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Portion control

February 4, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
I had a rather uncomfortable experience at a restaurant recently when I ordered a child-sized meal -- hamburger plate -- off the menu after explaining to the waitress that I didn't want a large meal. She suggested the smaller offering off the kids' menu. It was not real small but not the larger burgers on the menu either. After being served up the meal, it came to my attention that the chef was upset that an adult was ordering the kids' plate. There was somewhat of an uncomfortable scene made over this. I said I would be happy to pay more for the smaller burger -- not calling it a kids' plate -- but the chef was obviously just hearing none of it. Needless to say I was mortified. If I go back to that restaurant I now know what NOT to order. I appreciate restaurants that offer smaller portions like half a sandwich and a cup of soup rather than a larger bowl of soup. Same goes for salads. Love the side salads which are not usually overloaded with extra carbs and cheese. Many places provide a kids' menu, a regular menu and even a seniors' menu which offers smaller portions of most of the menu items. The idea that bigger is better seems to apply to everything but our waistlines. It's not the price of the larger meals I object to but the size. Most places are finding that offering their patrons more substitutions than the standard combo of sandwich and fries is better received. For instance if I want to substitute cottage cheese or some steamed veggies for the fries, I don't mind paying an extra buck or so to do that. We have a variety of places at which to dine in the Ohio Valley. Those who listen to their customers will be around for a long time.


Article Comments



Feb-17-13 6:35 AM

What's the problem with asking for a "doggie bag?" (or carrying a bag with you) You can warm things up and eat them later. NO COOKING! Don't worry. Cooked food sitting around at room temperature will not go bad before you get home.

Feb-05-13 2:45 PM

First of all, the chef should never embarrass a customer. If they don't want adults eating kids' portions, put that disclaimer on the menu. Offering a smaller version of a meal is a great idea, less waste is a good thing, and the price could be between the regular and kids' portions. Just makes good business sense. The chef should be fired for his behavior to a long time customer.


Feb-05-13 9:57 AM

I agree, we tend to overdo portions thinking more is better for business. Most seniors do not eat as much as they did at one time, so came forth the Senior Menu. Unfortunately not all restaurants offer the downsized meal or sandwich. Like you pointed out, offer the Kid's Menu under a different "heading" to those that wish a smaller portion and charge what you must.


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