Restaurants Still Charge ‘Luxury’ Prices for Cheap-Ass Lobster

They're basically giving these things away in Maine.

People who follow such things will tell you that the price of lobsters has been steadily dropping for the last eight or so years — getting as low as $2.20 per pound this month. It's gotten so bad that many lobstermen are worried about making ends meet. But if lobster prices are so rock-bottom low, why are lobster dishes still so expensive at restaurants? Well, The New Yorker digs deep into this phenomenon and discovers some clear reasons: Lower prices make customers think quality will be diminished, part of the enjoyment of lobster is linked to its expense (a phenomenon particular to luxury goods), and higher prices for lobster make other seafood dishes appear to be more reasonably priced. But also, most customers at high-end restaurants don't follow the lobster market too closely, which means restaurant owners can get away with it as long as people continue to expect prices will be high. [The NYer]