Which Hot Tokyo Ramen Shop Lets Customers Name Their Price?

July 26, 2012 10:17 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
The Ramen Shop with No Price (Photo: Creative Commons)

This is one of those stories that sounds like it comes straight from heaven. But fortunately for those of us who'll find ourselves jet-setting to the Eastern Hemisphere, it comes right from heaven on earth.

On July 25th, 2012, a ramen shop opened in a neighborhood of Tokyo that lets its lucky patrons decide how much they want to pay for their ramen not before, not during, but after they've enjoyed it (or not!).

With a Dickensian flare for marketing efficiency, the restauranteurs have named the shop "Nedan no nai Ramenya," or, roughly translated, The Ramen Shop with No Price. For now, the restaurant is operating on the wholly enticing idea that, in this economy or any, no one should have to pay for a meal any more than ze believes it's worth.

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After you're done eating, the restaurant slips you a piece of paper. On it, you're encouraged to be honest and write the price at which you think the restaurant deserves to sell their ramen. It's an excellent and compelling bit of crowd-sourcing your pricing strategy, considering you don't even have to pay what you think your meal was worth. In other words, you could say the ramen deserves to be purchased at 500 yen a bowl and still get away with paying 50 yen for it.

But underneath all this novelty, is the food worth it? Early reports coming in cite the serviceability, albeit the softness, of the noodles as a tepid selling point. But even with at three-stars, this is one eating experience we're dying to try. If only an entrepreneur would apply this approach to airfare and hotels!

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