Sunday, April 27, 2008

Price of a good steak

I am debating whether to treat myself to a steak for dinner. I have been fairly good about resisting my old habit (I used to eat at the Palm steak house every Sunday evening in Washington, D.C.), but since I may not be staying in the area for more than the next month, I figure I should enjoy living here just a little bit. My preference here in downtown Bellevue is Daniel's Broiler. I do walk past the local Ruth's Chris Steak House, and check the prices when I do. Very interesting. They raised the price for a New York strip steak back in February 2007 to $41, but did not raise it this year. I am sure their costs went up, but I suspect that they also realize that there is resistance from consumers to spend more than $41 on a steak, no matter how good it is. Daniel's has a fairly upscale clientele that is less price-sensitive, so they can get away with charging $43 for a New York strip steak. Ouch. So expensive, but so good.

Actually, I can save a few bucks and get a nice rib-eye steak. Hmmm... maybe I can use the "savings" as an excuse to justify the expense.

The $64 question is whether higher commodities and food prices will continue to push up the price of a godd steak, or whether consumer resistance will reduce demand and the law of supply and demand will keep prices in check, in a relative sense.

-- Jack Krupansky

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