Me, writing in May’s edition of The Atlantic:
The next time you’re fortunate enough to have dinner at a high-end restaurant, take a moment to enjoy not only the food and wine, but the frisson of a really good puzzle: Why do restaurants price things the way they do?
The markup on food makes sense. It takes time and skill to prepare the perfect cold-smoked salmon with balsamic-vinegar sorbet. But why are the wine prices so inflated? How hard can it be to pop open a bottle? Meanwhile, restroom access is free and unlimited for customers—a curious cross-subsidy.
Most mysterious of all: When reservations at hot new restaurants are so sought-after, why are they simply given away?
Why indeed? The full article is here and free to read online.