mp (plural mps)
- Initialism of market price – written on menus instead of a price to mean the price charged depends on the price of supplies, which may vary.
- Ribeye steak – $20; Pork chop – $15; Lobster – mp
Particularly used for seafood, especially lobster and oysters, due to seasonality and volatile prices. Used to avoid having to update the menu as prices change, and also functions to avoid listing a particularly high price. An alternative, particularly found at seafood restaurants, is to use a chalkboard so that prices can easily be updated. Similarly, daily specials may be written on a chalkboard or listed orally by a server.
Using mp is formally only only correct if the price of a dish changes because the price of ingredients changes (as for seafood), not if the price of the dish changes due to the composition changing (as on a cheese platter), for which aq (“as quoted”) should properly be used instead, as the more general term. However, aq is relatively little-used and unfamiliar, while mp is far more often used and more familiar.