Forget Tomorrow, what about Today?

I’m not a huge fan of Maggiano’s.* I don’t see eye-to-eye with restaurants that serve gigantic portions that leave diners with an awkward choice: overeat, waste food or take it home (especially since some folks don’t like leftovers or aren’t going straight home, etc.).

Now comes news of a new Maggiano’s promotion: Today and Tomorrow. You order from a list of $12.95 entrees and they send you home with another entree, gratis, packed and ready to go when you are.

photo by ivanlanin via creative commonsNow this deal could be a real boon in these tight times. I would guess that some of us could get at least four meals out of those two entrees. And I get that people are looking for value. But the tone on Maggiano’s site is all wrong and reinforces the whole gluttony thing:

“Trust me, in Little Italy, less definitely isn’t more.”

Ugh. And do they reserve prime parking spaces for Hummers, too? I’d rather see more restaurants go in the direction of smaller portions for less money.

Flipping the curmudeon switch into overdrive, my main beef with the promotion is the use of the word ‘leftover’ in the press release.

Some say the recession is causing a new generation of Americans to eat a dish they’ve never eaten before: the leftover. ‘Today & Tomorrow’ re-invents the leftover, with a free meal that is world-class quality and made fresh daily to take home,” said Steve Provost, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Maggiano’s.

The thing is, they’re not re-inventing leftovers, but superseding them with an entirely new dish. And I’m guessing that will make more diners decline to take home the sure-to-exist remains of their first entree. And what about those weirdos (kidding!) who dislike leftovers–what will they do with this second meal?

What do you think: Will Today and Tomorrow make diners snobbier about what foods are worth taking home? Or will it train those not already in the habit of taking home restaurant food to do so?

* See comments below for an update–I dislike Maggiano’s less knowing that they offer half portions.

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