The main problem I find with restaurants and takeaways is their mind-frame. The owners are cost focused which means they do not always see the full picture.
What is the purpose of a restaurant?
It is to satisfy the appetite of a person.
That satisfaction is delivered in the form of food.
So the user wants food and in exchange the restaurant gets money. Simple transaction? No, if life was this simple everybody would be doing well.
The satisfaction starts from how well the food is prepared and presented.
Who prepares the food?
What is the well-being of those employees?
After all you are what you eat. However, more important is how much at peace or happy was the person making the food for you.
The reason people refer to their Grandmother's or Mother's cooking is not because they were Michelin star chefs but because they cooked the food with good pure intentions. Their purpose was not to profit from the meal but to help you grow stronger and satisfy your appetite.
So if the Chef at a restaurant is poorly paid or working in poor conditions then clearly they are not delighted to be doing what they are doing and this will reflect in the taste as well as how well that meal goes down.
My grandmother used to say that good vibes are important when feeding the family. Never to prepare food or eat when raging with anger.
Now if we move our focus from the employee back to the owner the question is do they understand the purpose of their business's existence or are they trying to save a leaf, half a tomato, 50ml of juice because of a shallow mind?
If a guest ever left our grandfather's home hungry it was seen as a sign of disgrace and poor standard of living. The same mentality lives on in many Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries. So if somebody showed up at lunch or dinner time the host family would insist that they eat with them. In most cases force feeding, which is another way of expressing respect.
Whilst we cannot expect the same force feeding treatment from restaurants it is a pleasure walking out on a full stomach.
How much extra does it cost the restaurant to give you decent size portions? Probably an extra £0.20 in raw material and how much are you paying for the meal probably around £20 at a minimum. So for a 1% cost saving the owner risks losing the customer, not to mention compromising their integrity to do the right thing.