Disney justified in raising buffet prices due to customer demand

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by nikjd68, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. nikjd68

    nikjd68 Mouseketeer

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    Several times over recent podcasts, the podcast crew has criticized Disney for increasing the prices of buffets. You have particularly criticized Disney's explanation that this was due to "customer demand". In a recent podcast, Pete made the point of correcting one of the other podcasters when they used a different word and Pete said Disney said it was due to "demand".

    I think you guys may have missed the point. Disney isn't saying that customers demanded higher prices, but rather that due to supply and demand the increase was justified. I am not saying Disney is correct. But if the Buffets are packed, then raising prices is certainly justified. A market price dampens demand thus opening up supply (albeit for those who can afford it).
     
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  3. SamIAm21

    SamIAm21 Mickey's #1 Fan

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    The one explanation given to me by a pretty informed Disney-phile was that "customer demand" was used in the sense that during peak crowd times at WDW, more people are eating in the buffets due to convenience and the ability to eat and go quickly. This in turn means that Disney has to incresae personnel to staff the buffets and wait on guests. Therefore, the cost increase is used to offset the additional staff and resources needed to keep the buffets stocked and running smoothly throughout these peak periods.

    If this is anywhere near the truth, then I am okay with that. I would hate to be in Crystal Palace on a day when it is packed and have it be short-staffed. I think a short-staffed buffet/restaurant would create worse customer feedback than the few extra dollars they are charging.

    Now like I said, this may or may not be true, but if it is, I can understand the price increase under those circumstances.
     
  4. Disneybridein2k3

    Disneybridein2k3 I am and I'm not afraid to admit

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    SamIam - this is not a flame on you, but this is crap. If the reason for a price increase is being justified because the restaurant is busy and needs more staff, then the restaurant is MAKING more money as well which should cover the cost of the staffing. I am more likely to believe the reasoning is closer to what the OP said - Disney is justifying the price increase because of supply & demand - no different than the stoller pricing increase IMHO. I believe it is greed that is the real reason and as consumers, we are not helping by paying the exaggerated prices. Seems to me it is really Disney's ego: we can do it because you'll pay for it.
     
  5. wildeoscar

    wildeoscar DIS Veteran

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    that was me, i didn't think it was expensive enough to vacation in WDW, so I wrote letters asking them to raise the prices.
     
  6. ADP

    ADP <marquee><font color=red>I'm a huggin' fool</marqu

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    Way to go! You've messed it up for the rest of us. :laughing:
     
  7. WaltD4Me

    WaltD4Me <font color=royalblue>PS...I tried asking for wate

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    Ummmmmm, okay.

    Do you know of ANY other restaurant that does this????

    I don't cook, so I eat out ALOT, I've never known a restaurant to raise prices just because they are busy. Yes, I do know restaurants that raise buffet prices on holidays (like Easter, Mother's Day, ect...) BUT they also add extra choices to those buffets. In fact I worked at Houlihans for years and our Easter and Mother's Day brunches were PACKED, we didn't raise the price, we were thrilled with all the extra business. Yes, we staffed more, but we also made alot more. Same thing with St Patrick's and New Year's, again we had people waiting in line outside, same prices. :rolleyes:
     
  8. aldango

    aldango Diet Coke

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    I 100% agree with you. This has been bugging me for weeks, but I've been too lazy to write a justification. Thanks!

    It's a bit different at the buffets at WDW than at a regular restaurant simply because of logistics. Raising the price of a buffet is very simple: just say today the buffet is $x and it's done. Only one price (or two, because of children's prices) has to be changed in the computer system. Changing the prices at peak times at a regular restaurant would be very elaborate and would probably involve not only changing the signage but the computer system.

    Also, consider another example - lunch and dinner pricing. How many times have you eaten a meal at dinner only to find that the exact same meal is offered at lunch for a cheaper price? I have seen this several times. It's the same thing. :)
     
  9. aldango

    aldango Diet Coke

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    Or it's Disney's recognition of the inelasticity of demand. :)
     
  10. rayelias

    rayelias <font color=peach>An expert on only some things ;)

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    So, Disney doesn't raise the price for strollers for a LONG time, and when they do, they raise them a lot. Everyone is OUTRAGED.

