Supersizing in the Restaurant

New York times had an interesting article on how TGIFriday’s is bucking the trend of super sizing portions at dining establishments. Called “Right Size” most portions are 40% smaller. But at only a third less, will consumers go for it?

The article points out that this restaurant isn’t the first to do this. Restaurants often have smaller portions on the menu, but most diners look over these products because they aren’t a value. People prefer to have extra food left on their plate…even if that mean they will eat significantly more in the process.

Some portions at fast-food restaurants are now two to five times larger than those of the 1950s, researchers have found.

Even in this culture of obesity, restaurants are still upping the ante.

  • Cheesecake Factory, changed from round plates to ovals so it could pile on more food.
  • Rather than introduce an extra-large size, Wendy’s renamed it’s renowned Biggie — 32 oz or 4 normal services — as simply medium. The new Biggie is now 45 oz.
  • And BK’s manly tagline “I am hungry. I am incorrigible. I am man” gives us the 1200 calorie burger. Hey, at least they are using SAT words.
  • But even fat-ass BK won’t be outdone by Hardee’s with their 1420 calorie Monster Burger and only 107 grams of fat per serving. That’s nearly twice the prescribed FDA recommended daily value. But don’t worry you are getting 110% of your daily serving of protein. I’d rather have the protein water I drink after a work-out that gives me 20grams of protein and only 80 calories. But that must make me unmanly.

So, the big portion isn’t going anywhere soon. If you are going out to eat, ask for a “to-go” container with the dish. Immediately put half into it and put it to the side. And then dig in. If you are still hungry after dinner, eat the rest after waiting 20 minutes. If not (and you probably won’t), you have another meal packed and ready to go.

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