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Would You Obey This Honor Code?

Today in San Francisco, a new bar opens — and a social experiment begins. Honor Bar will have an honor-based billing system. While the wine list suggests prices ranging from $8 to $15 per glass, how much you slide into the provided money slot is entirely up to you and your conscience. The bar will also provide instructions (and a pour-it-yourself area) for a daily champagne cocktail. If this method of payment proves successful, it may spark a whole slew of bars based on the honor code. The appeal? Restaurants save themselves the cost of a bartender.

What do you think of this concept? I'd love to get your two cents (don't cheat me out of it!) Would you pony up the actual amount, or slide in a little less? Fear not; your answers are completely anonymous.


Join The Conversation
macgirl macgirl 8 years
lizkiernan- when I originally read this post I was thinking the same thing. Most service jobs are minimum wage since you are getting tips and even with all the taxes employers have to pay on the backend I doubt there is any medical or other benefits so what's the real cost of having a bartender? I would think the bigger cost would be having a Master Sommelier on staff as someone said in a previous post.
lizkiernan lizkiernan 8 years
the cost of a bartender is about $2.65 per hour. I would think that using this 'honor code' you'd lose way more money than that!
prrrtykittie prrrtykittie 8 years
There's enough unemployment out there! I just wouldn't go to a place with that kind of logic... just like I don't use the automated checkout at the grocery store!
kaykayelle kaykayelle 8 years
I'm a cheapskate. I think everything in this world is overpriced and, especially, if you put your money into a machine and don't have to talk to a person, I would never pay full price.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
It all depends but if I didn't enjoy it or it's not worth the price markup I wouldn't pay the whole amount.
kdthelady kdthelady 8 years
There is a restaurant in Salt Lake City called One World Cafe. I think the original owner, Denise Cerreta, is the first to really put this into practice. This is food and not booze, but it's the same principal and has been running for years (in the black) with a very loyal clientele. The food is great as well!
kea718 kea718 8 years
I guess I'm the bitch here, but I wouldn't even think about paying. Why would I pay for something that I pour and serve to myself? To be fair though, I wouldnt go to a place like that anyways. If I'm serving myself I'll just buy a bottle and stay home with some friends. However, it's quite possible the drunker I get the nicer I feel (usually thats why by the last drink of the evening I wind up tipping the bartender and extra $5 after Ive already tipped on every other drink). Maybe if the rest of the service was phenomenal I'd pay...maybe.
SFGrace SFGrace 8 years
I actually checked out last night after hearing about it on Thrillist. Just as it sounded, a new addition to the Fifth Floor Lounge, which is refreshing because I hadn't been there in awhile. The wines were delicious and I definitely paid the menu price. Considering the wines and the prices are picked by a Master Sommelier (super rare, only 15), I knew I couldn't go wrong. The staff was awesome and although it is an "honor bar", they are definitely on duty and helpful! I also met Emily, who is GREAT!!!!
aphill4 aphill4 8 years
I know too many people that I have met throughout various moments in my adult life that I can project with the least of doubts that would take this set up as an offer for free booze. It's an interesting social experiment, but I'm afraid it would not be able to keep afloat very long under those policies. Not only speaking for the morally deranged, I know for a fact that when I've had more than 3 drinks, my basic math skills become highly impaired and I need an actual bar tab slip in my hands to tell me what I owe. And don't ever watch me try to tip at that point, it's not pretty (hello $5 tip on a $5 tab!)
mlen mlen 8 years
i think it depends on the wine- if i knew it was marked up an extreme amount i might pay less. do you get to taste it first? cause if it ended up being bad i'd pay less but good i'd pay suggested. honestly i feel with wine its a tough call. if they did it with beer i'd always pay regular price cause its just easier to know how much it should cost and how it should taste!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
Depends... if I need to make a drink myself then I am not paying "labour" type costs. But if it is just a glass of wine or something then I would pay full for it.
kothmia kothmia 8 years
I'd probably short a little on the first glass. If it was decent wine, and their suggested pricing was reasonable, I'd prolly over on the next glass.
keiraz keiraz 8 years
if they did this where I live nobody will actually pay, ever (but I will tho, maybe cheat sometimes and pay less lol)
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
There are not enough jobs now and they are trying to put more people out of work. I would not walk in to this place. I do not shop at the local grocery store that has the automatic machine check out stands.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Jude C, that is an interesting point. Will the possibility of drunkenness work in the bar's favor or against it? Or even out? What about bums and underage people? Will there be bouncers to keep them away from the booze?
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i chose other since i think that i need more information before i make a full decision. it's interesting to see how many people would really be honest - and how many would try to skimp. in my opinion, i think that i would pay the face value or close to it since i think that there's something to be said about being honest i believe in karma...but i don't think that something like this would work in NYC. that's for sure. people here are always looking for a deal and if you don't HAVE to pay full price a lot of people won't.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
It seems like it could go either way the drunker people get. They might be too drunk to be able to count, and put in way more money than necessary, or too drunk to care, and not put in any. :ponder:
Foodandwinesf Foodandwinesf 8 years
This is a great idea, but it's not a "just pay what you want" type thing. It's not a suggested price. They are providing reasonable prices and expect people to pay for the wines. I'm sure some people will inevitably take more than they should, but the prices are as stated.
jessie jessie 8 years
i don't see this lasting very long...i think they will find they will be losing money on it. many people will skimp out..
Foodandwinesf Foodandwinesf 8 years
I think this is a very original idea and definitely plan on checking it out. It's a great opportunity to relax with a glass of wine on my own time and budget. I would think most people will pay what they think the wine is worth. The prices seem very reasonable (Thrillist wrote a piece about it on August 22nd).
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
I think people will pay the "correct" amount for a glass, but the amount of wine in a glass will get progressively greater. A 6-ounce pour looks a lot less than we want it to, so that 6 oz. will subconsciously inflate.
kellys kellys 8 years
it depends. if they're going to charge the same as a bar with a bartender, then probably not. but if they're going to give me a glass of wine for $8 that would have cost me $12 someplace else, then they're getting the full $8. oh, who am i kidding? i'd probably *over* pay just to make up for the people who don't ;)
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
I agree with you ElizabethRae, the book is fantastic and not everyone has the same values when it comes to money and well I think this is just stupid. Yes, I do believe in karma!
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
I would be fair. I think restaurants grossly overcharge though. I get that they need to make a profit, but like someone else said, an $8 glass from a $4 bottle is absurd. I think there was a chapter like this in Freakonomics. It was about the guy who dropped of a box of bagels in the morning and picked up the payments at night. Interesting social experiment for sure.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I would pay the full amount but just know what I consider a glass of wine is not what most restaurants consider a full glass. I like em big.
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