When it comes to offering food to customers, the preparation and cooking is only half of it. Making sure your delicious dishes are well presented is essential to leaving a lasting impression on your customers. Plating up your meals is something that takes great consideration and should align with the brand message your establishment is trying to portray. From the crockery to the food placement, it's important to look at the way in which you present your dishes to provide customers with a great dining experience.
Some things to consider when choosing your crockery...
What type of cuisine are you serving up? Make sure your presentation fits in with the type of dishes you are offering. For example, a traditional pub offering Sunday lunches should keep things classic to create a cosy atmosphere, whilst a sushi restaurant may want to consider chic and contemporary crockery for a more modern feel.
- Portion Sizes
What are the size of the portions you are offering? Keep this in mind when choosing the size of your crockery. An eatery offering tapas or small bites won’t need large plates, likewise, an establishment serving large dishes will need to make sure their crockery accommodates this.
It’s important to make sure your crockery is durable and withstands a lot of use. Acquiring hard-wearing plates and bowls is essential so as to avoid constantly replacing your crockery. Purchase from reputable brands who are known for their durability and make sure your crockery is microwave and dishwasher safe too.
Colours in a food establishment can have a direct effect on your customer’s experience and crockery is no longer only available in white. Many brands now provide crockery in a range of shades but settling on a colour is something that needs careful consideration. For example, the colour green is said to have a relaxing effect and is associated with health and freshness, whilst red is known to be a stimulant and enhances appetite. So making sure the colour of your crockery matches your establishment’s aims is essential. As well as this, consider the colour of the meals you are serving up and make sure they stand out on the plates you are using.
Seasons by Porcelite is a great range that features a number of different colours and styles for various eateries.
As well as colour, pattern also needs to be considered when choosing plates and bowls. A modern eatery may choose a look that is in keeping with their contemporary aesthetic with an on-trend design, whilst a traditional restaurant may want to opt for vintage or retro patterns when it comes to crockery to add to the feel of the establishment.
Gone are the days when plates were just a simple circle. Square, rectangle and triangle shaped crockery has become much more popular in recent times. Again, choosing the shape of your plates depends on the type of cuisine you are serving and the theme of your eatery. Square shapes would lend themselves well to somewhere modern and contemporary while traditional restaurants may be better off using traditional circular shaped crockery.
The material of the crockery is also another important consideration. If you are running a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, make sure you are not using bone china as this is made using animal bones. Those serving a number of tomato-based meals may want to consider terracotta crockery as the material’s properties react with the tomato and gives the meal a naturally sweet taste.
Recent years have seen many new trends when it comes to food presentation. There’s been an increase in popularity in the use of slates and wooden serving boards as well as chip baskets, small pans and mini casserole dishes. Many of these unique serving techniques can aid the overall customer experience in an eatery and worth considering if you want to enhance your serving techniques but don’t go too quirky. Many establishments have been slated for their use of odd serve-ware, creating an awkward customer experience. Make sure your presentation items are functional and easy to use as well as unique.
Once you have settled on your crockery choices, it’s time to look at your food presentation…
When choosing where to place the food, think of the plate as a clock face. The main element of your meal, often the meat or the protein, should be placed at 6, whilst the carbohydrates or the secondary item should be positioned at 2 and vegetables and extras located at 11.
- Odd Numbers
When serving dishes, keep the number of food items to odd numbers. Having 3, 5 or 7 elements to a meal creates a more visually appealing dish.
- Don’t Overload The Plate
Try not to place too many items on one plate. Even if your portions are quite large, consider splitting this across multiple plates. For example, if you are serving a Sunday lunch, place the meat on one plate, with the vegetables and potatoes in separate dishes. Having too much on one plate makes it more difficult for the customer to eat.
- Garnish Carefully
Only garnish with items that are suitable for the dish. Placing random items on the meal just because they look nice isn’t going to win you any points with the customers. Only add garnishes that are edible and compliment the flavours of the dish.
- Be Mindful of Colour
We all know colourful food is a lot more appetising, so be bold and creative with your choices. Try contrasting colours but don’t push the boundaries too much, you don't want to opt for colours that could be unappetising.
For more tips and advice on food presentation, speak to one of our team for info on how to find the best serve-ware and crockery for your food establishment.