British pubs begin "surge pricing" drinks

Originally published at: British pubs begin "surge pricing" drinks | Boing Boing


They could have just called the current regular prices “Happy Hour” and jacked up the base prices for non-happy-hour.

(Assuming that this wouldn’t run afoul of some AHJ.)


Increasing the prices across the board is what they should do. That’s just business reality. Surge pricing is worse because it signifies the presence of MBA parasites optimizing humans to the needs of capital. It’s not worse, it’s just intimately unpleasant. At least fuck me in a hole I knew about.


And it is what they have done. Last time I was in London a pint at a hotel cost me £7, had a 12% gratuity added on, and the card machine tried to get me to tip 20%.


Call it what it really is: price gouging.


Where can we buy this tshirt?


Or you could go to the Berliner Republik bar where beer prices fluctuate depending on the market. Note that the idea here is not to fleece the customer of more money by surge pricing but rather encourage people to drink other beers.

If you put surge pricing on drinks in a couple of pubs people will vote with their feet and go elsewhere. Most publicans are trying to attract new guests not drive them away. They also know crowds can be fickle and can easily go else where if they are no longer the “in” place to go.


I place that did this well was The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange. The price changed every 15 minutes and it was great when the “Bud/Miller” crowd was in the place; the prices on the obscure or the microbrews dropped by a lot - I got something from Delirium Tremens for $1.50/pint.


Here in Canadia we’ve had surge pricing for years. When things get too busy, the bartenders pour quick and you get an extra 100mL of foam in your glass for the same price.


the color alone is enough to alienate this customer. no matter the price.


Zhe Liu is only an “assistant” professor for a reason. In saying that surge pricing is needed to cover increased staffing during peak hours, he overlooks the fact that they are peak hours because they sell more drinks then, bringing in more revenue even at un-surge prices. The bar’s cost per drink is arguably lower at peak hours, when overhead, rent, utilities, taxes, license fees and so on are divided among more drinks.


In the UK the title of professor has traditionally been reserved for senior academics. Some universities have introduced titles like assistant or associate professor to replace traditional British titles like lecturer and reader.


What about progressively more expensive as the more you drink? Help prevent people from getting too drunk? Although, the more you drink the less the price seems to matter. “It’s just one more!”

But seriously, this is a dumb idea. Happy Hour to bring them in when it’s slow, and then regular prices after that. Beyond that, it’s gouging.


I was gonna say—isn’t the whole idea of “Happy Hour” one of the most widespread examples of “surge pricing,” just with better marketing? The only difference is the framing (“come in during less busy hours for a discount!” vs. “if you come during busy hours you have to pay extra”).


In my experience it seems to be 50-50. There’s a local pub that alternates between being always busy to nearly dead every few years.

What happens is that one person decides that being in a student city (Oxford) they need to appeal to students, then it becomes a relatively safe place for LGBTQIA to meet with straight friends and the pub becomes successful.

Then they get moved to another pub after a few years because they have shown they can be successful and someone else takes over. For some reason they always seem to be conservative, presumably they ran the only pub in a village somewhere, sothey don’t like what the pub is and change it to what they think a pub should be. Students and LGBTQIA people are made to feel unwelcome, copies of the Guardian and Independent are swapped for the Daily Mail and Telegraph (Hint: Look at which newspapers are always sold out in Oxford at lunchtime, they won’t be the Heil or the Torygraph). Within six months they are struggling to get people in at peak times then the cycle repeats about a year or so later.

The worst one was someone who decided that they didn’t like that it was an Inspector Morse pub, so they tried their best to hide that and lost the tourism market as well.


Saoirse Ronan Bingo GIF by A24


Reminds me of Amazon varying prices per consumer, based on what its algorithms say you’re likely to buy.


In six months the pub chains will be bleating again that they need help from the taxpayer because fewer people are prepared to pay ludicrous prices for a pint of Frazzled Weasel.


Isn’t that the one that’s served in Bloody Hell?


Came here to say this. :+1:

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