Though I've never been there, I suspect eating at the Penn Central restaurant near Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset, on a Wednesday and Thursday night just become much more fun. Like Radiohead fans buying In Rainbows on the internet, diners at Penn Central will be asked to pay what they consider to be a fair price for their food.
The owner of Penn Central has reported that the first trial evening was a success - feedback overwhelmingly positive and the takings pretty close to what they should have otherwise been.
I look forward to following closely this experiment. Will most customers be fair if provided with good food in a good environment? Could restaurants one day follow the direction that digital music seems to be heading - not charging for food and earning their cash from advertising on electronic tables?
In any event, well done to Penn Central for trying something new and for encouraging debate among its customers over what the experience is worth. And cheers to the chef for throwing himself before the train of judgment. Let's hope he's employed on Friday.