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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 124 of my GMU Econ colleague Tyler Cowen’s splendid 2002 book, Creative Destruction (original emphasis):

Wolfgang Puck now has restaurants in several American cities, including one in O’Hare Airport in Chicago, and for a while had one in Mexico City.  In part, these restaurants are selling the celebrity of the chef through a brand name.  Whatever we may think of this dumbing down to a celebrity-hungry audience, the process supports excellent cooking.  Often the chef invests only a small amount of time and effort in running the restaurant, but plays a role comparable to a “celebrity endorser.”  The chef puts his reputation on the line by attaching his name to the restaurant and telling potential patrons that the food is good.  Branches of this sort tend to be innovative, independent establishments in their own right, even if their link to the food style of the endorsing chef is a marginal one.

Brand names, by enabling the lucrative practice of branching, raise the initial rewards for creativity.


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