It is a well-known philosophy that “your eyes taste food before your mouth”. To food experts, food presentation is a skill that must be mastered. However, to the general public who just wants to have a good feast, a beautifully decorated plate of food is a treat. The tiniest things make a huge difference when it comes to winning the hearts of your customers.
1. Mix it up!
Plating shouldn’t be seen as just decoration; it should also taste good. Experiment with flavours and textures that have stark contrasts, yet go well together. An overcrowded plate is never pretty, so make sure there are appropriate spaces in between your plating elements. Also, sauces are better served on the sides than directly on the food so that the dish doesn't get soggy.
2. Efficiency over extravagance
While there is no harm in wanting to be extravagant with your work, bear in mind that speed is king especially during busy lunch and dinner services. Put out a well-balanced dish with not more than four components – starch, protein, vegetables, and sauce – to be safe. Garnishes are a great way to make your food a little fancy but your best bet is to avoid decorating with things that aren't edible. Your most reliable option for a quick and easy decoration method are microgreens.
3. Everyone loves a little colour
In this digital era, food is easily an experience most people would like to capture and share on social media. Give them something to remember by providing colourful food arrangements that can instantly elevate even the most mundane ingredients in the food that you are serving. One tip is to make sure there is proper colour balance and that green is the first thing your guests see; it is the colour that pops out to most people when it comes to food.
4. Every little detail counts
A simple tip is to avoid putting the most expensive item at the top of your menu as it can easily put off your customers from ordering. However, it is also not ideal to put your cheapest item at the top as it can change the guests’ perception of your restaurant's quality. The best way to go about it is to place the chef's recommendation alongside images of your popular dishes at the very top.
5. Invest in good menu design and wording
Consulting a professional graphic designer would be helpful to study the needed visual hierarchy for your menu. The entirety of your menu should be presented in neat fonts and concise descriptions for an easier and more pleasant reading experience. Don’t be afraid to seek out help from other professionals; the results may surprise you!