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A Bar With Changing Prices

Reader Thomas Barker writes in about a bar called D Street in Encinitas, Calif., that prices its drinks based on demand:

I was recently at a bar for 25-cent wing night that I had not gone to in a while, and saw something I thought you guys would be interested in. It was a drink price index ticker and they had them on TV’s all over the bar. It seemed that if a drink wasn’t ordered in a 15-minute time span the drink would go down a few cents. When we showed up my friend had his eye on an irish car bomb which was over $5 at the time, in the hour or so we were there it went down to his target range of about $3.75. As soon as his was ordered it jumped back up over $4.

I had a few thoughts on this idea:

  • First if you buy a round for your friends and want the same round twice, the second round will be significantly higher which has got to lead to some weird situations when the check comes.
  • Second, this is a good incentive for going in when it is slow because drinks will be considerably lower and vice versa for when it is busy.

Here’s a picture of the “drink ticker”: