Small Plates. Big Business.

Small Plates. Big Business.

Food & Drink

Small Plates. Big Business.


By Cari Martens

The trend toward smaller restaurant portions still looms large, influenced by America’s obesity epidemic and championed by chains such as T.G.I. Friday’s with its ‘Right size, right price’ promotion.

Down-sized tapas-style choices have become increasingly popular in a number of chains recently, as reported by Monica Rogers in Chain Leader magazine.

The Cheesecake Factory is one of several that have responded to guest interest in building a meal tapas-style with small plates. Vice-President of Culinary Development Bob Okura has created a bar menu of snack-sized samplings of top-selling core menu items. Cheesecake Factory is now testing a small-plates section for the main dining room as well with such choices as Stuffed Mushrooms, Sweet Corn Fritters, and Ahi Tuna Tartare with Fresh Avocado.

Bonefish Grill, a Tampa, Fla.-based chain, has also experienced significant growth in the small plates section of its menu. The 150-unit chain has responded by adding petite cuts of fish including Grilled Gulf Grouper, Snake River Rainbow Trout and Chilean Sea Bass.

Orlando, Fla.-based Season’s 52 debuted a steak-and-mushroom kebab a few month’s back for guests who want to trim their intake of red meat.

Goes to show those who think small can sometimes make it big.

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