📱How to boost social sharing of your plates

Are you doing enough to catch your patrons' eye? The restaurant experience is often just as much about aesthetics as taste. Pull up a chair for today's edition of The Prep.

4 min read
📱How to boost social sharing of your plates
Image: Café Carmellini

Are you doing enough to catch your patrons' eye? The restaurant experience is often just as much about aesthetics as taste. Pull up a chair for today's edition of The Prep.

On the menu:
💻 Making customer reviews matter
🍸 The next great garnish
🎍 Refresh + revitalize = ROI
♻️ Lawmakers eye to-go containers

Whimsical plating techniques boost social sharing

Café Carmellini in the Fifth Avenue Hotel in the NoMad district of New York City is making waves with its latest "over-the-top" yet delicious dishes. Think extra-long grissini breadsticks served in an elegant vase or a "Duck-Duck-Duck Tortellini" featuring foie gras foam. While the flavors remain high-end, the presentations attract a new wave of customers, particularly those active on social media. Consider incorporating a touch of whimsy into your plating to create a buzz and draw in a new demographic.

Glean your whimsical inspiration at The New Yorker.

Read more of the stats at Quartz.

🎧 The Dining Table, Episode 77

Life as a new 3-star Michelin chef with John Shields

Designer: Avoid outdated restaurant aesthetics

Nicole Alexander, one of Chicago’s top designers and the founder of Siren Betty Design, emphasizes the significance of maintaining the freshness of your restaurant space - whether it requires a minor update or a complete renovation. Waiting until your decor becomes outdated can negatively affect your business, Alexander says. Instead, consider a refresh to draw in new customers and keep your existing ones engaged. Investing in design can invigorate your restaurant and enhance your profits.

Listen to the full episode here.

"Of course a lot of joy, but it was more of the pressure that comes with it that hit me almost instantly."

Listen in full here (20 mins) 

Turn restaurant reviews into your superpower

Responding to praise and criticism shows you care about customer experience, fostering loyalty, and attracting new diners. Ensure that you prioritize reputation management by following these tips:

Prioritize positive reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and social media platforms.
Respond to ALL reviews: Thank happy customers for their praise and address negative feedback promptly and professionally.
Turn negatives into positives: Respond to complaints with solutions and highlight your improvement based on feedback.
Make it easy to leave reviews: Include links to your review pages on takeout menus, websites, and social media bios.
Join the conversation at Business.com.

Virginia lawmakers want to ban polystyrene containers

Proposed legislation in Virginia to ban polystyrene takeout containers is gaining support from the restaurant industry, the latest in states taking official steps for sustainability. Restaurants can get ahead of this type of legislation by exploring eco-friendly packaging alternatives such as compostable containers or recycled paperboard. This proactive approach is likely to resonate with a growing number of eco-conscious customers, too.

Read on at VPM.

Freeze-dried food market sees spike in demand

The market for freeze-dried food is growing rapidly and it is expected to reach $54.8 billion by 2032. This trend is driven by the convenience and health-consciousness of consumers and presents a great opportunity for bars and restaurants alike. Try experimenting by adding freeze-dried ingredients to special dishes, bringing a unique textural experience, or offering them as quick snacks for busy customers. You can use them as fruit garnishes for cocktails, toppings for desserts, or even as components for creative appetizers.

 Follow along at Market Research Blog.

A pinch of this and that

📱 Chick-fil-A launches mobile-only store

🥩 Kelce announces steakhouse venture

✈️ Akunowicz's airport dining revolution

🍽️ Loop secures delivery optimization deal

🍗 KFC hits 30K stores worldwide

Elevating the aesthetics of your restaurant keeps the experience fresh for your patrons -- whether that means having fun with plating, or updating your decor.

What are you doing to stay on trend? I'd love to hear about it.

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I look forward to connecting with you each week – thanks for coming to the table for The Prep.