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The Big Money behind Tiny Foods

Bruce Horovitz at USA Today reported that Houlihan’s just introduced 23 small-plate items and California Pizza Kitchen rolled out small cravings items that top at $4.99. In the past several years, restaurants have been trying to put small items like mini burgers, bite-size dessert, and sampler platter on the menu. “Downsizing” becomes another big trend in restaurants because tiny foods can bring in big bucks.

Downsizing items can appeal to customers in a variety of ways. For example:
1. Smaller portion can make “unhealthy” choice become less “harmful” --- people may feel less “guilty” or more comfortable by having small portion of snacks or dessert.
2. Smaller portion often means a smaller price tag --- this sounds perfect during recession.
3. Customers may feel more willing to try new bite-size items --- finally, people don’t need to find somebody to share food or dessert with them.

Of course, down-sizing does not mean “cheap.” Plate presentation and the quality of food are still very important. The best-selling tiny item at Houlihan’s is the $3.50 mini burgers. What are the most popular downsizing items in your restaurant?

References:
Freep.com: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04262010
The picture was copied from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04262010P

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