Many people are unaware of the domino effect that something as trivial as picking the dishes for a restaurant can have on the overall dining experience, however, a diner's entire night could, potentially, be ruined because of one person, who thought that they were on the brink of something trendy, choosing an absolutely ridiculous way of serving a signature dish. Below is a compilation of meals and beverages that have been served in ways that are, let's just say, less than desirable.
"It's Exactly What It Sounds Like"
Trying all the different foods is one of the best parts of visiting a foreign country, however, when the menu is in an unknown language, sometimes, the best thing to do is just to go with what's popular. Grüne Erbsensuppe mit Bockwurst is common in many places across Germany and is an excellent introduction to German cuisine. For those who do not speak German, that name translates to "green pea soup with sausage"...
...and that's exactly what it is. Although this looks like quite the mess to try and work through, at least, it comes with a dish to move the sausage onto if it gets to be too much.
"A Rock And A Hard Place"
Dining out, usually, means waiting a longer time than one would like to for their meal. Some venues like to provide their customers with complimentary dinner rolls in order to help bridge the gap between courses and lessen the chances of the service staff being forced to deal with "hangry" customers. At the finer establishments, the dinner rolls are served with the appropriate accompaniments, however, there must be a "butter" way than this to display the bread spread for the table.
If the rock was chilled - which one would assume it must be - it would help keep the butter from becoming a hot mess, but that doesn't make this any easier to pass around the table.
"A'head' Of The Curve"
During the dining experience, the "wow" should come at two different times. Initially, it should occur when the service staff brings the meal to the table and the diners see the presentation of their meals for the first time. Secondly, and ideally, it should happen as the customer takes that first bite. A common trend amongst restaurants has been to give their customers just enough information about each meal so that the "wow" factor doesn't lose its effect.
The menu did say the salad was a head of lettuce served with a side of croutons, and "WOW", that's exactly what this is.
"These Noodles Didn't Age Well"
Serving food in beverage glasses is something that has been going on for quite some time. Most people are, probably, familiar with the classic shrimp cocktail appetizer or one of the many desserts that have found their ways into drinking apparatuses - tiramisu for instance. Not long ago, one restauranteur began asking themselves what other foods they could serve in glasses, and which type of glass would a customer most like to eat out of...
It would have been a bit more considerate to have served the glass upside down on a bowl or a pasta plate instead of a chopping board. They could have, at least, served the meal accompanied by a bib.
"Tired Of Delivery? "
Is it Thursday night already? Has another week passed us by? When the weekly night out rolls around faster than expected, and no one is able to make a decision on where to go this week, there are only a few options as to what to do. Thursday night out can either be postponed until Friday or the family can try out that rubber-baked pizza from the new pizzeria around the corner.
Vulcanized rubber is fantastic for tire durability when the tire is being used in the manner in which it was designed to be used. As a pizza tray, however, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
"The Pepper Looks Like It's Moving"
Not all restaurants over-complicate things with the gimmicks they choose to go with. In fact, some establishments choose to go completely the other way with their choices. Some choose to simplify. Since not everyone has the ability to go to the park for lunch, the owner of one burger joint, in particular, found a way to help their customers reconnect with their roots.
Eating lunch on the grass could leave many people staring off in the distance on a nostalgic daydream. Staring for too long, however, might result in an infestation of worker ants, who are simply doing their part for the colony.
"It's Everywhere! "
After one full day of marinating the meat, and then another half-day of slow cooking it to perfection, the pulled pork is finally ready to be served. And what better place is there to serve the family's famous traditional pulled pork in the center of the business district during lunch hour. The only problem with serving food during the busiest time of the day is that it needs to be able to be eaten on the go.
A bowl, on a plate, or even a plastic bag would be better than serving this pulled pork mess in a non-durable paper cone.
"It Puts The Bacon On Its Skin... "
Let's cut right to the chase here, when it comes to bacon, a restaurant can pretty much serve it on anything, and customers will eat it. Bacon is not one of the foods that needs to be dressed up or made to look appealing to diners because the smell of it alone should be enough to get anyone's mouth to begin to water.
Bacon Barbie, brought to us by the same twisted people who brought us the Cheese Blintz Babushka. Eating one's way through undressing a doll seems like it's probably focused on a very specific target market.
"Throwing One Of These Plates Could Leave Someone Serving 25 To Life"
Selecting the venue that we go to for our dining experience comes down to who we are going to the venue with. If it's a family member or an old friend then somewhere, where a conversation can be had, would be ideal, but when going on a date, a restaurant that provides a unique twist on how its food is served makes for a great conversation starter.
