Well this is an age old problem and one that is better simplified as “ you can’t please everyone all the time, so you might as well please yourself”. Take Middy’s Spot for instance. The whole emphasis on their lovely cafe is to be more affordable than anyone else and therefore in charging really low prices, they will eventually force their competition to follow their example !! Judging by the number of cars lined up outside their premises, this is proving to be a popular “Spot” indeed.
So this brings us to the portion. Is it possible to serve exactly the same size portions as everyone else but charge half the price for them without compromising in any way? I really don’t think so but then I’m not the person doing the shopping or costing the menu. The most common way is to be mean with the amount of food on your plate - slices of salami on tasty chiabatta’s that are so thin you could read the newspaper through them?? (I wonder if anyone has actually tried to do that) and if that was the case, what would people really prefer! Something that doesn’t break the bank or something that doesn’t fill the stomach... You are never going to find a way to make everyone happy.
I have to say that in my personal experience my chiabatta was delicious and the portion size just right, my cuppachino, hot and aromatic and the setting delightful, so maybe Middy’s has managed to crack the code after all – I believe Clive Midlaine went to a really good school !!