    But, Disney raises the price of dining moderately every so often (instead of a large increase after a long period of no increases), and everyone is OUTRAGED.

    I guess you can't win.

    Disney has to cover the cost of giving away free dining to a family of 4 paying $99 a night at a value somehow.
     
  11. drakethib

    drakethib DIS Veteran

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    Agree
     
  12. calypso*a*go-go

    calypso*a*go-go <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    Believe me -- Disney gives *nothing* away. If they were losing money by offering the free dining promotion, they wouldn't do it (and they especially not four years in a row).
     
  13. WaltD4Me

    WaltD4Me <font color=royalblue>PS...I tried asking for wate

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    Are you serious?

    This isn't about Disney just raising prices, this is about them charging more temporarily, for no good reason, because they know it will be busy and they can probably get away with it and I'm sorry but that doesn't make sense.

    And it isn't like Disney is being benevolent and kind offering free dining. They are doing that because attendance is so low in September. They WANT to fill up those $99 rooms, so those people buy parks tickets and Mickey bars and souvenirs while in the parks. Sure, free dining is a great thing, but believe me if Disney thought they were losing money or even just breaking even in offering it, it would go away.
     
  14. MODisFan

    MODisFan Mouseketeer

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    Fine, so Disney is giving "free" dining to that family of 4. However, those of us not using the dining plan are the ones actually paying for that free dining by paying out of pocket for those meals.
     
  15. WaltD4Me

    WaltD4Me <font color=royalblue>PS...I tried asking for wate

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand this statement?

    Even if Disney wasn't offering free dining, wouldn't you still be paying out of pocket for your meals? Why are you paying for free dining? And just curious, why aren't you also getting the free dining?
     
  16. dpuck1998

    dpuck1998 <font color=blue>I'm innocent I tell you...innocen

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    I have been to many restaurants that do this in fact. I don't think it is right, but its no different than hotels, cruises and lots of vacation destinations. When I goto Chicago the weekends cost more than the weekdays and the summer is higher than the winter. I don't blame Disney, but I think the industry in general does this a lot.
     
  17. rayelias

    rayelias <font color=peach>An expert on only some things ;)

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    EXACTLY!!!
     
  18. Disneybridein2k3

    Disneybridein2k3 I am and I'm not afraid to admit

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    Going out on a limb here, but it looks like Modisfan is DVC based on the siggy line. Free dining is only available to those booking a package so DVC villas don't count.

    Darn you WO! I should've known it was all your fault!
     
  19. MODisFan

    MODisFan Mouseketeer

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    I didn't clarify my statement very well. IMO, I feel that the prices for food have been raised since disney started offering the dining plan package. They've inflated the cost of food so people will purchase the dining plan which guarantees that guests will eat 2-3 meals a day at WDW versus (let's say) 1. For the guest that can't afford the dining plan (even during "free" dining) they end up paying a lot out of pocket for the couple of meals they do eat on property. Just my opinion.
     
  20. MODisFan

    MODisFan Mouseketeer

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    Free dining is only available to those booking a package but DVC members can purchase the dining plan for the lengths of their stay. We've done so twice but found it wasn't the best deal for us.
     
  21. Disney/Universal Fan

    Disney/Universal Fan Mouseketeer

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    I guess I may have to be one of those that is not going to complain about the prices. If I can't afford to go to a certain restaurant because of the price, I find another one to go to and try to find alternative ways to keep the cost down. Trails End Buffeteria has turned into one of my favorite places to eat, and the cost is reasonable. It's only a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom. Try sharing meals. Drink Ice water instead of soda. They don't charge you for the glass of ice or the water. Cut down on what you eat. Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you have to gorge yourself. And remember, Disney is not in the business to lose money, or for that matter, break even. .
     

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