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It’s Obscene to Pay $180 for a Steak Sandwich—But It Sure Was Yummy

By The Wall Street Journal


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  • As noted by Eater, this is a great example of price anchoring: In addition to generating headlines, the function of the $180 sandwich is to make the $28 version seem more reasonable. Even in less extreme contexts, the most expensive item on the menu isn’t there to be eaten, but to set an anchor for how you view the prices on the rest of the menu.

  • This is no different than the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata at Norma’s in NY and it costs $1,000. The world’s most expensive omelette because it is made with six eggs, 10 ounces of exclusive sefruga caviar (it costs the restaurant $65 per ounce), an entire lobster, cream and chives. A wonderful gimmick that few actually purchase.

  • Ian Myers
    Ian MyersFounder at Country House Enterprises

    Demand keeps the supply going. If it’s on the menu, people will pay for it.

    Maybe it’s a good idea to see how doing this (making everyday, inexpensive items the pinnacle of opulence) with other things? Care to try our handcrafted paper towels for only $149.99?

    I’m almost entirely sure morbid curiosity drives demand.

  • No matter how crazy a price seems if there is a demand then you can somewhat justify it. Why are there garages in Palo Alto worth a million dollars...b/c of demand and people willing to pay it. As much as it seems ridiculous it’s just economics. I’m good with going to Wendy’s and putting the rest in my daughter’s 529 account though :)

  • This sandwich is going on my list!

  • Katz Ishida
    Katz IshidaEngineer at Quartz

    I wish I could also say the cool line: "I ate a $180 steak sandwich. I did it for journalism."

  • Two kernels of gold covered popcorn for $5 seem like a better deal.

  • A classic trope. Charge a ton of money for a sandwich no one ever orders because - duh - and get lots of free PR.

  • Russ Lilly
    Russ LillyFormer FedEx Managing Director

    My father, (may he RIP), always said; “A fool and their money are soon parted”.....

    Buy the $22 burger and give the other $158 to charity....

  • ramirro grepo
    ramirro grepo

    I’ve experienced working with a cut off throat Chef back in Singapore.

    Here’s the thing:

    Chefs charm, Great food, restaurant atmosphere, and Top notch service = $$$$

    I’ve always believed in these 4 attributes, the rich and the famous and middle class won’t think twice to try it even just for once.

  • James Randorff
    James RandorffMusician, Instructor at US Navy

    I make a mean scrambled eggs. For $500, you can eat a piece of culinary artwork to which no one else will ever be able to lay claim.

  • Fries look yummy, too. Are they like $60?

  • David Buffaloe
    David Buffaloe

    Love to taste it, but most of us work hard for our living. To spend that much for a steak is just crazy.

  • Shelia David
    Shelia David

    Wow, what a price!

  • Darren Jay Blagden
    Darren Jay Blagden Retired at The Ridgeback Attack


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