“Aha” I cried.
The long-suffering wife lowered the newspaper and looked at me over the top. “ I have made a powerful connection and I am very pleased with myself!” I think I said. “You’ve been drinking paint thinner again.” said my wife and went back to her newspaper.
Not one to be dismayed by such cavalier treatment of my brilliant connection I will explain it to you. I am often troubled between the gap in what people tell me they want in a radio station’s music play list and what they seem to really want. I am always told that what is hated most is the constant repetition of songs, over and over again. “We want variety” the people tell me. “We want radio stations to play more songs. Not just the same ones over and over again” they say. And yet when I look at the ratings for stations that repeat the same songs over and over again they consistently rank at the top of the heap. And the stations that offer more and different songs-they are voted off the island.
So when I saw an article about restaurants and the problems they are having with portion sizes on their menus a little light went off in my head. After I put out the flames that the little light ignited from all the paint thinner fumes I read the rest of the article.
It seems that some of the bigger chain restaurants, the Olive Gardens and the TGI Fridays of the world are trying to do their part in helping the nation’s health with offering smaller portion sizes. That’s a laudable effort considering that some menu items contain enough food and fat to feed a developing third world nation for a week on one plate. But like any business the restaurants aren’t doing it for any other reason than economic. They are hoping that smaller portion sizes which will of course lead to smaller checks will lead to more customers. But what the restaurants have found out is that even when consumers say they want smaller portions or healthier options; they don’t order those choices. In other words what the customers say they want and what they really want are two different things.
Sort of like that music on the radio thing. So given the choice between eating too much food that’s not good for you and listening to radio that plays the same songs over and over again, the choice that is made by Americans is the opposite of what they profess to want.
It’s enough to make me sit under the paint thinner barrel with a funnel in my mouth.