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Diners Dissatisfied With Restaurants' Appetizer Offerings

Diners Dissatisfied With Restaurants' Appetizer Offerings

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?

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Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 6 years
i have to agree that i get VERY frustrated when there aren't good apps on the menu. sometimes that's just what you want - you want something little - or a few little things for your meal rather than the whole big entree - and there's nothing. last week my husband and i went out for dinner and i was STARVING so i wanted to get an appetizer and had to settle on something that i didn't really care for or even enjoy.
muse2323 muse2323 6 years
I don't usually order apps, though I've been known to order them as my meal if something looks really good. (There was a place where I went to college that made incredible quesadillas; I used to order them every time I went in. Way better than their burgers.)
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 6 years
It's not so much variety for me but how overpriced appetizers are. Don't even get me started on how much a soda costs!
MLH1 MLH1 6 years
I agree that apps at Japanese restaurants are worth getting, mainly because they are healthier. If more restaurants offered something that wasn't deep fried, breaded, or covered with cheese I might be tempted to order an apps.
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 6 years
I find it hard to pay $3.99 or more for a small cup of cheap to make soup or I would order soup as an appetizer everytime I went out.
bengalspice bengalspice 6 years
I feel I order more from the left side because of the economy.
HelloLauren HelloLauren 6 years
I've never been much of an appetizer person, because restaurant portions are so huge anyways, that even without it, I end up taking half of my meal home anyways. But I can agree that most restaurants are very uninspired with their choices, I think appetizers should be where chefs can be really creative and interesting with their food.
michlny michlny 6 years
I think Japanese / sushi places have the best apps around! I find it hard to choose!! It's the Americanized places that offer little inventiveness in terms of soups, salads and assorted smaller plates...
mondaymoos mondaymoos 6 years
Depends on the restaurant. At sushi places, I will always order edamame and when we go Greek, it's a must to get Flaming Saganaki. Otherwise, I'm pretty uninterested in appetizers.
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
at most of the chain restaurants, the appetizers are so huge and so loaded with fat, that there is no way i would ever order one. i seem to buy appetizers more at locally owned restaurants, since i feel there is more variety, and the salads are slightly less pre-prepared.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 6 years
I never really order from there unless they have grilled or roasted calamari or some cool risotto or prosciutto dish. Also, sometimes at wood-fired restaurants, I might order a salad and a pizza from the apps menu.
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