Should Restaurants Start Giving Us Fewer Choices?

498595639

498595639

Photo by: ShotShare

ShotShare

To be on the safe side, it might be best to consider going out and eating your favorite restaurant meal sooner rather than later. If your go-to local eatery follows the example of the big fast-casual chains and advice from the restaurant-management service Upserve, it will dramatically scale back the number items offered on its menu. How dramatically? By around 70 percent.

That’s because, according to data compiled by Upserve, only 16 percent of the items on a typical restaurant menu account for a startling 80 percent of its sales, Eater reports.

Consequently, a bigger menu may not be better for a restaurant’s bottom line, Rosie Atkins, Upserve’s vice president for product told Eater. She recommends that restaurateurs, in the name of efficiency, assess each menu item’s popularity and experiment with eliminating those that are neither big sellers nor essential to the restaurant’s brand.

It isn’t the first time Upserve has preached a minimalist approach to menu design. It recommends limiting options to no more than seven menu items per category (appetizer, entree, dessert). “The best restaurant menus account for the theory of ‘paradox of choice,’” the company has noted. “The more options we have, the more anxiety we feel.”

Upserve also advises against the use of dollar signs (too painful), small font sizes (too hard to read) and giant formats (too unwieldy) as well as the overuse of photos. (One photo per page is apparently ideal.) It also suggests restaurants provide plenty of white space around high-profit-margin items, in order to attract customers’ attention.

Of course, all that white space won’t be a problem if restaurants cut 70 percent of their menu items in the name of minimalism.

Photo: iStock

Next Up

Why You Should Give Pale Veggies a Chance

Health experts keep telling us to eat the rainbow, but according to one recent report, we should be eating more pale produce.

Kitchen Storage Spots You're Not Using (and Totally Should Be)

Here are all the secret spaces you've been ignoring.

Should You Be Using Avocado Oil Instead of Olive Oil?

We taste tested and cooked with avocado oil to see if it beats out olive oil for a spot in our pantry.

I Started Using Good Olive Oil — and I'm Never Going Back

In this case, you definitely get what you pay for.

What to Watch: Restaurant: Impossible Gives Back for the Holidays

In this special holiday episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine takes on the challenge of revitalizing a Boys and Girls Club in tornado-hit Joplin, Mo.

Food News: McDonald's Giving Out Apples on Halloween

A few McDonald's locations in California are handing out apple slices instead of candy this year. Is this a trick or a real treat?

Giving Thanks for Turkey Suits — Alton's After-Show

Watch Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen: Alton's After-Show hosted by Alton Brown.

Snacks with 200 Calories (or Fewer!)

Having a snack attack? Forgo the last minute trip to the vending machine and be prepared when hunger strikes with these snacks for fewer than 200 calories.