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Putting Their Money Where You’re Mouth Is: What To Expect When You’re Eating Out

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The rising gas prices are not only affecting travel and recreation, it is also taking a toll on local leisure such as what we are shopping for and our dining habits.

And, both retailers and restaurants are feeling the repercussions. In fact, so much so that some are making significant alterations to their menus….and trying to get the most by giving the least to consumers.

1. According to statistics, restaurants typically spend between 25 and 40 per cent of their budges on food. But, with the faltering economy that’s a bigger chunk than ever before. And, that has led many culinary artists creating smaller portions for the same amount of money. For instance, burgers are being made smaller and shakes that could once be shared between two or three are actually being offered in single-serving sizes. And, some are even reportedly buying smaller dishware so that diners won’t notice the difference in portion sizes and the “lack” of value for their buck.

2. It’s a commonly known fact, among restauranteurs that the third item on the menu is the one most often ordered. And, now this knowledge is being used to entice diners to choose higher prices items. In addition, more costly choices may be assigned stars or boxes, making them stand out. And, you may also notice that prices get de-emphasized so that they aren’t the first priority.

3. Playing presto changes with ingredients is another common cost-saving strategy. For instance, culinary pros may replace higher quality meats with more mainstream varieties giving them an advantage. Also, less of your favourites, such as shrimp or chicken, may be added to your salad or pasta dish.

4. Compromising the “freshness” factor” means that you are not always getting what you pay for. Ordering veggies in bulk is simply cheaper and so is using frozen item in place of naturally fresh and costlier selections.

5. There’s no such thing as left-overs any more. According to industry experts, chefs are now making the most of everything. Left-over hamburger may be turned into chili, while yesterday’s Danish may be made into bread pudding.

6. Downsizing drinks is another money saving “trick”. And, if not on the size, on the alcohol content.

7. Many restaurants are buying cheaper brands or trying new ones, which often also means lower quality too

8. Cutting back on “the goods”, the paper goods that is. Cheaper quality means more profit.

9. Sneaking in price increases. While restaurants typically only raise their prices no more than twice a year many are beginning to make more changes along the way. And, they may also be cutting back on the variety they offer and the amount of menus they order.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Putting Their Money Where You’re Mouth Is: What To Expect When You’re Eating Out

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