The gang at Mabel's Grill talks about small plates, big bills
The world’s problems are solved daily ’round the table at Mabel’s Grill.
“What’s this?” George McKenzie asked Molly Whiteside when she delivered his bacon and eggs on a smaller than normal plate the other morning at Mabel’s Grill.
“The dishwasher broke down so we’ve run out of the regular plates until the repairman gets it fixed,” explained Molly.
“I thought maybe Mabel was trying to squeeze how much she serves us” said George. “You know like those companies that make the package size smaller so even though they keep the price the same, they’re making more money.”
“Yeah, my wife likes this particular gourmet-type bread but at the rate the loaf is shrinking, they’re soon going to have to call it a bun,” said Dave Winston.
“After the radio program I listened to the other day, I wondered if Mabel was just trying to look out for our waistlines,” said Cliff Murray. “This guy was saying that tests have shown if you served people in nine-inch round plates instead if 12-inch plates, they ate 22 per cent less food.”
“Mabel, you’d better get out the six-inch plates for these guys,” Molly called out, gazing significantly at the girth of the gang ’round the table.
“I hope this idea isn’t going to catch on,” said Dave.
“This guy thought it was a way to reduce obesity,” said Cliff.
“Great way to reduce the number of farmers,” said Dave. “If people eat 22 per cent less that’s 22 per cent less food we’re going to sell. You want to sell 22 per cent less of your beef?” he asked George.
“Probably he’s one of those guys who’s also pushing for people not to eat meat at all,” grumbled George. “So people would be eating 22 per cent less quinoa or whatever the latest miracle food is.”
“Well I can tell you, around here it wouldn’t make much difference in how much people ate if you made the plates smaller,” said Mabel as she wandered over to join the conversation. “Ever watched farmers at a banquet where they serve themselves? If the plate’s smaller, they just pile the food higher.”
“Takes a special skill to pile enough food on the plate so you only have to make one trip without having it spill over the side,” said Dave, proudly.
“See that’s supposed to be another strategy to get people to eat less,” said Cliff. “This guy says if you keep the food away from the table so that people have to get up to refill their plate, they don’t eat as much.”
“That guy’s never been to an all-you-can-eat buffet in this part of the country,” said Mabel. “I stopped serving buffets before I went broke. Not just for the food, either. Guys were wearing out the floor making trips back to the buffet.”
“I gotta wonder if this guy’s got it right,” said Dave. “If so, the people running the fancy restaurants haven’t figured it out. I took my wife out to one of those white table cloth restaurants for her birthday and every course came on a big plate with a little food in the middle.”
“And all piled on top of each other, right?” asked Cliff. “You’d think the real estate value of the plate was so high they had to pile things up like they do with people living in downtown Toronto.”
“Yeah,” said George as he pushed his bacon away from the eggs it was touching. “The first thing I have to do at those restaurants is unpile everything.”
“But then you mess up the artistic design of some sauce they scrawl across the empty part of the plate,” said Cliff.
“And then they give you a wine in a glass that looks as if its big enough to take a whole bottle but you only get a little dribble in the bottom,” said Dave. “What’s with that?”
“If you listen to that guy on the radio, maybe they’re figuring you’re not getting much wine so you’ll order another glass or two,” said Cliff.
“Well when I saw the bill I needed at least three of those big glasses full calm me down,” said Dave.◊