One of the biggest trends to have swept the fine dining scene in recent years is shareable, small plates. Small plates offer diners a chance to sample a range of dishes and share them with friends and loved ones. People who love small plate restaurants often consider it to be a more casual and communal form of fine dining.
From the perspective of restaurant management, small plates also offer a number of advantages. This food trend gives chefs room to let their creativity run wild while also ensuring healthy profit margins. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you may want to get in on the small plate trend after your culinary management program.
Restaurants That Offer Shareable Small Plates Are Appealing to Millennials
Millennials tend to be adventurous eaters. They are fascinated by different cuisines and always eager to try something new. And, if you’re going into the restaurant business, you absolutely need to target Millennials. That’s because 54% of Millennials eat out at least three times a week or more, making them a highly lucrative demographic for restaurants.
With small, shareable plates, Millennials get to indulge their culinary curiosity. Not only do Millennials tend to have diverse tastes, but they also want dining out to be an experience. Being able to share small, well-presented plates with friends and loved ones gives them a chance to do just that. Furthermore, Millennials are more likely to be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. With small plates restaurants can offer more dishes that appeal to Millennials and other customers who have these dietary restrictions.
Small Plates Give Restaurants Room to Be Creative with Their Menus
During your culinary management program you’ll learn about menu planning, which can be especially enjoyable when running a small plate restaurant. At traditional fine dining restaurants, you will typically only see a handful of entrees on the menu. Each of these entrees has to show off the chef’s culinary expertise, which means that there can be little room for error.
With small plate restaurants, however, the stakes for each individual plate are much lower. Since diners will be ordering multiple plates anyway, chefs can be far more creative and daring with what they serve. This means restaurants can try out different dishes to see what works and what doesn’t and then craft a menu based on diner preferences.
Students in Culinary Management Should Know Small Plates Are Profitable
Finally, and especially importantly if you’re considering a career in culinary management, the shareable, small plate trend is also good for business. For one, shareable dishes are served as they’re made rather than waiting on counters or under heat lamps. That means diners can get their food faster and the restaurant can turn over tables and serve the next customers quickly.
Second, while each individual small plate is cheaper than a full entree, the profit margin tends to be higher on each dish. And third, with so many options to choose from diners have a tendency to order a bit more than they need. All of these factors add up for a dining experience that translates into increased revenue for the restaurant.