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