NutriPro Portion Awareness - On the menu

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mastering the menu: Simple ways to offer portion size guidance to guests

While guests inevitably make their own choice of what to eat  and drink, what they order is heavily influenced by the layout of  the menu. The menu can be constructed to inform, guide and  encourage diners toward smaller portion sizes and nutritious  options. Here are a few ideas to try:
  • Offer choices: smaller portions, half portions, kids’ portions,  and alternative side dishes.
  • Promote sampling, sharing and/or tapas menus for the  whole table to enjoy.
  • Inform guests by providing simple and transparent nutritional  information on the menu.
  • Promote healthier items such as vegetable sides or salad  by highlighting certain menu items: Chef’s recommended  pairing, Chef’s choice, Signature item, etc.


A sense of connection

The idea of sharing plays into something else diners crave while  eating out: a social connection. A full 69 percent of consumers  report that dining with friends contributes to a fun, exciting  restaurant experience.1 Small plates, samplers, and sharable  items can encourage this kind of interactive meal while serving  up smaller portion sizes.

A culinary experience

These days, some diners are more interested in exploring the  menu than filling their stomachs. One study showed that 70  percent of customers order shareable meals so they can try  more than one item on the menu.1 Offering smaller portion sizes  allows them to indulge without overeating. To meet evolving  expectations, some restaurants are offering alternative portion sizes, including “bites,” samplers, and small plates.

At your service

To promote quality of food over quantity, train service staff to  highlight key attributes of each meal. For example, ask them to  call attention to specific flavours and textures, or the provenance  of special ingredients—whether local or exotic.
1Technomic, 2012