This short article from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette mentions methods on how restaurants could offer a positive final impression.. The article points out restaurants, such as the L’Espalier in Boston and French Laundry in Yountville California, which offer parting gifts like cookies and chocolate.
The article also suggests that restaurants could also package and present leftovers nicely. When guests see the leftovers the next day, they would be reminded of the good experience and hopefully return.
It’s disappointing when a good restaurant experience ends, and I’m packaging leftovers by myself. Putting food from the plate into the container is always tough on a crowded table with water glasses. Something is bound to spill. Plus, the containers brought out for leftovers never seem to be the right size.
I think it’s an excellent idea to demonstrate attention to detail by handling leftovers nicely. If restaurants know their food costs and portion sizes are under control, perhaps offering a bit more garnish or a bit more sauce at the end of the night would be a way to ensure guest satisfaction with the leftovers and their presentation.