San Francisco restaurant Lazy Susan lowers its prices. here’s why

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As food prices continue to climb, a restaurant in San Francisco is experimenting in the opposite direction.

West Portal Chinese take-out restaurant Lazy Susan will cut prices by 10% starting next Friday, September 9, in a bid to encourage locals to stop in for their usual favorites and possibly pick up an item or two. additional.

Speaking with other restaurateurs, Lazy Susan owner Hanson Li said he’s heard the average sale is falling despite higher entree prices.

“So I spoke with my team and said, ‘You know what? Let’s do something different,” Li said.

Li tests his hypothesis that people are looking to keep spending at previous levels because rising prices have led many people to order appetizers instead of starters, skip dessert, or opt for a beer. cheaper than a glass of wine. Conversely, if a meal’s total is lower, it might convince customers to order extras and come back another day, which would cover the small loss of the discount.

“We hope people will buy more drinks. These have good margins for us. We will probably have promotions,” Li said.

A dish at Lazy Susan in the West Portal neighborhood of SF The restaurant is experimenting with lower prices in September.

Joseph Weaver / Lazy Susan

Inflation, which affects prices at restaurants that offer everything from pizza to fried chicken sandwiches to burritos, is impacting Lazy Susan’s bottom line. Staple ingredients for restaurants have seen spikes: chicken has doubled for many, lettuce prices can suddenly go up $15, the cost of cooking oil is up 25% from 2020. The Keeping staff wages up with inflation is also driving up prices at some Bay Area restaurants. Yet since arriving in February 2021, Lazy Susan has only raised prices once: about a month after it opened.

The restaurant’s takeout-focused limited-service concept was designed to reduce overhead, with just four dining tables and a menu of around 20 dishes. The model reduces the risk somewhat with the experimental discount, Li said. If he operated a larger restaurant with a full menu and more staff, Li probably wouldn’t do the test.

“It’s not for everyone,” Li said. “It’s also up for debate if it will work for us.”

If things go well, however, the experience may go beyond the end of the month.

Lazy Susan. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday to Sunday. 811 Ulloa Street, San Francisco. www.lazysusanchinese.com

Mario Cortez (he/him) is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: mario.cortez@sfchronicle.com

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