Fortunately, my argument's premise is decisions based on the value of the food, nothing else.
Only because you keep insisting that everything except the price of the food somehow magically doesn't count. Kinda circular IMO.
That's what you're not understanding. I've said that several times. We buy things on whether or not something is a good value. Tax is NOT part of that value because that's regulated by the government, NOT by the person selling the product nor is the tax avoidable. No matter what you buy, you will have to pay tax and it will be the same rate.
False. I can buy all the ingredients for a steak dinner at the grocery store and make my own dinner. Guess what? No sales tax. I order the exact same dinner in a restaurant, I'm paying the cost for the decor, the service, for someone else to cook my meal, and the tax on the whole meal cost *and* a tip.. When making the decision to eat at said restaurant, I'm going to assess whether those extra costs are worth it. I'm going to take into account the fact that I don't have to cook it, the meal may very well be higher quality than I could cook at home, the value of the environment for a social occasion, etc.
Tax is absolutely avoidable when it comes to food. You *only* pay tax on food when someone else prepares it for you. You only pay tips on food when someone else serves it too you. Those are the costs (some of them anyway) of those things. Pretending they don't matter is pretty darn silly.
Furthermore, unless tips are already included, then they are completely optional. There is no law mandating that you pay 15%. If all you can afford to tip is 5%, then you tip 5%. Again, if that's the case, you probably shouldn't be eating out.
Sure. But I think you are grossly misunderstanding how people respond to things like higher costs for a meal.
Read above. It's not about " a few bucks", if you're paying for something that you believe is a good value, but you can't afford the tax or a worthy tip, then you are probably spending above your budget.
Do you understand the concept of a budget? If a few bucks pushes you over your budget, you'll find something else to buy that is under your budget. That might be a lower cost item on the menu at the same restaurant, it might be a meal at a different restaurant, or it might mean you just choose not to eat out in the first place. Any/all of these represent a decrease in revenue to the restaurant owner. This is not freaking rocket science here.
You're completely missing the point. It's not about "budget". It's about value. If I walk into a restaurant with $5k in my pocket, it doesn't mean that I don't care about the relative prices of the items on the menu. If I don't think that the steak at this restaurant is worth the $40 they're asking, I'm not going to order it.
Of course it's about value. That's what I keep saying. However, if the tax and tip on a fair value meal will affect your budget, then you are spending too much money.
I'll repeat my observation that you and I have completely different concepts of "budget". You seem to think budget means what you can afford
. I think budget means what you are willing to pay
. Smart people tend to set budgets for things that are well below what they can actually afford. They do this because if they don't, then they will always spend the maximum they can afford, and will never be able to save up any money.
This is why I said that anyone who budgets based on what he can afford will not be able to afford much.
Does the reason why its overprice matter?
In the context of this discussion, if the reason is because the employer is paying the waitstaff a higher wage and expecting their customers to tip, then it absolutely does matter.
And every single dollar involved in that calculation is involved in that calculation. Obviously, since tax and tip are relative to menu price, which number I'm using directly doesn't matter. But it does matter if I'm considering whether I want to eat out at a restaurant in the first place.
Unless it's your first time going to a restaurant, then you know the average meal range. I'm not going to go to a dine in restaurant with a $10 budget. Yes, you can buy something, but at some point, you would have to use the common sense factor. With a $10 budget, you would get more for your money at a fast food restaurant. That concept applies to other restaurants.
So what? Nothing you are babbling on about actually addresses what I'm saying. WTF? If the cost of the meal is more than you're willing to pay, then you wont pay it. Thus, if an increase in base pay for the waitstaff across the board reduces by even some small amount the number of people willing to pay for those meal, the employer will lose money. I'm not sure why this is so hard for you to grasp.