Stopping Profiteering

The Lempert Report
March 07, 2023

Some good news for consumers, maybe. Leticia James of New York Attorney General fame, has proposed rules to protect US consumers and small businesses from corporate profiteering. In particular, one of the things that she's against is dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing being the fact that whether you'd be a restaurant or even a grocery store, that you would change prices based on activity. Whether it's a shortage of product, whether it's you're busy or not so busy. So what do you think about this? 

Sally: Well, Phil, I mean, dynamic pricing is something that a lot of us are accustomed to with purchasing flights or hotels. We know that those numbers can fluctuate at different times that you look them up. Our food is something that we absolutely need. This is an essential good. And so, it can feel like to consumers, I believe that this is inequitable. This is contributing to an inequitable food system. Allowing for those high demand times, those prices to go up, that only some people can afford. And then at those times when people are not buying or ordering food as much, that price coming down. 

Phil: Capterra has a new report, new study, the 2023 Dynamic pricing in restaurant survey.  And what they found is 81% of consumers check menu prices always, or often before they choose where to eat. 51% have stopped patronizing a preferred restaurant due to recent price increases. And 65% of consumers say that dynamic pricing would make the decision of where and when to eat more difficult. 63% says it makes it harder to budget they're spending on restaurants. To your point, I think it's absolutely absurd. I'm all for fairness to consumers. I think that dynamic pricing, and we're hearing more and more about stories like this, it's just a way to rip off people. I'm not sure what advantage consumers really have. So good for Leticia James.