The lobster entrée (above) contains just under a half pound of lobster meat, so Jon Weinrott of Philadelphia-based Peachtree & Ward recommends swapping out the pricey protein for a more affordable fish like cod (top) as a logical way to save. But let's say you have your heart set on lobster—the less expensive entrée "fakes" the lobster flavor with a generous amount of lobster à lamericaine sauce (the flavor comes from the shells—no meat necessary).
The shape of the serving vessel also affects the price: Rectangular plates must be brought to the table two at a time to ensure they arrive hot; multiple round plates (or bowls), each topped with a metal cover to keep the food warm, can be stacked on a tray for one server to carry. The less staff your meal requires, the more you'll save.
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