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The fallacy behind offers in restaurants


The fallacy behind offers in restaurants

Necessary disclaimer - this piece is not intended to drag anyone under any circumstances. This is not a judgmental woke piece either, but rather an attempt to take this aspect with a pinch of salt, without gulping it all at once.

Every year the blessed month of Ramadan arrives, bestowing a strong sense of spirituality in the Muslim world. After fasting from dawn to dusk for a month, we arrive at one of the two biggest Muslim festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr. If we take a look at the social aspect of it, this creates a month-long sense of festivity and togetherness among the mass people all across the Muslim world.

Bangladesh, having the largest Muslim ethnoreligious group in South Asia and being the second largest all across the world, is fully in the same boat. On top of it, Bangladesh is the epitome of a country with communal tranquillity. This ensures the celebratory vibe is spread all across the country.

This becomes a wonderful opportunity to cash in the sentiment and hit the profit home looking from the business perspective.

Whether it is ethical or not is another debate because that depends on the multi-varied macro factors and the moral compass. Then again, the concept of morality or ethics is a tad bit blurred, and at times it is outright questionable so it would not be that hard to imagine the scenario.

The scenario is like this, owing to the much talked about the global pandemic and the whole country’s lockdown, the mass people could not meet. Not for a month, or 6 months, the shenanigan of Covid 19 extended past 1.5 years.

Considering Bangladesh, a country famous for its citizens not adhering to rules (mainly civic sense in some cases), this new normal put them in adamantium chains and unbreakable shackles.

Fast forward 2 years, when we have finally reached the approximately zero Covid phase and with a big smile on our faces, we waved ta-ta to the masks. Finally, the world is our oyster and we can meet with or without reason.

Here comes the interesting bit, with that, the restaurants play the theme song of Triple H in their mind because it’s time to play the game.

Hit the mass people with two kinds of offers, one that is so cheap, so damn cheap, that under sane conditions one will surely ponder how their business model is run unless they are sacrificing quality.

This is mainly targeted toward the students whose source of income or the volume of income is not that high, typically. Throw in some discounts and offers, some special rates for student ids, and wham bam you grab the niche at the (relatively) bottom of the pyramid market.

From a customer perspective, if you are down on the cash or a minimalist or broke, but you want to have a glimpse of the ‘fun’ life, these offers are too good to be true and you would feel, that one has to be a fool not to take it.

This might bring the question if they are providing the right quality of food or not, but during availing the order, the adrenaline we get from winning the deal and the dopamine we get after a good hangout, we kind of tend to not care about the after-effects.

On the other hand, the other type of offers are outright luxury items, but you feel special because, with the magic of a card, you can avail yourself of this since it is now BOGO or even more.

After ‘experiencing’ them and posting about them on social media you would come out to be posh and elegant. Add some feel-good factor about how the ambience was good and how the background was aesthetic, you would feel elite even.

But like Thanos, what did it cost you? If not everything, this was at the cost of a credit card. Now, this is a slippery slope. One false move, and despite all your hard-earned money, when you fall into the cycle of compound interest, it can soon feel like signing a deal with the devil.

Now am I asking you not to avail these? Nope! Have I experienced both ends? You bet I did! The thing is, it is your own choice, and yes, while these offers are cashing in on our emotional or psychological aspect, at the same time, we do enjoy it.

The goal is not to jack up all the money and not enjoy anything in life like Mr Scrooge, it never is. But let’s just pause for a moment and just think about the aspect with a grain of salt and not go all in whimsically because it seems too good of a deal not to pass.

The writer is a finance and economics enthusiast, trying to break into the immensely interesting and hardcore world of finance.

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