Ripert: ‘Nobody Remembers a Bargain, But Nobody Forgets a Bad Meal’

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Photo: W magazine

W magazine gives us a glimpse into the PBS show Avec Eric, which marks the chef’s first significant foray outside his kitchen and into the world of television. But the most interesting part might be when Ripert discusses why he didn’t lower prices at Le Bernardin when business took a plunge.

The answer, he says, came to him while he was walking down Madison Avenue: “I saw one designer store where everything was 90 percent off, and it was empty. And then there was Hermès, nothing on sale, and the place was packed.” He chose the Hermès strategy, on the logic that “nobody remembers a bargain, but nobody forgets a bad meal,” and insists that it has been successful, with business rebounding almost entirely by early spring.

And with this, all hopes of a blue-plate special at Le Bern are dashed.