Saturday, October 07, 2006

Doesn't make business sense!

Minutes ago I had a Coffee Frappe and a Super Sandwich Chicken Tikka at Cafe Coffee Day. Good coffee, spoilt by awful business strategy!

I asked for a chicken sandwich from their menu. The service person informed me that the price of the sandwich had changed.

But, of course! This is my third visit in the week and I knew that already. Though I hadn't ordered a sandwich recently, the hand corrected menu has been familiar for months now.

Oh the price had gone up again he told me. From Rs 40 to 60. But I don't complain about that anymore.  Not since Professor Harford explained all about coffee prices in The Undercover Economist. The money doesn't go to the Cafe chain.

Perhaps, the sandwich was venti now, and I was hungry, and you know it's all about self-targeting anyway. (You've read this book, haven't you? Makes paying for coffee much easier.)

In short, I was comfortable paying the small sum of Rs 60 that was asked for.

But what I received was a sandwich and a Chatpatta Sticks packet. Something I won't pick up on my own for Rs 2 at a railway station. Someone else may, but I won't.

Now I've had coffee on four different continents. Where in the world do they include anything like Chatpatta Sticks with either sandwich or coffee? And does that make their coffee more or less affordable?

I wish they wouldn't cheat us.

And the price for the 22 gms of unforgivable corn meal and rice offering in the packet? Rs 10, inclusive of all taxes. That makes me wonder: If the packet becomes part of the sandwich, do I pay tax on tax?

Post Script:

Hey, I am a confirmed blogger now. I write about coffee and sandwich, and finish the post on a laptop while riding back in the car!

But it is not a bloggers ready world: I wish the Cafe coffee Day's wifi service was still available to customers and my camera cell phone had easy Bluetooth connectivity for transferring pictures. I'd have shown you pictures of the restaurant with the chatpatta sticks in the foreground and the server (waiter) in background. And also included the IP address of their server (proxy) in the post.

Cool, and I might yet recover the money that I lost if a coffee ad is served up alongside and you decide to check it out. But please, don't do it unless you really are interested in the ad. If it's construed that I encouraged you to do so, I might lose the Google adSense publisher status and any hopes of recovering the loss incurred on that sandwich--through legitimate blogging about the experience.

Thanks. Now don't, unless it is your decision.

1 comment:

Kamesh said...

In Marketing parlance, it is called Price Bundling. You bundle a low-value/non-moving item (preferably one with a high MRP) with an item which sells well and convince the customer that he is getting a good deal...similar to the 'you get $125 value for just $20' ads in the US.

And if I am not wrong, you pay service-tax in a place like CCD.