Saturday, September 8, 2007

Restaurant Portion Control

Andy and I just returned from a nice vacation in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. Ever since our marriage there in the summer of 1999, Three Lakes has been a special place to us and we always have so much fun. This time was no exception…great weather, beautiful scenery and as always good food.

On this trip we tried out a few new restaurants and ate WAY too much. One thing I notice in the north woods is the portions are huge. Wouldn’t it be nice if restaurants offered a choice of portion size? The large portions served at most restaurants are usually the only option available. You may think to order off the kiddie menu, but that food is usually boring and not healthy at all (i.e fried chicken fingers, fried corn dogs, fried hamburger, macaroni and cheese, etc.) Some may think, just take the leftovers to go, but not everyone has that kind of self control, especially if the food is really good. Smaller portions, priced accordingly would be a great option. For example:

Pasta dishes - Some places serve as much as a pound of pasta per serving. Unless you are an athlete who needs to carbo load, that is way too much.

Specialty salads - Most are huge with as much as a whole head of lettuce in one serving. Can you imagine using that much at home when you are the cook?

Meat entrees - I notice that a lot of servings are two pieces of meat such as pork chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, etc. Sure a hungry hunter just in from the woods wants a big meal, but a 105 lb city girl could get about three meals out of those portion sizes.

I write this from the perspective of a person that goes out to eat a lot. There are many out there that do not get the chance to go out on a regular basis and probably think large portions are great. All I want is the option to order less. I know that it would be extra work for the restaurant owners and menus would need to be a bit more complex, but options are good for us as the consumer. Restaurateurs shouldn’t forget the key to a successful restaurant is happy and satisfied customers. Providing more options just might be the key to keeping them coming back again and again.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

I completely agree! It would be nice to have the option of a smaller portion size.