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Foodservice Director: 5 lessons from the new restaurant world

Published: 04 Aug 2017

From big players to smaller local establishments, restaurants are rolling out new ways to offer diners tailored orders through customizable menuing. 

At Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab, the signature stone crab is menued in portions of five, six or seven per order, but staff will happily offer diners the option to sample a claw for a prorated market price—perfect for timid first-timers. Verts Mediterranean Grill has similarly allowed guests to buy just one meatball, normally sold as a trio as a main portion in its rice bowls, pitas, salads or wraps. 

Offering different portion sizes of classics or bundled options also gives consumers more ability to customize. McDonald’s rolled out the Grand Mac and Mac Jr. last fall, a larger and a smaller version of the original item. “Things like the Big Mac promotion drove a better product mix than the year before, which helped drive that average check,” CFO Kevin Ozan said in the company’s latest earnings call. 

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit offers package meals that fall between individual meals and larger servings typically offered as catering options, with three sizes: Picnic Pack, Family Pack and XL Family Pack, providing flexible portions for larger crowds and not just single diners. 

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