The Empty Restaurant

My favorite foodie economist Tyler Cowen argues today that you shouldn’t judge a restaurant that doesn’t have long lines or tends to be empty because those two things are not always indicators that a place is actually good. I usually eat at places based on recommendations from friends or from reviews I’ve read, and those places have been generally busy. And dining in an empty restaurant can feel strange—Why is it so empty, you think or whisper to your dining companion, and then crack a joke about money laundering. I’m going to conduct an experiment in which I eat at one of the more empty restaurants in my neighborhood. I’m sure it’ll be fine, maybe even great.