As casual-dining chains market their food in an increasingly crowded field, they’re paying more attention to what they’re serving it on.
Smokey Bones, Hard Rock Café, Sonny’s BBQ and other chains are introducing more modern dishware and adding flair with garnishes and paper wraps.
Such efforts can help make a place seem cool and contemporary at a relatively small cost, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of the restaurant research firm Technomic.
“If you put it on a nicer plate,” he said, “it feels like it’s worth more money.”
Orlando-based Hard Rock Cafe and Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill both want to place more emphasis on freshly prepared food. Dressing up the dishes, they say, helps do that.