Size matters, but not in the way we’ve been conditioned to think, a small plate holds big opportunity. As a cultural movement, the small plate trend represents a way to add some fun your guests’ busy, stop-and-go lifestyles. Quick to prepare and eat or share, small plate dishes offer customers a welcome but manageable break for delicious food that fits in with the rest of their day. From busy professionals to college students, a small plate meal is much easier to squeeze into your schedule.
In a recent article in Greenville Online, Small Plates Big Food Trend, Elizabeth Sims, marketing director of the Tupelo Honey Café in Ashville, North Carolina, outlines the restaurant’s experience with adding small plates. Bottom Line: Small plates are driving up the restaurant’s check average.
Technomic is even encouraging restaurateurs to “think small” since, “1 in 4 consumers want more snack, small plates at dinner and late night.”
Date night also benefits from the small plate strategy. According to Technomic, at least 30 percent of women consumers said they wished to see small plate options when going out for dinner. Small plate dishes are also a great opportunity to provide a fun way to try new things and share food. Cucumber and Melon Skewers are great for a date night appetizer to begin the evening, or play on guests’ sense of adventure through a variety of new choices, such as Marzetti’s Bacon Ranch Crab Cakes.
Not only does utilizing small plates make the most out of the consumer experience, but the kitchen also sees benefit. Upstart Business Journal reveals how a small plate strategy offers a cost-effective alternative for restaurateurs and foodservice directors on a number of fronts:
1. Less waste by using smaller cuts of meat and seafood
2. Kitchen flexibility, since each plate goes out as it is ready instead of having to wait in queue for other dishes at its table to be finalized
3. By ordering more food that arrives at irregular intervals, customers invariably order more drinks.
4. Small plate dishes are a proven tool for upselling
Get the most out of your menu with small menu options. Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (shown) or Apple Onion Pizza is sure to catch the eye of customers looking for something new. Do spicy foods hold a special place in your menu’s heart? Spicy Ahi on Crisp would best suit your needs. Whatever your flavor, Marzetti® has you covered on your menu and on your budget.