marketing gimmicks

Palm Springs' Citron Lets You Pay "What It's Worth"

You may lose if you choose to refuse to put it first

You may lose if you choose to refuse to put it firstPhoto: The Viceroy

In a fairly confident move to get diners in to try its new fall menu, Citron, the restaurant at Viceroy Palm Springs, announces the offer of a "What It's Worth" promotion that allows people to pay whatever they think their meal should cost. As we're fairly confident there are some people who might take advantage of such an open offer, we had to ask, does this really mean someone can come in and order, like, ten dishes and pay .01 cents without a catch. "No catch here," came the response from the restaurant's marketing arm. Well, could you pay in pocket lint or doll hairs? "Unfortunately...[those] won't be accepted."

While we suspect paying in pennies may draw a sit-down more uncomfortable than a time-share pitch, the more unscrupulous among you have been notified: Chef Warren Cordoba's new market-driven menu comes to the table without prices, allowing you to estimate the cost of the meal's worth yourself before the real price is revealed.

We can already imagine what Chuck Klosterman may say about the ethics of taking your trusting restaurants to the cleaners, even if they are offering this honor system themselves. But just to commit diners to the experience, making it just a little more difficult to ravage the menu without paying your fair share, it's only being offered November 13, 20, and 27 and again on December 4, with a 72-hour booking that mentions the promotion. Drinks, tax, and tip are not included and reservations can be made at 760-320-4117.

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