Recently, I ordered takeout from a popular local restaurant. When I got home, a big surprise was waiting for me. "Big" might not be the right word.

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You've undoubtedly ordered takeout from a restaurant where you've also dined at different times, gotten it home, and been very underwhelmed by the food you received. The first thing out of your mouth might be, 'What a ripoff!' But was it really? The culprit might be these boxes.


Love Food says takeout portions "will sometimes be smaller, often due to the packaging or containers." If the container isn't big enough for the amount of food, it shouldn't be used, right?

While you can certainly find online forums where people are convinced they're getting short-changed, others, including restaurant workers, say that's simply not happening.

The more I read, the more it seemed like it was likely my imagination... and for good reason. One person said, "in traveling, time spent traveling-heat may change, freshness may change, may get crushed, mixed together, squashed."

Another person shared that, "Main courses are usually weighed or portioned before they are even cooked. Generally, it's just luck if you get a bigger size of anything." True that from my days of working in pizza restaurants years ago. While the cheese was weighed, we counted things like the number of pepperoni on particular sizes of pizzas.

A chef pointed out something that should've been obvious, even though it wasn't to me. He said, "It’s too much extra work to portion out another size of item x just to have a different size for to go, no one’s going to do that just to save the few cents."

Finally, a restaurant worker named Dan pointed out, "They make the food exactly the same, for dine in, for takeout orders, and for delivery. It's usually the way it's presented that makes people think they have more or less... It's the presentation, my friend, not the portions."


I especially believe the argument that it's in the presentation. The above photo certainly looks a lot better than any picture of food inside a cardboard or styrofoam box.

Do you believe the arguments or do you think you're sometimes getting ripped off? Please share your thoughts below.

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