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Share your food.

August 31st, 2010 at 12:06 pm

We’re all conditioned to sit down at a restaurant, study the menu and choose whatever seems most delicious at the time. The fact we’re probably about to order twice the amount of food we require to be satisfied usually isn’t at the top of our agenda. Combine that with the usual mindset that more equals better, the idea of sharing a meal doesn’t sound all that good of a deal.

If you’ve got an eating buddy, splitting not only saves money, it helps eliminate that tired feeling we all get after eating too much. The more we limit our over-eating, the more time our bodies have to do other healthful stuff internally, other than trying to process all that extra food.

With the size of food portions these days, if you think about it, when you over order you start a chain reaction that goes something like this:

  • 1) You get too much food…
  • 2) Your guest(s) also get too much.
  • 3) Everyone’s more likely to over-eat causing top buttons to unsnap after the meal.
  • 4) Everyone pays for all the food they didn’t eat.
  • 5) Food gets thrown away or carried back with you to the car.
  • 6) The environment suffers because extra food needs disposable containers and bags to transport home.
  • 7) Oh and you gotta remember to put that doggie bag in the fridge when you get home or it was all for naught.

Taking food home with you is cool if it’s intentional. You order a full meal because you know you’re going to eat half now and the rest for lunch tomorrow. Which is not a bad thing to practice now and again.

Yes it can be awkward to order a starter, entree and dessert while letting the server know your plans to split all three, but once you do it a few times, it gets easier and easier to order perfectly for two (or more).

Even when the waiter/waitress throws you some ‘tude, as if you must not be able to afford two complete dinners… Just order it like you mean it. Like you know something nobody else knows and you have the edge because of it.

We feel so good after splitting the perfect meal, I’d almost rather pay more money not to have to walk out of the place feeling bloated and miserable.

Servers want you to over order because the larger the check, the bigger the tip. With the money we save by splitting, we usually tip a bit extra regardless (unless the service blows), but when staff go the extra mile to split our food for us (two plates) we really kick down good tippage.

When sharing food, we know we ordered perfectly when the meal is over and our plates are clean. When there’s food left over it usually means we over ate, so much so that we had to quit trying to finish (which usually doesn’t occur to us until we’ve already eaten too much).

If you’re still hungry after splitting your food, you can always order something else to split afterwards. But you’ll find by the time you order another goody to help you feel more satisfied, you’re already full.

If you can’t decide on something you’d both like to split, be the hero and give in to your guest’s preference. If they’re willing to share the meal with you, the least you can do is eat what sounds good to them. Who knows, maybe you’ll even like it too. And if it is not the healthiest choice on the menu… Eating only half might not be that bad.

The goal is to show your eating partner that splitting is cool and it works. After a few shared dinners, walking away from the table feeling light on your feet, with extra money in your pocket, I’ll bet your eating partner starts asking if you want to split something the next time you eat out. » Bryan

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