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Restaurants Experimenting with Smaller Portions

Restaurants Experimenting with Smaller Portions



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Andrew Adams ReportingForget "super-size me," the next generation of dining portions may carry the theme, "smaller-size me." It all depends how the concept sells. It's being tried out at some restaurant chains.

At the TGI Friday's in Provo the cooks are busy preparing the restaurant's new line of entrees.

Slaymaker group president Don Morehouse says, "Actually, our most popular dish has been our cedar-seared salmon."

It's part of Friday's "right size" menu. Morehouse says it's an experiment to see if customers will bite into smaller sizes at smaller prices.

"It is a significant part of our entrees that are sold. We're up to about 20 percent of our entrees are these items," Morehouse said.

Huge restaurant portions are what Jessica Perri says got her in trouble. She says she gained 80 pounds. "It's really easy to just sit down and just keep putting it in your mouth because it's in front of you," she said.

Laurel Wight says, "You think you have to eat everything because you paid for it. It would be nice to pay a little less and just get less food."

Wright brings us back to Friday's. The owners say six months in, their "right-size" menu appears to be working. So why aren't more restaurant chains doing it?

Morehouse says, "I don't know if they will. It's a dangerous way to go in terms of what happens to your average check."

At Morehouse's restaurants, though, it's about up-side. "You have to understand that you have to be in this for the long-term. You have to believe that this is what the guest wants, or at least 20 percent of ‘em, or 25 percent of ‘em, or whatever that number is, and then hope that they'll come in more often."

If the experiment is successful, he says expect to see more petite servings dished out at restaurants near you.

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