The burger experience you deliver doesn’t begin with the first bite; it starts with the first glance. That’s why the way you present your burger is just as important as the way you prepare it. The right plating also can reinforce your premium positioning and margins, so you can command higher check averages. Use these plating tips to catch your patrons’ eyes and capture their hearts.


Start with the plate

If the burger is your art, the plate is your canvas. Choose your plate wisely – including its color, shape, size and patterns. If you set down a traditional round, white plate, your burger may get tagged with the same “plain” label. Likewise, avoid hues and patterns that distract from or dominate the burger or popular sides such as fries. And choose a size that allows for ample portions of food with room for condiments like ketchup. Try using uniquely shaped rectangular plates with embossing for presenting your signature burgers, to add visual interest and an upscale touch.

Get creative with color

No matter what kind of burger you’re serving, color is critical to your plating strategy. And whether you’re adding French or sweet-potato fries, fresh fruits, vegetable medleys or cole slaw on the side, always try to have a variety of colors on the plate. Studies show people respond to certain colors more favorably than others:

  • Green is “fresh” and can be calming to patrons
  • Red represents vitality, passion and energy
  • Black is perceived as elegant
  • Blue can suppress appetites because it makes surrounding foods look less inviting

Be neater, it’s sweeter

By plating your burger and sides in a neat, consistent way, you’re showing your patrons that you care about every detail – from the cut of their beef to the placement of their parsley. Try to keep items contained within the rim of the plate, without bunching them in the center. (It’ll help servers avoid spills on the way to the tables, too.) Remember to keep a little space between your bun and sides, as many patrons will get turned off by foods that are touching.


Garnish for flair 

Add a finishing touch with a subtle yet stylish garnish – but choose it carefully. The best garnishes:

• Complement the components of your burger and/or sides

• Are always edible

• Are the appropriate size

• Add a splash of color, a mini burst of flavor and perhaps even texture to the plate

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