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Why Restaurants Are Trimming Down Menus

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The death of long-form journalism has even hit restaurant menus: According to the Washington Post, American diners are growing tired of lengthy, clunky menus. Across the industry, the average "menu size has fallen to fewer than 93 items in the United States." In 2008, many large restaurant chains were listing around 100 items on their menus. Research firm Technomic found that the "country's 500 largest restaurant chains" have cut over seven percent of menu items this year alone.

There are many advantages to offering a slimmed down menu: It's an easy way for restaurants to cut down on food costs, it's easier to "standardize food quality," and it helps avoid excess food waste. Plus, Americans are apparently becoming "more refined in their tastes" and are now willing to go out of their way "to eat a specific food." If a restaurant's offerings "aren't specific enough" it's detrimental to its business because it appears as if the food quality is lower. Perhaps McDonald's executives should take note of this trend and offer fewer options instead of more.

· Tired of Long Restaurant Menus [WaPo]
· Six Trends Emerging [Technomic]
· All Menu Coverage on Eater [-E-]