In this week's economic news, appetizers are the latest victim of poor sales. Over the past two years, consumers have spent significantly less on items from the left side of the menu — on dishes like appetizers, salads, and soups. However, the decline may have more to do with customer dissatisfaction than with the bad economy.
According to a study performed by Technomic Inc, 58 percent of diners are "not satisfied with the appetizers available at restaurants" and 70 percent believe "salad offerings could be improved." Another large percentage want to see more ethnic soup offerings. To jump start sales of starters, the consulting firm is encouraging restaurateurs and chefs to rev up creativity and value by offering dishes that feature unique ingredients and can't be made at home.
Since appetizers are my favorite thing to eat, I have to agree with the study's findings. With fried calamari, sliders, and goat cheese salad appearing on virtually every menu, there does seem to be a lack of originality. How do you feel about the matter? Have you stopped ordering from the left side of the menu when you dine out?