If you've ever traveled to a large city and used the services of either Uber or Lyft, you're probably aware of the phrase Surge Pricing. It's basically charging you more during busy times. And, in case you're wondering - yes, it's legal.

In fact, businesses such as hotels, airlines, and freight-haulers have been using the model in one form or another for years - well before Uber and Lyft came along. Well, now it sounds as though the restaurant industry is about to join suit.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, some well-known restaurants are now offering a 25% discount if you dine during their "slow times."

Within the article, some restaurant owners here in the U.S. expressed concern about something similar happening here. But my question is, don't we already have it? Isn't that basically what the senior citizen, late afternoon discount is?

How many times haven't you stopped at a place for a bite-to-eat over the noon hour only to find out they offer special noon-time-only meals at a discount? It's that basically a form of surge pricing? Noon time = not so busy; evening dining = more traffic.

To be honest with you, I'm surprised more businesses haven't already followed suit. It just makes sense - give customers a reason to visit your business when it's not so busy. Sounds like a win-win to me.

In fact, we even do it here at the radio station. If a business wants to advertise on the radio during morning drive or afternoon drive (when more people are in their cars listening) the time is more expensive.

So, the next time you dine out or hail a ride from either Uber or Lyft and you find out it'll cost you a bit more during their "peak times," don't act surprised. It's something that's been going on for years - only now it's being packaged and labeled as "Surge Pricing."

Source: Chicago Tribune

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