You can already order a sampler-platter-style “flight” of beers, but why aren’t ALL foods available in “flight” form?


Some restaurants serve beers in “flights”: a “sampler pack” of several small servings of a variety of different beers (Figure 1).

Fig. 1: A “flight” of beers provides additional variety to the beer-drinking experience. Together, all of the small glasses usually add up to approximately one regular-sized glass of beer. But you get so much more variety!

The Issue:

Strangely, very few foods are available in this format, with a few common exceptions: sliders (tiny hamburgers), charcuterie-style meats, cheese platters, and the nebulously-defined “appetizer platter.”


More foods should be made available in the “flight” form factor (Figure 2)!  Although it is a bit more labor-intensive to serve a large number of small items than a single large item, the added diner-satisfaction will more than make up for this additional labor cost.

Fig. 2: A “flight” of dessert items (top) and a “flight” of sandwiches (bottom) would be other possibilities for serving in a “flight” fashion.

The best part is that many foods are already easily available in a miniaturized form (for example: petit fours = tiny cake), or the foods are discrete and could be easily served in a variety pack (e.g., curly fries + regular fries + waffle fries, instead of a large basket of only one style of fries)


The advantages are obvious. Here are some new “food → flight version” ideas:

  • Slice of cake → multiple petit fours
  • French fries regular, waffle-cut, curly, etc. 
  • Glass of carbonated soda multiple shot glasses of carbonated beverages
  • Regular single-style pasta → mix of rigatoni, spaghetti, bow-tie pasta, etc.

PROS: Adds to the dining experience, and may reduce over-eating (it’s much more psychologically compelling to continue wolfing down a single gigantic sandwich than to eat 6 small sandwiches).

CONS: Might increase in labor costs and ingredient-supply logistics.