Talk about a study of market pricing! Cafe owner Sam Lippert has taken prices off his menu and instead asks patrons to pay what they think his food is worth. He came up with the idea when he realized people were eating out less, and it's paying off — business is up between 50 to 100 percent, and he is thinking of making some of his part-time staff full-time employees. He told CNN:
"People need a reason to go out and treat themselves. You've got everybody saying if you need to save money don't buy a cup of coffee out, stop buying lattes . . . I'm trying to give people incentive to actually go out and eat and get a cup of coffee because they get to pay what they think is fair."
Lippert is an engineer by trade and purchased the Java Street Cafe in Kettering, OH, with money from his 401(k) in 2005. He says the idea to take prices off the menu came from his Bulgarian girlfriend, who had seen the practice in Europe. Would you underpay if given the chance, or do you think you would cough up a fair price?