Coke Solutions

Small Plates Deliver Big Experience

Hot dining trend leaves ample room for beverage choices

With today's consumers counting both pennies and calories, there's demand for more portion choices and creative ways to enhance the total meal experience. Foodservice operators have successfully responded with small plates, lunch portions and appetizers that double as entrées, as well as with sharable tapas and family meals. But a small plate doesn't have to come up short — for patrons or restaurateurs.

This dining trend delivers a big experience at reasonable prices, leaving consumers with money and appetite to reinvest in other menu items such as beverages and desserts. The popularity of small plates also reinforces that diners enjoy the social aspect of eating out — being with others as they try and share dishes. In other words, patrons value a total meal experience: great food and beverages, an emotional connection with family and friends, and an occasion to remember.

Get Big Results Out of the "Small" Trend
Foodservice operators can leverage this hot trend by pairing Coca-Cola beverages with hip dining options. Remember, most diners have a set amount of money to spend, so small plates provide an opportunity to include beverages in their order. Consider these additional tips:

  • Serve drinks by the pitcher
  • Offer beverages in bulk (bucket/basket of ice-cold Coca-Cola® for the table)
  • Pair small plates with small drinks (8-oz. glass or aluminum bottles are a great complement to tasting menus)
  • Promote beverage flights to accompany tapas and tasting menus 
  • Showcase specialty beverages that do double duty such as floats, smoothies, shakes and cocktails/mocktails 
  • Update seasonal menus with beverage/small plate pairings

Take advantage of this "small" opportunity to drive significant results: a total meal experience that diners can enjoy and greater restaurant profitability.

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Published: February 11, 2012