Food doesn’t just have to taste good when you’re in the restaurant business. You also need to make it look attractive so that people will be encouraged to order it. As they say, first impressions last and the first impression that your customers will have of your food is that of how they are presented. Proper food presentation can be a big help in ensuring that people buy your food. Here’s how you can make your food look great:
Get the Right Plate
Excellent presentation starts with the right foundations. This means you will need to have the right plates to work with. Different plates have varying effects, and you need to consider the lighting and other factors when selecting which plates to use. For example, deli display equipment often has brighter lights to display the food better. For dishes that will go up there, you will want plates that will emphasize the food’s coloring. As a good rule of thumb, lighter colored plates are great for bringing out vibrant colors while dark-colored plates are ideal for making dishes with slight coloring more appealing.
Designate a Focal Point
When you’re presenting a dish on a plate, there needs to be a place where the eye focuses on. This should be the central part of the dish. Most of the time, this is usually the meat or fish part of the dish like a large pork chop or a slice of blue marlin. With a focal point, you can start arranging the accompanying components like the sauce or vegetables to highlight the star of the meal.
Work with Colors
Different ingredients have contrasting colors, and you should work with that. Proteins like meat or fish usually have a brown or dark color so you will want to work with that. Use colorful vegetables and greens to accent the main dish while mixing colors to your advantage.
Play with Texture and Height
The texture of a dish is immediately noticeable when people see it. The crunchy breading of fried foods, the smooth tension of the sauces, and the crispness of green vegetables all add towards the anticipation of eating the meal. Find ways to highlight the texture of the food so that customers will want to take a bite. Besides texture, play around with the height. There’s nothing like a stack of pancakes or the chunky meatiness of a slab of steak to encourage diners to try a meal.
It seems like that sprig of parsley or that dash of green onions does nothing, but these are herbs and spices in their own right. Besides making a dish look great on the plate, they can add that little kick of flavor on top. This is why you shouldn’t garnish a meal with something that is not part of the original recipe.
Clean Things Up
Finally, spatters and messes at the edge of the plate disrupt the image you want to make. Clean things up with white vinegar and water to ensure that your customers don’t think that you’re messy. This applies to crumbs, sauces, and more.
Good-looking food takes a bit of effort, but with the tips above, you should be able to make your food look great. This can be a big help in encouraging the customers that walk into your store that your dishes are worth a try. Properly presented food can be more appealing than the typical fare.