Tom’s Bistro’s soft opening didn’t go well, so he thinks it’s time to quit. Even though Ron recommends sticking it out, Tom is phased by the sunk cost fallacy; he loves quitting! April comes to the rescue and convinces him to at least try a full opening.
Craig has to keep it together in the face of very strange requests during his interview to be the sommelier for Tom’s Bistro. While professional sommelier’s are known for being able to pair wines and meals, they must maintain their composure when customers ask for something different. While some may have odd preferences, its important to respect others’ utility functions.
Ben and Tom aren’t happy with the high tent prices and add-ons at one tent rental shop, so they try to go to a competitor only to find that all of the tent rental places have the same owner who is happy to exploit his market power. While the owner tries to differentiate their product through branding, they have essentially monopolized central Indiana’s tent rental industry.
Ron’s chair becomes popular after being featured in Bloosh, and Annabelle wants to talk about licensing his designs and scaling up production. Instead of having each handmade by Ron Swanson, they can be mass-produced by foreign labor.
Tom gets an offer that someone is interested in buying his business. After some though, Tom chooses not to sell his clothing rental business and then finds out that the potential buyer will now try to drive him out of business by setting up across the street. Monopolistic competition allows for easy entry and exit into a market that is profitable and results in a reduction in long term profits. This is also a good example of the Hotelling Model where similar firms setup near each other to split the market.
See more: barriers to entry, demand shifts, duopoly, free lunch, hotelling model, imperfect competition, invisible hand, marketing, mergers, monopolistic competition, NSTAFL, product differentiation, supply shifts, zero profit
Tom incentives the department to come to his club and try his newest drink by threatening to place them on his “done-zo” list. The Parks Department decides to go to the Snake Hole Lounge to try Tom’s new drink, but instead they all have a bit too much and go through the next day feeling terrible. One of the other issues shown in this video is diminishing marginal utility. As the night goes on, each member of the group gets a bit happier, but they eventually peak and see negative returns the next morning.
See more: decreasing utility, diminishing returns, externalities, health economics, negative externalities, negative utility, private benefits, private costs, social benefits, social costs, unintended consequences, utility maximization
Tom fancies himself an entrepreneur and lists off a variety of different business ideas he has. Throughout the series, Tom comes up with different business ideas, but this is just a subset of his ideas that he names during the premier of his alcoholic beverage, Snake Juice. Most of his ideas though are really just variances of other products so Tom is focusing on differentiating the businesses to serve niche markets.
Neighboring city, Eagleton, has decided to build a fence around a small park they used to share with the citizens of Pawnee. Throughout the episode, we learn of various quality-of-life factors that Eagleton excels in relative to Pawnee. Things like obesity, height, income, wealth, and life expectancy are all much higher than in Pawnee, and the citizens of Eagleton want to keep it that way.
Tom wants to look good, and smell good, for Jessica Newport so he decides to sit for a few minutes in his “cologne cloud.” The smell is so overpowering though that Leslie needs to exit the car immediately. While Tom feels be benefits are worth the smell, Leslie isn’t a fan of the external effects.
The Parks Department is hosting a BBQ in the local park. Ron decides to bring a pig to the park because he wants people to see their food before consuming it. He is not allowed to because it is against the law and violates health codes despite his beliefs that he should be allowed to as the Parks Department director.