RESTAURANTS have been advised by the Government to serve smaller portions in the name of healthy eating – without cutting their prices.
Scrapping free poppadoms in curry restaurants, serving takeaways in smaller containers and making smaller pizzas are among the ideas available online from the Department of Health’s Responsibility Deal programme.
The voluntary scheme advises restaurants on how to make the food and drink they serve less fattening with the aim to cut calories and reduce waistlines.
Koyash Meah, who runs Spicy Aroma Indian restaurant and takeaway in Churchdown, said he agreed with the advice.
“Smaller containers is a good idea because it is healthier for the customer and more profitable for businesses,” he said.
“I would reduce my portion size as it would save money in the long term and only involves reducing the amount of gravy, the customer would still get the same amount of meat, fish or vegetable.
“I don’t give away free poppadoms but I know many places that do in Gloucestershire and this is not good for calorie intake.”
The Department of Health advice, which is contained within several documents on the Responsibility Deal website, also states that Italian restaurants should cut an inch off the width of a pizza.
“You will save money by using less dough and toppings,” it said.
“Thinner bases – bigger profits.”
Meanwhile, Chinese restaurants are advised that they can reduce the amount of salt in their food and that “customers won’t notice” if they do it gradually.
The Department of Health advice also states that fish and chip shops should use thick chips that absorb less fat which “can save calories and cut costs”.
And sandwich shops can reduce the size of fillings by using grated cheese instead of sliced and advice that if customers ask for spread, “spread it thinly”.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “Research shows that overall we are eating more than we should, so controlling portion sizes and reformulating to use less fat, salt and sugar is an essential part of the Responsibility Deal.”
Snippets from the website:
“Try not to overfill or compress food into containers. Or try using a slightly smaller container for takeaway dishes. Slightly smaller portion sizes will still be satisfying and will save you money.”
“Don’t serve poppadoms free of charge as these can add a lot of fat and calories to a meal.”
“Reduce your pizza width by an inch (2.5cms). You will save money by using less dough and fewer toppings. Thinner (pizza) bases – bigger profits. Make your standard pizza base thinner or add a thin base option to your menu. Using less dough will save calories and money. A thinner base can mean you save on toppings too.”
“Add or increase the amount of vegetables, lentils or beans in dishes like soups, stews and rice. They are cheaper than meat and fish so could save you money."