Small Step for Waste, Giant Leap for Restaurants

I have to give credit where it’s due. I’ve railed against restaurants for putting profits ahead of waste avoidance and health. I doubted whether any restaurant would lower prices and portion size. Well, T.G.I. Friday’s has done just that with their “Right Portion, Right Price” menu.

Not surprisingly, the March 6 press release illustrates that the initiative is not about waste, but waists. I’m not surprised that there’s no mention of reducing wasted food because I’ve seen this issue fly under the radar for some time. Whether it’s intentional or not, these smaller entrees will cut the amount of food going to dumpsters, especially if the menu becomes popular.

According to T.G.I., consumer feedback was vital. “This is a category issue stemming from consumer demand. The category needs to listen,” said Richard Snead, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants said in a press release. “We are listening.” Maybe if we all suggest similar campaigns to other restaurants we’ll get more ‘human-sized’ portions.

Granted, this idea is mostly about publicity. It’s also an attempt to make money–T.G.I. is branding the promotion as an excuse to eat out on less popular weeknights. But there’s nothing wrong with making a buck. If smaller entrees are profitable, other restaurants may follow suit.

As for the new meal options, it makes so much sense that you can now get a half rack of ribs. But I’m not so sure about the cedar-seared salmon; I usually prefer my fish without wood. Cedar notwithstanding, kudos to T.G.I. Friday’s.

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