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AA435354cucina37024730043682912RGBelli 2008Chicago, 1819 11- 2008Lo chef del ristorante Spiaggia , Toni Mantuano. E' possibile che Mantuano diventi lo chef di Obama alla Ca sa Bianca. Di lontane origini calabresi, Mantuano ha fatto apprendistato in italia presso il Ristorante il Pescatore di Nadia e Antonio Santini.
Spiaggia chef Tony Mantuano at his restaurant in Chicago
pigi cipelli—Mondadori Collection—Getty Images

If you think half the fun of going to a restaurant is spending time deciding what you want to order on the menu (the other half is not having to do the dishes afterwards, obviously), the newest fine-dining trend might leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied.

Pre-set tasting menus, where you get multiple courses but the chef — not you — decides what goes on your plate, are exploding in popularity. "More and more restaurants are either completely scrapping their traditional a la carte menus or shrinking them," Marketplace reported.

Chefs like Tony Mantuano of Chicago's Michelin-starred Spiaggia said tasting menus work because they let the staff get really good at perfecting a smaller number of dishes. He also told Marketplace that today's diners want the kind of over-the-top, multi-course experience a tasting menu offers when they eat out.

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Of course, that's not the only reason chefs and restaurant owners today are embracing tasting menus. There are also clear financial benefits: Tasting menus allow restaurants to order fewer ingredients and gives them a better idea of how much they'll need. This helps control costs, and cuts down on the risk of over-ordering and having to throw food out.