Considering the wide range of conversations, both good and bad, that occur at restaurants, something just feels very irresponsible about serving people their meals on giant cleavers.
Anyone who claims that grease is not something that can be smelled has not had the pleasure of experiencing the aromatic wonders of bacon - and that's coming from someone who hasn't eaten meat for more than 2 decades. Some people like their strips to be extra crispy, while some prefer theirs to be a little bit stretchy. No matter how someone takes their morning injection of bacon, as long as it's there, that's all that matters.
Sure, it looks kind of cool having the bacon dangling from the clothesline, however, by drip-drying the rashers they're losing all of their greasy goodness. In the future, perhaps, leave the toast underneath in order to soak up the flavor.
"Pile It On"
In the restaurant industry, if an establishment doesn't have its "thing" that holds it apart from other places, there isn't any incentive for customers to return other than, perhaps, convenience. It's been proven that the dishes that meals are served on are, in actuality, one of the reasons why restaurants receive return visits from customers. There are some choices, however, that diners didn't 'dig' as much as ownership thought they would.
There's something not very appealing about being served a meal on something that most people use to shovel snow or pick up horse manure.
Looking for something that emanates antiquity while bringing a modern twist to the table? This cheek and tongue of young lamb have been braised in a fermented, blackened banana mole, and are served with a fine selection of vegetables and herbs, and garnished with wild creeping cucumbers. The good thing is, for anyone who has ever wanted to know how many teeth a lamb has, there's no need to look any further than their plate.
Serving a meal on the lower half of the jaw of the animal from which it came just seems weird. Few people actually want to see the face of the animal they're eating, even if it has been skinned and boiled.
"Got That TPS Report Done Yet? "
Going to a restaurant or resort is meant to be a way for someone to unwind and forget about the stressful things that await them back at work. When the opportunity arises, many people choose to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head out to the countryside where they can visit local wineries and partake in an educational pairing experience.
Eating off of a clipboard is quirky, but it also brings people back to the reality that they have to return to work when the weekend is over - maybe just go with the plates next time.
"The Ocean Called. It's Running Out Of Shrimp"
We all know someone who can't go even a few minutes without checking their phone for messages or updating their social media. Even when they think they're being respectful by not answering ALL of their calls, by keeping the ringer on and the phone on the table, they are showing their company that there is something more important than the "here and now".
"Hi, I'm looking for a better way for this prawn appetizer to be served."
"We can help you with that. How about anything other than on a phone's receiver."
"Got it. Thanks".
"Hi, I'm looking for a better way for this prawn appetizer to be served."
"We can help you with that. How about anything other than on a phone's receiver."
"Got it. Thanks".
"Is This What A Young Ent Looks Like? "
As far as vegetarian options go, it has only been in recent years, that restaurants have truly begun to accommodate non-meat eaters. In order to not have the herbivores of the world feel left out and neglected, many establishments have done what they could to present some of their green dishes as creatively as they could think to do, which is something a lot of places have been struggling with.
That, my friends, is this venue's rendition of a caesar salad. Pieces of lettuce that have been impaled on sticks and drizzled with dressing with the croutons served below the salad. The look on her face says it all.
"May As Well Take A Shot"
Celebrating a wedding, anniversary, sweet 16, or bar mitzvah is a momentous occasion full of food, drinks, and general merriment. These events are meant to be memorable. After all, they are fairly important events in one's life. While the nosh is generally of great quality, it is not uncommon to find it served in uniquely absurd ways. There are few dishes that say "celebrate" quite like a shot glass does...
Getting rid of those shot glasses and serving the tacos flat on that board with a small dish of guac on the side would make them a lot easier to eat and, probably, lead to fewer broken shot glasses.
"Board Of Traditional Plates? "
Grilled marinated chicken lying on a bed of white rice and black beans, topped with the house special sauce, and accompanied by a side salad and a wedge of grilled pineapple doesn't sound too bad at all for dinner, as long as the meal stays on the plate instead of relocating itself onto the diner's lap. As a result of what this next place uses as plates, it might be a good idea to ask for some extra napkins...
Serving meals on wooden boards is not a new concept. Using boards with cracks in them, while serving saucy foods, however, now that's what we call living on the edge.
"Going To The Eggstreme"
There are quite a few restaurants in North America that focus their menus specifically on the most important meal of the day. But with so many different businesses, all vying for the same customer base, each one is constantly trying to find its own way of getting customers talking about their dining experiences. The next diner knew eggsactly what to do in order to get the word around.
