Next Restaurant: pricing and ticketing innovation redux

Lynne Kiesling Last May I wrote about Next, a new restaurant in Chicago from chef Grant Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas. In that post I focused on the two innovations in the proposal: selling tickets concert style rather than having a reservation system, and using dynamic pricing for reservations/tickets at different times on … More Next Restaurant: pricing and ticketing innovation redux

Fair trade for coffee may be good, but…

Michael Giberson Fair trade for coffee is good, but many readily available alternatives may be better. “Better” as in, better for the producer and better for consumers. I was browsing the website of a local specialty coffee roaster, and noticed the “Ethics” labels on the products: “Premium price” and “Farm Gate”, but not “Fair Trade.” … More Fair trade for coffee may be good, but…

Roast potatoes, Elinor Ostrom, Whole Foods competitors

Michael Giberson Some food for thought. For months and months, it seems, these three items – “Roast potatoes,” “Elinor Ostrom,” “Whole Foods competitors” – have dominated the “Top Searches” list in the Knowledge Problem site stats. We blog a lot about energy, economics, and public policy. Once in a while a bit of food or drink … More Roast potatoes, Elinor Ostrom, Whole Foods competitors

All the life-extending benefits of caloric restriction, without actually, you know, restricting calories?

Michael Giberson The dramatic finish to an article in The Economist: If inherited epigenetic changes were causing daughter rotifers to produce more catalase, it would raise the question of whether a similar thing happens in other species and, if so, whether it might be induced artificially, without all the tedious business of a lifetime’s starvation. … More All the life-extending benefits of caloric restriction, without actually, you know, restricting calories?

The fictional (and extremely unhealthy!) Big Rock Candy Mountain

Michael Giberson From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Kids Pages, an earnest warning – accompanying the lyrics to the song Big Rock Candy Mountain – not to be lead astray by the wild (and extremely unhealthy!) images conjured up by the songwriter Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock: IMPORTANT REMINDERS ABOUT THE LYRICS: Mr. McClintock’s song … More The fictional (and extremely unhealthy!) Big Rock Candy Mountain

Othman on Pickens, Horseflesh, and Hypocrisy

Michael Giberson Abe Othman at Constructive Economics has been reading Boone Pickens: T. Boone Pickens, from his autobiography The Luckiest Guy in the World: I believe the greatest opportunity lies in a free marketplace. There are powerful forces afoot trying to restrict that freedom in the interests of the vested and already wealthy. T. Boone … More Othman on Pickens, Horseflesh, and Hypocrisy

Dynamic pricing for foodies … and for electricity?

Lynne Kiesling If you like to cook and to eat well in Chicago, you can’t avoid chef Grant Achatz (nor should you want to!). His signature restaurant, Alinea, was recently named the best restaurant in the U.S. and one of the best restaurants in the world, and he is a creative, if controversial, innovator of … More Dynamic pricing for foodies … and for electricity?

Jamie Oliver, children and food, and field experiments

Lynne Kiesling Several years ago Jamie Oliver set out to improve school food for a group of British children. In part he was motivated by wanting to impart a love of good, healthy food in children by sharing his own joy in food, and in part he believed that healthier school meals would lead to … More Jamie Oliver, children and food, and field experiments

Weekend cooking

Lynne Kiesling We did a lot of cooking this weekend, including taking advantage of my Christmas holiday baking — I made double batches of pie dough and pizza dough and froze half of what I made for later. I had also frozen some Michigan tart cherries from the farmer’s market last June, so the mid-February … More Weekend cooking

A disgusting display of bureaucratic force from the Chicago Department of Public Health

Lynne Kiesling This is so vile, so disgusting that I am literally nauseated at my desk as I write. One of the ways that independent chefs, caterers and confectioners economize on their substantial fixed costs is by sharing kitchens. In Chicago, the business license treatment of such kitchens from the Chicago Department of Public Health … More A disgusting display of bureaucratic force from the Chicago Department of Public Health