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Tom Douglas, owner of a dozen Seattle restaurants and national restaurateur of the year, wants to start serving smaller portions. It has nothing to do with the ongoing recession or rising food prices. It’s about food going uneaten.
“Twenty-five to 30 percent of the food we serve goes in the garbage can,” he said. “It just seems like such a huge waste.” The issue is particularly galling for Douglas because he is a board member for Food Lifeline, a nonprofit organization working to end hunger in Western Washington.
In the past three or four years many restaurants have added so-called small plates to their menus, or offered entrees in a smaller size along with the standard size. But those moves were prompted mostly by the economy. Smaller portions mean lower prices, designed to attract cash-strapped customers.
Douglas’ motive is different. “I’m just sick of food going in the garbage,” he said. He would, however, lower prices if he cut back on portion sizes: “Absolutely,” Douglas said. “That’s the million-dollar question. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”