Restaurant Business

Idea #003 proposes a restaurant business, a variation of a restaurant we have here in Brazil. It is common here to have restaurants where you pay proportional to the weight of food (measured in scales after you finished self-serving the food). The weight of the plate is naturally discounted. 

However, this type of business encourages business owners to go out of their way to push food into the clients. It is very common for example, to have over sized plates, to give the false impression that your serving is smaller than it actually is. The buffet is usually lavish, with plenty of options to go around. It is no wonder why foreigners usually find hard to believe how much Brazilians eat. 

The result of all this is contributing to obesity and consequent health conditions.

The change is to actually change the pricing policy, so that the customer pays the least when he eats a value that is recommended by health agencies. When he eats too much, he gets a penalty in price. When he eats to little, he also gets a penalty, even though it is not so pronounced. That way, you give your client a goal to work towards. A financial reward can go a long way into enforcing a habit.

Note that there is a flaw in this reasoning. Even assuming that the health agencies agree on a value, what if the customer only fills his plate with carbs? Or with pork chops?

Here is where I had an inspiration. You see, so far we've been measuring the mass of entire plate. This is not good enough. What if we made a tray, with three individual plates for veggies, carbs and meat. The relative sizes of the plates can serve as a guide for the client as he picks his food. We also use three different scales, so that the clients measures the weight of the each portion of food individually. 

This would give us a precise ratio in the serving, that is what is very difficult to control in practice and where most people go wrong. Then you can tailor the price by a math that takes into account how the servings are off the weight, and how the ratio deviates from the recommended value. 

BANNER IMAGE CREDITS: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M. Wong (UC Berkeley), and G. Orton (JPL-Caltech) 

Want to know more about this image? Follow this external link.