I know times are tough, costs are increasing, so your establishments have to adapt, and something’s gotta give.
Make it the price.
People may bitch about price increases, but if they like a certain dish at a particular restaurant, they will usually get over it, and continue their patronage, especially if it’s better than what they can get elsewhere, or unique, and so long as the new price doesn’t make it more expensive than competitors making something similar.
Because people like routine. Knowing that if they visit a particular restaurant, it will have their favourite item X on the menu, which they may even like so much, they might even order only said item whenever they visit that particular place.
I know, because I react this way.
But the moment a restaurant changes the recipe of a favourite dish to cheaper ingredients, or makes the portion size smaller, or gives away less bread, etc., I am usually so irritated, that it becomes my final meal there.
What’s smarter business sense: to cause a momentary grumble, which will dissipate because nothing otherwise has changed, or to cause a deeper and lingering annoyance by a change more important than mere cost?
If common sense still existed, they’d know the answer.