Coffee shop pricing on South Lamar


I moved to the South Lamar area a few months ago. I’ve decided to at least occasionally go back to working at coffee shops.

On days when I don’t have any reporting gigs to take me out of the house, being alone for eight hours straight can be weird (this reinforces my belief that solitary confinement is immoral and should be ruled unconstitutional).

Anyway, there are two coffee shops right nearby: Irie Coffee & Patika. On a practical level, Irie is leaps and bounds better. A large coffee is 50 cents cheaper ($2.75 vs $3.25) and a refill is $0.75 vs $2.17. More importantly, I’ve never encountered WiFi issues at Irie, while at least twice WiFi has been nonexistent at Patika.

And yet, Patika seems to be consistently full. Part of that might have to do with its attractive indoor and outdoor space. But I think it also demonstrates the shortcoming of rational choice theory in explaining economic behavior. There’s a big portion of the population that spends on coffee without thinking, including people who don’t have enough money to spend unthinkingly on coffee.

While I think that consistently bad WiFi will have an impact on Patika’s business in the long-run, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has no problem charging much more for coffee than its competitor across the street.

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