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Quora精选:为什么很多餐厅要先买单再就餐? 2015年01月27日 16:14:19

(扇贝双语阅读,由扇贝网网友共同翻译。扇贝网是中国最大的智能英语教学平台。)

Q: In China, why do so many restaurants make you pay for your food immediately after ordering? Are they afraid customers will steal?

问:为什么在中国,很多餐厅都会让你点完菜后立刻买单?他们是怕顾客吃霸王餐吗?

This is done even at some places frequented by many Western guests. Most of my friends find it very annoying and silly, like we are not trusted to pay our tab.

甚至一些西方顾客经常光顾的餐厅也这样。我的朋友大都觉得这种做法让人很恼火,而且很蠢,搞得好像我们会赖帐似的。


Answered by Ryan Chew

Ryan Chew的回复:

Shall I let you in on a secret?

我该告诉你一个秘密吗?

The restaurants are afraid of you, but not for the obvious reasons.

那些餐厅确实怕你,但不是因为表面上的这些原因。

I used to own a restaurant, and there’s a term we use in the industry.

我曾经开过一家餐馆,在我们这行有个术语。

Table Turnover

翻台率

Simply put, the more times a restaurant can serve a particular table, clean it, seat a new customer, serve the new customer, rinse and repeat, the more money the restaurant makes.

简单地说,餐馆把一张桌子打扫干净,招待顾客落座,就餐吃饭,收拾桌子,再迎来新顾客,如此重复的次数越多,餐厅挣的钱也就越多。

Think about it.

仔细想一想。

When you’re having a sit-down meal, you’re not just paying for the food, you’re renting a small piece of real estate. To maximise yield, it is in the restaurant’s interests to serve you and kick you out the door as soon as you’re done. But of course, restaurants can’t do that. So instead, they make you pay upfront.

你在店里吃饭时,付的不仅仅是饭钱,还租用了一小块地方。为了让收益最大化,伺候你吃好喝好后马上赶你出门更符合餐厅的利益。但是很显然,餐厅不能驱赶顾客,所以他们让顾客提前买单。

The Psychology

心理学原理

We’ve actually experimented with prepaid vs postpaid meals in our restaurant. The verdict? Upfront payment increased table turnover by over 80%.

实际上,我们餐馆曾经试验过餐前买单和餐后买单两种付账方式。结果如何?餐前买单让翻台率提高了80%以上。

The difference is that customers who haven’t paid can justify their occupation of a table. They surf facebook. They chat away for hours on end. They get comfy. It matters not whether they intend to order more stuff, the mere possibility of them ordering more gives them the moral upper hand.

二者的不同之处在于,就餐前未买单的顾客会理直气壮地占着他们的桌子。他们刷脸书(Facebook),聊上好几个小时,感到很舒适。他们是否打算多点一些东西并不重要,仅仅是这一点可能性就能让他们在道义上占着优势。

Customers who have paid up on the other hand, do not have moral justification. They could order more food, but diminishing marginal utility and inertia discourages that act. They get edgy. They feel guilty. They leave.

而另一方面,已经付过钱的顾客就没有这种道义上的优势了。他们可以再点些吃的,但边际效用递减率(注1)和惰性会让他们打消这个念头。他们变得紧张不安,感到内疚,然后就离开了。

It all depends on the restaurant’s business model. If it’s a low-end restaurant, this tactic will serve it well. If it’s a high end restaurant, paying $150 for that bottle of wine buys you a little more time.

是否让顾客提前付账完全取决于餐馆的经营模式。如果这是一家低档餐厅,这么做就很好。如果是高档餐厅,那么再点一瓶150美金(合约917元)的酒可以让你多坐一会。


Additional notes:

附笔:

One recurring debate in the comments section below is why restaurants with upfront payment and free WiFi have seemingly low table turnover. Allow me to explain:

在下方的评论区中有一个反复争论的问题,为什么那些要求提前买单但提供免费WiFi的餐厅看上去翻台率很低?让我来解释一下:


To forestall future lawsuits let’s invent a purely hypothetical and entirely fictional coffeehouse called Steerbuggs. Any resemblance to actual businesses is coincidental.

为了避免将来吃官司,让我们虚构一家完全不存在的咖啡厅,叫新巴克。如与任何实际商家有所雷同,纯属巧合。


Steerbuggs makes its money from takeaway. That’s why their drinks come packaged ready to go. You pay upfront, and if you can’t find a table you can just as easily take your drink elsewhere. As soon as the barista hands you your drink, as far as Steerbuggs is concerned, you’ve already been “turned over”; their goal of making a profit is done.

新巴克靠外卖赚钱。这就是为什么他们的饮品都是打包好的,随时可以带走。你付好了钱,就算找不到位子座,也可以很轻松地把饮料带到别的地方去。对新巴克而言,一旦咖啡师把饮料递给你,你就已经被“翻台”了;他们盈利的目的已经达到了。

Think about it.

仔细想一想。

If you left then and there, Steerbuggs will be none the poorer. So why would Steerbuggs pay more rent for a bigger space when a much smalle

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