These trade secrets set the standard for outstanding table presentation.
A tablecloth acts as your canvas by creating a consistent foundation for your food presentation. It pulls the entire space together, and makes any event or dining room more sophisticated. A neutral tablecloth selection is best – tables will look elegant, and customers won't be overwhelmed by a dizzying assortment of colors and patterns.
Your dinnerware is one of the most important elements of table presentation. Whether you opt for simple white plates or you choose a set with a color, pattern or texture, select a design that speaks to your style. For added variation, mix in some square, triangular or rectangular plates for smaller entrees, such as tapas, appetizers and desserts. To add a pop of color to understated, white dinnerware, use vibrant chargers beneath each plate.
Discover napkin origami
To add impressive visual appeal with zero extra cost, explore the art of napkin origami. Folding a cloth napkin in an artistic or whimsical way helps pull your table setting together, and lets guests know that you pay great attention to detail.
Select a centerpiece
Tall and tapered or low and luminous? Choose a centerpiece that complements your overall look. Centerpieces should be simple and unobtrusive – you don't want customers straining to see each other. Unscented tea-light candles work well as centerpieces in a busy restaurant, while fresh florals, bowls of seasonal fruit or foliage add a special touch to a catered event.
Make it personal
Encourage customers or guests to feel more relaxed by adding a personal touch to their dining space. Hang interesting or humorous pictures of diners from past decades, or include an "About Us" insert in the menu.
Try new plating techniques
Use large plates, so each component of the meal has room to stand out. Then, drizzle sauce toward the edge of the plate to make the portions look larger. For items served from a food truck, use functional, yet unique disposable plates and utensils. Find serveware that plays up your theme, or conveniently divides the food for customers on-the-go. .
Utilize vivacious veggies
Play up a standard vegetable side dish. For just-picked flavor, seek out seasonal, locally-grown vegetables, and blanch them to preserve color and flavor. Use a mandolin kitchen tool to slice, shave or cut veggies into sticks, lattices or julienne strips. Place vegetables neatly for best presentation.
A proper garnish complements the meal without distracting from overall presentation. Go beyond the traditional sprinkling of parsley or parmesan with colorful, edible Orchids, fruit or vegetables carved into flowers or butterflies, or chocolate curls and cutouts.