Restaurants charging more during ‘peak hours’

Posted at 7:10 AM, Sep 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-10 07:18:53-04

(CNN) – Is a meal at your favorite restaurant worth more on a Saturday night than a Thursday?  Some restaurants that think so are joining a movement toward variable meal pricing.

“Just like in the airline or hotel industry where the price might depend on the demand of that hotel room or airline seat, we introduced that same model to the restaurant industry,” said Ben McKean, co-founder and CEO of Savored – a restaurant reservation website.

Savored offers cheaper meals for off-peak hours. Under its plan, a table at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at New York’s 21 Club costs customers 30-percent less than one for Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

Peters Esmond, director of operations at Rouge Tomate, says customers he’s spoken with are okay with the idea of paying less during off-peak and paying more for peak dinner times.

“The same thing as why you go to happy hour and you go to happy hour 5:00 because it’s early. They don’t do happy hour at 9:00, they do it at 5:30. There’s a reason for that,” Esmond said.

Right now, offers deals at restaurants in the New York City area.