Payment by honour

How much would you pay for a meal if you could choose the amount yourself?

Barecelona restauranteur Eledino Garcia started letting patrons pay whatever they want for the daily special three weeks ago to help customers who had lost their jobs.

And the idea is actually working: Garcia says his daily take is up.

After a midday meal, diners who opted for the ¤10 ($13.56), three-course daily special get something other than a check.

“I give you an envelope, and you pay what you think it was worth, or whatever you can pay,” said Garcia, the 50-year-old owner of the small restaurant called Mireya.

. . .  Garcia says his trust in the public is paying off. Although he says he does not keep track of how much each person pays, no one seems to be taking advantage of him.

“People are better than we think,” Garcia said.

It was a gamble which has paid off and I’m delighted the trust Garcia showed in his patrons hasn’t been abused because, like him, I believe most people are good.

I have a vague memory that someone tried ths system in New Zealand and that people often paid more than they would have been charged in that restaurant too.

One Response to Payment by honour

  1. PaulL says:

    I seem to recall that this is the case in a few studies and examples – honesty box type things.

    I often wonder how much tax people would pay if we just got a form that said “pay how much you think is fair.”

    Some people would obviously pay less, I suspect that some people (particularly those in the middle classes with families who currently pay almost no tax) would pay more.

    Of course, I’d also like to be able to pay tax to specific government departments – so I might not pay at all for some, and pay quite a bit more than I do today for others…..

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