Cut portion sizes, then cut the prices

By James Pettican
Published March 4, 2007

Restaurateurs should learn to think outside the box. The box I'm referring to is the one that too many of us carry home after dining out because portion size is out of control. One nearby Italian cuisine establishment has more people leaving with boxes than without them.

I always try to look for positives, of course, and must admit that there is one here: When leftovers are sufficiently ample, you do not have to cook the next day.

However, this situation puts our eateries at odds with Uncle Sam, who is doing his best to fight the war against obesity and, at this stage, apparently losing.

A solution comes to mind that is probably much too simple for our complex, multitasking world: Cut the portions in half and just maybe, prices could be adjusted in parallel.

When you "take home a memory," it really shouldn't be a calorie-laden candidate for tomorrow's microwaving.

Instead, let it be a gadget, an artwork or a travel souvenir.

Fast-food joints, ever mindful of customer relations, have made some moves in the war against obesity by putting salads on their menus and diet sodas in their drink dispensers. Some of their salads are fairly tasty and stand out among the clustered cholesterol found elsewhere on their menus. Take it easy on the salad dressing, though.

I don't expect an epic shift in policies to come from my suggestion, but someone has to take the first step or raise the first fork.

Takeout now and then is a way to keep your wife or yourself out of the kitchen, but let's hope some daring entrepreneur will attempt to free us from boxes and high prices.

Retired journalist James Pettican lives in Palm Harbor.