Break Your Wallet for a Bite: Are Expensive Course Meals Worth it?

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Illustrated by Bridget Rios

Janice Luong

Opinions Editor

Spending heavy without breaking your belly is almost a paradox. Paying hundreds of dollars for sample-sized 5-12 course meals makes eating out seem ridiculous. I get it, people need their luxuries and expert culinary arts should be appreciated, but the portion size to price ratio isn’t sensible. 

For what consumers pay, portion sizes ought to be at least slightly larger. It is a blatant art of classism that successfully undermines any cost-benefit analysis decision-making because most people who can afford these meals are upper-middle or upper-class. 

Food is something humans use to join cultures and bring people together universally. With some meals having up to three dollar signs attached to them, it clearly draws the line for those who can and cannot afford it. 

It’s obnoxious that there is a certain etiquette or expectation for people who go to those places because it is set by those who are wealthy enough, and that demographic is usually white and/or Asian. I understand the sentiment that it’s just how the market works; however, the portion size for the money spent is too difficult to ignore regardless of income. 

A five course tasting menu paired with wine already adds up to around $200, excluding the corkage fee which is per person. I understand the price is also paying for the experience, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not getting a bang for your buck. 

You leave with around $500 missing from your wallet for only two people. Does the total amount you leave the door with justify the amount of utility you receive? It may be a unique experience, but the price is nonetheless unjustifiable. 

Overall, course meals offer a luxurious experience. I only argue for perhaps a slightly larger portion size. Perhaps I would still hesitate, but would eventually give in to it. Everyone wants to have a high-end experience, but for those who are apprehensive, such as myself, I want to pay for something slightly better than a bite — all I’m asking for are for two bites.

1 COMMENT

  1. In my opinion, as long as we receive high nutritional value, the price paid will be the least important issue.

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