food service trends

Seafood Small Plates

Restaurant trends indicate small plates and appetizers are continuing to grow in popularity among consumers. Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic, Inc. says, “Our data shows that consumer purchases of appetizers are steadily getting closer to pre-recession levels.”

Small plates are enticing to customers who are interested in trying new foods and flavors, without the fear of committing to a large entrée they may not enjoy. They’re also popular with customers who can’t narrow down to one entrée, but can instead order a variety of smaller options. According to Mr. Tristano, the shareable, fun factor and versatility of small plate options help them function as menu differentiators. 


The good news? Seafood fits in swimmingly! Thirty-seven percent of consumers have broadened their definition of snacks to include more types of foods like mini sandwiches, sliders or wraps according to the Technomic: Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report. And, seafood makes the perfect protein in all of these – so don’t let your fish hibernate in the freezer this winter! Add small seafood plates to your menu by scaling down previous center-of-the-plate seafood entrées or developing new bite-sized seafood recipes that customers won’t be able to resist adding to their order.

Why Consumers are Enticed by Small Plates

  • Shareable
  • Grazeable
  • Experimental
  • Portion Controllable
  • Calorie Controllable

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