In Ireland, when customers don’t finish their main course, the server takes away their plates and automatically brings a dessert menu. Rarely is the customer asked if everything was ok. Obviously this is not the type of service you as a bar owner wants. If the customer hasn’t finished their meal, then you want to know why. Remedying the situation there and then is certainly the preferred route.
Then look at how a similar situation is dealt with in the United States. A customer doesn’t finish their meal and a polystyrene box is offered to take the remains of the meal home. A dessert menu is not offered as standard.
Which is the better option? Well in my opinion, they both have their faults and here’s why.
In Ireland, as I mentioned, the opportunity to find out what the problem was with the meal has been lost, but on the other hand, the server has increased revenue potential by offering a dessert menu.
In the US, the server has seemingly given good service by offering a box to take everything home, but rarely knows if this is because the portions are too big or the meal was bad. AND no dessert revenue opportunities.
Here’s my thought on boxes:
They need to be considered carefully
Why? Well for a start, if you are sending 50 customers a night home with boxes of food then you have a serious portion control problem. Few of those customers will have gone out to eat in the hopes of taking home a boxed dinner. Most want an enjoyable meal IN your bar or restaurant.
Have you ever seen the size of the portions in the Cheesecake Factory? It should be called the Box Factory for all the customers leaving with boxes. The portions are ridiculously big and unnecessary.
You can still charge the same by reducing your portion sizes if everyone is taking their meal home afterwards. You should keep an eye on the number of boxes used each day in addition to checking the plates that come back from the tables at the end of the meal. Some smart bar owners even check the garbage bags to see what’s being thrown away.
Reduced Portion Sizes + Fewer Polystyrene Boxes Purchased = More Profit & Happy Customers
Try it out and let me know your thoughts. That’s it for now. I need to finish the meal I brought home from the Cheesecake Factory last night….
P.S. Check out the Cheesecake Factory Website here. Very creative use of their website. I haven’t seen anything similar before.