Smaller Portions at Restaurants

I may be crazy, but I would really love to see more portion options at restaurants. Specifically, I think it’d be really great to see 1/2 or 1/4 size portions available for all entrees on the menu. These could serve two primary purposes:

First, many people don’t want as much food as the default offers. Maybe I’m not that hungry tonight…maybe it’s just the restaurant has huge portions. In either case I think a lot of people would like this option.

The second is for people that can’t decide between multiple dishes or want to have more variety. I’ve definitely had occasions where I’d love to have 2 different entrees and being able to order 2 different 1/2 orders would make a lot of sense to me.

Many other industries are moving to more personalization and more options. I really think this relatively minor change could have a significant impact on the restaurant business. Who wouldn’t love the ability to better customize their portions or mix and match food?

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11 Responses to Smaller Portions at Restaurants

  1. Nick says:

    I agree. Many restaurants are adding healthy options, but the portions are still huge. You can eat healthy, but if you are eating 2-3 times what a serving size should be, that isn't really healthy. We wonder why America is so overweight!

  2. clemmonsm says:

    Couldn't agree more. I'm no expert on restaurant margins (I assume they're small for food), but you'd think that smaller portion options would allow for higher margins. If a full portion cost $14, I don't think it would be out of line to ask for $8-9 for a half portion.

  3. maya says:

    I have been struggling with this issue for years. YEARS. I still try to order from the kid's menu. Most of the time, they'll let me if my husband orders an adult meal. I fit in perfectly in Asia because the portions they serve are half the size as here. I even go as far as asking for 1/2 or 2/3 of the plate and pay for the whole thing, so I won't have to throw it out. I always go home with a doggie bag. Needless to say I don't do "all you can eat" buffets. The last time I went to one I had a cup of soup.

  4. warwickp says:

    Agreed. Went to the Cheesecake Factory once for breakfast. The omelet they served me must have been created with 16 eggs. It was big enough for at least 3 people. No portion options. My other pet peeve in the USA is pasta sauces. Not their existence per se, but the fact that you can seemingly _only_ buy them in these 4 gallon jars in the supermarket. I want enough to make a single meal, and not have to keep this half used bottle in the fridge for a week and then trash it when I forget which president was in power when I bought it.

  5. Mark says:

    yeh i can agree with that, half portions would be great for when u can decide between 2 or 3 meals

  6. teresamerica says:

    I agree!! I have worked at restaurants and they don't give different portion options. Although, I don't know how hard or confusing it would be for the cook to get used to preparing different portions. In some restaurants there is different salad portions, so it shouldn't be that hard. Although, do you think a person would want to receive half a steak or half a chicken? They may not be able to offer different sized portions due to health regulations. But, with pasta this accommodation would be easy. Hopefully, there can be something worked out in regard to different size portions.

  7. William Odem says:

    I agree too. I want that upsize option, but only not a fast food. You can find deals and coupons for restaurants at and save if that helps. I use it and save on restaurants here in virginia beach, va. Hope that helps!

  8. Written at the begining of the year yet still very relevant, you should add your twitter link, ill follow for sure 🙂

  9. My Review says:

    More than that, I think it should be encouraged

  10. I agree, it has to be encouraged!