Behavioral Economics

Our goal is to exceed your expectations every time you visit.

Sign in the NYC Au Bon Pain that I had breakfast in this morning.

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Reminds me of the sign at the local Steak House.

"Free Beer Tomorrow"

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You are in New York.

They're just confident your expectations are low.

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They're not the first. "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?†--Robert Browning.

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Maybe they could generate a continuous stream of rumors about people who got food poisoning there, etc. Then not getting food poisoning would always be a win. Or, if you never come back, then the sign is fulfilled, so maybe they are planning on shutting down soon.

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Au Bon Pain's is very ambitious, and the key words, I think, are "every time you visit." In my experience, expectations are backward-looking, and people have memory.

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Shakespeare, in his typical one-upmanship, offers this: "he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how." (The Govenor of Messina about Claudio, Measure for Measure, I, i). In thy face, Au Bon Pain.

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Reminds me of a coach I had in high school who would implore us all to play above our potential.

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The things thats funny here is that the first time you go to the restaurant you will re-adjust your expectations based on your experience. So, in order for them to continually surpass your expectations means that each time you go the service & food will need to be better than the last time you visited. I guess this means as the number of visits go to infinity the quality of food goes to...?

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>>So either ABP doesn't believe in rational expectations (or revision of the reference point in general, I suppose) or it's are going to embark on a never-ending service spiral ...etc.>>

No, adjustment of expectations is a Bayesian process. Suppose your samples are perfectly consistent, from a universe of perfect consistency. If you start with an a priori estimate of the universe which is lower than the actual universe, then adjust your estimate each time your sample exceeds your estimate, your estimate will continually rise, but will never reach the actual value of the universe.

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