in Singapore operates on a pay-as-you-wish basis. Although Annalakshmi doesn’t display what others paid, one gets a feeling that people generally end up paying more than what they would have otherwise paid at a regular restaurant.


  • IMHO what one pays will depend on the frequency of visits and the reason. A tourist (desi;-)?) may pay less than market. A regular (thrice a week or more?) may pay market. And a one who gets there to celebrate an occasion (b'day, wedding aniv?) may pay more than market.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:36 AM  

  • given the annalaxmi's ambience anybody who earns will pay more. even so becos they claim that anything after cost price will go for charity. but it might not be true in every case. my college friends (GCT) 5 of them went to coimbatore branch ate nicely and gave just 100 rupees. those were the time in which we don't feel shy, shame or anything. not to mention the happiness felt like conquering something.

    By Blogger Ramkumar, at 12:20 PM  

  • U r right.. I used to have a feeling that I should pay more, after visiting Annalakshmi.

    Comparativly, it may be more than what we would have paid outside.

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 1:26 PM  

  • I agree... and with the deplorable quality of service and inconsistent food quality it's cashing in on what standards and reputation it had say a decade ago.

    By Blogger Vidya, at 7:21 PM  

  • Annalakshmi is wierd. If ur a frequuent visitor, u get tagged based on the amt u usually pay, and ur treated accordingly. THe main branch at cityhall is better, but the one at raffles shd seriously consider pricing their dishes or changing their sales staff..

    By Blogger Chennai chatter, at 9:17 PM  

  • I suspect there are quite a few of these fix-your-price music sites. A couple of months back, I bought a CD from maganatune and paid the lowest possible price for that.

    Nice blog, btw, came here via LG's blog.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:50 AM  

  • @Anon,
    do people really go there thrice a week? I haven't seen many people doing it. You are right about people paying more for special occasions.

    bachelors and students typically tend to pay less :-)

    On an average, we would end up paying more than what we wud have paid elsewhere.

    You are bang on about the service. It definitely needs a quantum jump in the service levels. Buffets are better as u don't need to rely much on the service.

    @Chennai Chatter,
    I haven't dined at the one in Raffles (Lau Pa Sat), but have reasons to believe that it is a poor cousin of the main one.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 11:53 AM  

  • annalaxmi here in msia also operates along the same line. but we end up paying 10 bucks for a meal (in local money) which is much more that the local rest...pity coz eveg food in local rest cost about 4 bucks. u have to consider the crowd also...if you whip out 3 or 4 bucks in annalaxmi the n you get the stare...maybe one day ill pay 1 buck and walk out...

    By Blogger Ghost Particle, at 12:12 PM  

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