‘All You Can Eat’ Buffets Go Upscale

The Wall Street Journal: “Restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat dining are often more about quantity than quality. But a number of higher-end New York City establishments are looking to reverse that trend. Kesté Pizza & Vino, the pizzeria that offers authentic Neapolitan-style pies, has introduced a daily $20 unlimited-slices promotion … In a more extravagant vein, Megu, a modern Japanese restaurant in Chelsea, is rolling out a $300 ‘Imperial Oyster Experience,’ with all-you-can-eat oysters, including some pricier and rarer varieties, for two diners, in addition to a bottle of Champagne.”

“Restaurateurs offer such deals for a variety of reasons. Some say they do it to try to increase business on slower nights. Others say it is just a way to have some fun.
Megu owner Jon Bakhshi says it was the latter that inspired him to come up with his concept. An ‘oyster bar in the middle of summer just had a nice ring to it,’ he said.”

“Restaurant-industry insiders and observers warn, however, there could be consequences to such promotions, particularly in terms of how they affect public perception of the establishments … The other challenge for restaurateurs is making sure they can profit from such deals, given that patrons are naturally inclined to do the math and milk the opportunities for all they are worth.”

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