Let's get this straight, the sauces and dips are being served directly from an egg carton, and the toast is served directly on the paper placement, while the coffee has the luxury of resting on a saucer.
"Don't Forget To Register Your Plate"
A plate can be made out of almost anything these days. Many establishments have been migrating away from single-use plastics, but have been running into difficulties when trying to track down cheaper alternatives. When utilizing all the resources at one's disposal, sometimes, all it takes is a bit of industrialism and creativity to create a fad and save money. A burger shop owner in the States exemplifies this mentality...
After a bit of scavenging and a lot of sanitizing, all one needs to do is make a plus sign with two license plates, bend up the sides, and, voila! Introducing "License plates".
"A Sprinkle Of Rust For Flavour"
Going to a country western-themed restaurant is a fun way to spend a night out with family and friends. From BBQ beef ribs to heaping piles of nachos, these themed venues, usually, have all of the foods that we wanted to eat when we were younger but were rarely allowed to due to their messy nature. One of the things that most people love about themed restaurants is their attempt at authenticity through and through.
To make people feel as though they truly are in the Wild West everything right down to the rusty bucket full of chips is authentic, as is the possibility of catching tetanus.
"Don't Drop These Plates On Your Foot"
It's no secret that businesses try to cut as many corners as they legally could in order to be as profitable as possible. At a certain point, however, the cost-cutting needs to stop. That point just might be when the kitchen staff starts sending meals out on bricks that they're using for plates. The wait staff at this restaurant must spend most of their day cursing out whoever chose the dishes.
What was the design team thinking with this one? There's nothing quite like being served messy food that's balancing on a narrow board with no wiggle room for mess-making?
"Well, That Was A Waste"
When designing new meals for one's restaurant, a head chef used to focus on creating a delicious dish that speaks to one's tastebuds, however, somewhere along the line the flare and pizzaz of what someone is being fed became just as, if not more, important than the food itself. The same can be said when it comes to the cocktails and desserts that a restaurant chooses to add to its menu.
The only way that serving something in this manner could be a good idea is if it has been designed to make a mess of the table and a fool of the customer.
"4 Legs Good, 2 Legs Ba-A-Ad"
When invited by the big wigs in charge to join them for lunch, the way in which one handles themselves has the potential to make or break their career. It's important to choose everything wisely up to and including where to sit. For those who have never been on a business lunch, choosing a meal that won't embarrass one's self in front of their superiors is a great place to start.
Eating out of a trough might be ok for animals and a quirky ploy for entertaining children, but serving food out of a personal-sized trough in a restaurant that uses white tablecloths, or any tablecloths at all, just doesn't seem right.
"Working From The Bottom Up"
Sharing multiple appetizers, tapas-style, amongst a table is a great way for everyone to get a little taste of a lot of things. One of the important things about shared starters, however, is that the food, and its accompanying condiments, need to be accessible to everyone at the table. Putting the condiments at the bottom of a schooner, that is subsequently filled with sliders, seems like it might be more trouble than its worth.
Although the "slider mug" is a great idea for saving space, and an Instagram-worthy gimmick, a beer schooner is not the most dish to use for an appetizer that is meant to be shared.
"The Dog Days Of Summer"
Finding a fun gimmick that also happens to coincide with the foods that an establishment is known for is a win-win situation, like when a seafood joint serves its shellfish on a giant clamshell plate, or when a bar decides to serve all of its pub fare in various beverage glasses. Based strictly on the dishes that this next venue uses one might assume that its business plan is based on catering to the needs of our four-legged furry friends.
Really? A hot dog and fries served in an actual dog dish? Sadly, there are probably more people who consider this clever than those who find these dishes to be weird and uncomfortable to eat out of.
"If They Could Put A Ship In A Bottle, Why Not? "
Finding a way in which one's restaurant is able to reduce its amount of daily waste output while optimizing the usage of every item in a restaurant is an outstanding way to turn losses into gains. In other words - recycle. Instead of throwing away empty wine and beer bottles, try making use of them. Why not send them to be refurbished and turned into serving dishes?
This wouldn't be the worst idea if the neck of those bottles weren't just taking up space. As it turns out, other than to aid with pouring drinks and getting fingers stuck in, bottlenecks are not very useful.
