Portion overload


When dining out, it’s very common to receive a portion that is far too large to finish in one sitting. For restaurants that have a large percentage of customers who are on vacation or tend to visit before a movie or other event, this means a lot of food is left behind. While some restaurants donate their leftovers to a local food bank, the majority of restaurants just throw it away.

I ran into the giant portion problem at a breakfast place last weekend. The normal serving of pancakes was so big that my wife and I couldn’t come close to finishing it, and we had no way to take home the leftovers. To help prevent this waste, I would like to see restaurants give you a heads-up about dishes that come in gigantic serving sizes. Then, let the customer substitute part of the oversized portion for something less filling, like receiving a cup of fruit instead of the final pancake.

Whether they handle this via text on the menu itself or just train the servers to mention it, providing an extra degree of choice would help customers avoid daunting portions — and prevent the remorse that comes from leaving good food behind.