Too Much of a Good Thing

Years ago, when we were living in San Antonio, a new restaurant opened up near us, nestled into a stand of live oak trees.  We couldn’t wait to try it, and my husband and I even brought a friend with us.  The food was good, but a little pricey, especially since the portions were so small, we found the three of us fighting each other for the last roll to fill our still rumbling stomachs.

Nowadays, of course, restaurants give you your money’s worth and then some.  The portions are way too much for most people to eat without feeling stuffed.  My husband and I have taken to splitting a meal, not to save money, but because we don’t want to have food thrown away.  If we’re going home right after dinner, we could take the leftovers with us, but usually we’re going shopping or to a movie and the food wouldn’t keep.

Why can’t restaurants give smaller portions and charge less?  I don’t think they would lose money because maybe more people would go out to eat and people like my husband and me would each order their own meal instead of sharing.  In this economy it makes more sense.  Plus, it’s not like we’re a nation of skinny minnies and skinny guys, is it?

Recently, my nephew in California went to a restaurant called Chevys with a 2-for-1 coupon for a combo meal.  He ordered his first combo meal and waited to place his free order after he ate, as the waitress suggested, since he was going to take it home instead of eating it there.  When the waitress took his second combo order, my nephew said he just wanted the rice, beans, and the corn dessert.  When his check came, he was dismayed he had been charged for those items.  He complained, and both the waitress and manager said company policy is that, in order to use the 2-for-1 coupon, the customer has to take everything that is coming to him, and that includes the tacos and chiles.  In other words, neither the manager nor the waitress cared that, had my nephew taken everything, he would have thrown a large portion of it away.  Into the garbage.  While homeless people go hungry.  While children can’t wait until school starts so they can get free breakfast and lunch.  While mothers watch their babies starve to death.  Every day.

My nephew was so upset, he submitted a comment on the company’s website contact form, explaining what transpired.  Here is his last paragraph:

“Your company does a nice job of making calorie information available to the consumer, as well as consolidated information on how to make healthy choices from the menu.  Why can’t it be responsible here as well?  Your policy makes true all the American stereotypes of excess and waste, embarrassing all of us.”

Well said, nephew.  I’m waiting to hear their response.  If any.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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22 Responses to Too Much of a Good Thing

  1. Leah says:

    This is great and good for your nephew! Keep us posted on the reply. And by the way, I can’t stand Chevys!

  2. So let me see if I understand this…my cousin wanted to use his coupon to take less food than the restaurant offered, meaning they were getting to keep more profit? Yes, that makes perfect sense to me too.

  3. Amy says:

    Waste is so ubiquitous in our society. It makes me wonder… We need more smart young men like your nephew. Thanks to him!

  4. huffygirl says:

    Don’t get me started Susan – I never turn down a chance to rant on overly-large restaurant portions, cheese and the American obesity epidemic! I could go on (and on) but you really have said it all. Enough – half of our population is either overweight or obese; use of cholesterol-lowering medicine has become so common that we might as well put it in the water supply; type-two diabetes is at epidemic proportions, and is partly the reason I have job. And the food industry has discovered the secret to making food addictive – adding layers of fat, sugar, and salt so we’ll keep coming back for more. As a country, we should be ashamed, very ashamed.

  5. Patti Ross says:

    Thanks for posting. It is absolutely insane how much food is wated in America. And how automatic the over abundance and thus waste is in the daily routines of restaurants. I am impressed with your nephew taking a stand–would that we all follow his lead. Keep up posted on the response, if any.

    About your earthquake–I am glad you enjoyed it. I live in CA and do enjoy them (or at least am not freaked by them)–at least the ones that do not bring major damage. It is amazing what one gets used to.

    • comingeast says:

      Yes, I am very proud of my nephew. He is a special young man and his auntie loves him. About the earthquake, you must think it was quite a small one compared to what you’re used to, but I’ve never felt one before. I imagine it can be pretty scary where you are sometimes. Now we are awaiting more news on Hurricane Irene. From the projections right now, we may score a pretty direct hit, but that can change as she gets closer.

  6. Margie says:

    Not only are the portion sizes huge, vegetables are almost non-existent! There are so many ways to serve a portion of veggies without dishing out some wilted lettuce and a high fat dressing.

  7. Way to go, nephew!! It boggles my mind and makes my blood boil to think about all the food that is wasted each day in our country when all over the world people are starving. I agree restaurants should offer us smaller portions; why don’t they get that?

    On another subject, glad to hear you’re weren’t impacted too much by the quake this afternoon. When I heard it was in VA, I thought of you! We felt a tremor up here in the north too. When my desk starting shaking at work, it surprised me. But even though I’d experienced a mild earthquake when we lived in the Pacific Northwest and a tremor while visiting California, I didn’t even THINK it was a quake….until my co-workers freaked out a little and my daughter called my cell to see if I felt the quake. :-0

    • comingeast says:

      It was my first experience, but I knew right away what it was, it was so distinctive. Never thought we would get one that strong here. I’m sure California people are saying, “You wimps! You call that strong?”

  8. I sometimes feel we have become a nation of nonthinkers…logic is right out the door. Greg and I go to a restaurant that gives you a basket full of breadsticks with every meal. Every time I request we only receive 2 breadsticks, they say “sure” but it’s never happened yet. I agree with you about restaurants serving smaller portions, It’s quite obvious as a nation we need to learn moderation in lots of areas – let’s start here. Please follow up with another post if Chevy responds.

    Been thinking about you this morning. Just heard about the earthquake in Virginia.

    • comingeast says:

      It was so cool, LDC! I was sitting on my couch when it started to sway. Then the blinds were swaying and the chandelier over the kitchen table. I knew immediately that it was an earthquake, but couldn’t believe it! I know California people are used to it, but I had never felt one before.

      • Figures you would say it was cool – I sense you are sort of an adventurous type. LOL It’s the kind of thing that always takes your breath away even if you can forget it 2 minutes later.

      • comingeast says:

        What are you saying about me, LDC? Me, the adventurous type? Au contraire, my friend. Well, okay, when it comes to earthquakes and storms, I sort of get excited.

  9. Your nephew knows the meaning of responsibility. Isn’t responsibility the ability to respond to a given situation? He responded to his feelings on this, followed through and gave a sensible response.

  10. That is absolutely crazy. I’m glad he submitted a complaint. so many times we just take whatever a company dishes out and we never say a word. Maybe if we took action something really would change. And you are so right about the portions and cost.

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