"The Leaning Tower Of Meats-Ahhh"
Thanks to programs like "Man Vs Food", grotesquely giant meals, that are chock full of a tremendous amount of fat and calories, have made their way into the minds of food freaks everywhere and, most likely, have been responsible for a handful of potentially fatal coronaries. Aside from the sickly repercussions that await those who dare to finish their meals, due to the plates that they're served on, very few people are presentable by the time they're ready to leave.
In what world does it make sense to serve an 18-inch-tall tower of meaty sandwiches on a 6-inch-wide plate. In order to avoid a disaster outright, diners would, almost definitely, have to start at the top and work their way down.
"Gag It And Bag It"
Running late in the morning, by even a few minutes, is a fantastic way to throw one's entire day off balance. Those essential morning minutes can be the difference between making a coffee for the commute to work or having to stop off at one of the dozens of cafes that are on the way. Considering how many options there are, the only logical way to choose between them is to pick the one with the shortest queue.
There is always a reason why a queue for a cafe isn't as long as its competitors. In this case, the option of drinking one's coffee out of a plastic sandwich bag isn't everyone's cup of tea.
"A Spoonful Of Sugar"
For many people, dessert is the part of the meal that they are looking forward to the most, unfortunately, however, dessert comes at the end of the meal, and, although our dessert stomachs have grown accustomed to waiting patiently for their turn to be filled, occasionally, even those with a sweet tooth are unable to eat anything more than "just one spoonful". Knowing this, one restaurant developed the perfect 1-spoonful dessert...
They, probably, should have thought something was awry when the dessert spoon cost more than the main course. FYI: anyone who orders this dessert and doesn't take, at least, one bite directly from the spoon is doing it a disservice.
Thinking outside of the proverbial box for a way to help one's restaurant thrive is a skill that is not easy to come by. In order to do so, one must have a great understanding of the current customer base's wants and needs, as well as having a firm grasp on the direction that the dining industry is going. Without intuition one is left guessing and is constantly trying to pull ideas out of thin air.
Some ideas, like this post-modern artistic rendition of a bread basket, should be given a bit more thought before being settled on. This would be a great idea, however, if served alongside a bowl of fresh bird's nest soup.
"We'll Need The Plate Back Later So We Can Sweep Up"
No one is denying the fact that the past two years have been a trying time for small business owners and restauranteurs all over the world. Coming out of the multiple lockdowns to a world that was fearful of in-person contact with others resulted in many businesses saving money where they could. Those who have braved the new world and made their way out for a meal have seen these changes first hand.
It looks like this place couldn't even manage to procure some extra side plates. The meal looks lovely, but the brioche appears to be resting on the bristle end of a broom.
"Don't Play With Your Dinner"
Redesigning a restaurant's image isn't just about giving the establishment a fresher and hipper look. It's about creating a menu that appeals to the desired clientele and finding creative new ways to present the meals. As difficult as it could be to find the next big thing that will get people lining up around the block, with this next concept, one restaurant owner thinks that they might have found the building blocks to success.
Next time, just have the kids build plates that are made out of lego instead of paying an arm and a leg for a meal that's, most likely, going to end up all over the table.
"And Then I Ate The Bowl"
Finding a way to eliminate the need to clean dishes at a restaurant would save a tremendous amount of time and money. Knowing that customers need something to eat their meals out of, in 2000, the popular coffee shop, Tim Hortons, introduced their now-common method of serving chili and soups in a homemade bread bowl. Other restaurants have been experimenting with some of their own "genius" ways of cutting back on dish usage as well...
Serving a meal inside of a hollowed-out baked cabbage, probably, seemed like a much better idea when it was conceived compared to when the idea came to fruition.
"Anyone Bring Some Delicious Triscuit Crackers?"
If ever one were to find themselves in attendance at a function where some of the finer things that life has to offer are available, it would be a good idea to know how to properly consume what's being offered. For those who didn't know, oysters are best served fresh, right from their shell, and caviar is at its most flavourful when served and eaten off the back of our hands.
Eating caviar like the pros means that, while indulging, if pulled into a long-drawn-out conversation, one is stuck with caviar juices on the back of their hand until they have a chance to escape to the facilities.
"On Second Thought, Maybe Not"
Earlier on, we had a look at a pair of tacos that were served inside shot glasses, and I had mentioned that it would probably have been a better idea to lay the tacos open on the serving board, instead of curling them up in a glass with guac at the base. After some additional research, thanks to this next method of plating up, I would like to retract my previous comment.
In the shot glasses, at least, the tacos looked a little dressed up. These just look like they're missing something...like personality...and guacamole.