Smaller Portions, Higher Prices - How Does That Work?

Restaurants are popular. So popular, in fact, that they have been around, in some form or another, for centuries. And with thousands of restaurants in various cities, as well as culinary programs replenishing the talent, you can safely bet that restaurants aren’t going away any time soon. However, it’s worth addressing some trends you may have noticed.

Particularly, have you noticed that some restaurants have increased the prices on their meals and are simultaneously decreasing portion size? You may wonder, how does this happen? Why do they think it’s a good idea to charge more for less? It’s certainly a controversial decision. Some customers feel like they’re being ripped off. Other customers are actually just fine with it. But still, the question remains, how does this work?

It’s actually rather simple. It has a little to do with the recession. Restaurant inflation has occurred in the past due to sky-high oil prices, which affects the cost of every link along the supply chain. When coupled with the occasional crop failure, it can become difficult to provide the abundance of quality food you’re used to seeing. So, restaurants are paying more to get food. In the end they have to come up with some pretty clever creative thinking to compensate for money loss – or they just charge more on the menu and hope other elements of the dining experience compensate.

It’s also due in part to a marketing scheme. Some restaurants push smaller portions in favor of sharing with friends and family. It helps create a more memorable restaurant going experience. That’s ultimately what restaurants want -  returning customers. Some customers will chose to dine elsewhere, and that’s understandable; they want their money’s worth. But here’s something else to think of - are they really getting their money’s worth if they’re eating large portions or is there a lot of filler of lesser quality?

Let's not forget that high food prices come down to a simple matter of quality food ingredients. It would depend on how the food is grown and prepared before they're shipped off to the restaurant. Quality, memorable steak would be raised eating fresh, organic food, living in a free range environment. Any artificial chemicals or growth hormones are kept far away. The same applies for fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are grown with natural soils and sunlight, and farmers don't use any pesticides or chemicals that can interfere with the growth process. It's too easy to take short cuts to produce subpar products for the sake of a small price tag.

You shouldn’t worry about smaller portions. In fact, in culinary programs, they're embraced. Smaller portions are simply healthier. Smaller portions means smaller calorie intake, and that means less chance of obesity. When eating the right portions and not overdoing it, you are also giving your body sufficient energy to work throughout the day, or to enjoy the evening if it’s a dinner. And also, guess what? It maintains a healthy metabolism. Metabolism, of course, promotes weight loss.

Trends occur in the restaurant business for better or worse. What’s important to know is that trends are watched very closely. Many who enter the restaurant industry are ready to address these trends head on to continue providing the best possible service for their clientele.

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