We Want Plates is a community of both regular people and dedicated foodies who are joining their forces to make restaurants serve food on actual plates, not on bits of wood and roof tiles. To do so, they are shaming all the ridiculous food presentations they are receiving online, and their crusade has made them quite famous.
Founded in 2015 by Ross McGinnes, We Want Plates already has 157K followers on Twitter, 100K on Facebook, and 30K on Instagram. However, the biggest unit of their army is located on Reddit — over 650K troops. I think it's safe to say that the growth of the project is a pretty good indication that restaurants should think twice before serving cured meat on a bone or pouring a cocktail into a baby bottle. At least I hope so.
One of the moderators of the We Want Plates subreddit, Merari01, said that even though the food itself is the cornerstone of dining, its presentation is important too. "A wonderful meal is enhanced by a superb presentation. But an overly excessive display can detract from the meal," the moderator told Bored Panda.
"For me, the line [between creative and absurd] presentation is crossed when the creativity hinders the enjoyment of the food. Food that cannot be eaten without messing up the table, because the sauce gets everywhere since there's no plate but a piece of slate used. Food that cannot be eaten without carefully dismantling it from the display on which it is mounted and pinned. Our current top post is a good example. You'll have to dismantle the display and then there isn't much room on the board for cutting the meat."
In an earlier Bored Panda interview, McGinnes noted that some restaurants put food on strange things, because they want to try to stand out from the crowd. "My local pub used to do a great Sunday roast: twelve quid, piled high, tasted great and yes, it came on a plate. One weekend they added a quirky offering to the menu: little sandwiches, pies, dainty cakes, and mini milkshakes served on a miniature picnic bench. The benches, painted bright pink and yellow, sat on top of tables seating actual grown adults. And what was the first thing these infantilized diners did? It wasn't try the food — it was whip out their phones and take a picture."
Over the following months the picnic benches became increasingly popular, coinciding with the specials board becoming progressively smaller, before it eventually disappeared altogether. "I sat there one Sunday, watching bench after garish bench emerge from the kitchen like a technicolor carnival of idiocy, before my usual roast arrived. The meat was cold and the potatoes were burnt. It was once their main Sunday trade, but the traditional roast had died an unpalatable death. But that’s OK because they were doing a roaring trade with the benches, right? Sure, until the pub down the road started doing them too. Then the one around the corner. Before you know it, everyone’s doing the same ‘quirky’ thing, except it’s not ‘quirky’ any more because you can’t move for mini picnic benches and now all their roast dinners are rubbish to boot."
Yes, serving bread chips on a comb might get your restaurant tagged in a photo on social media, but customers will probably also caption it "NOPE" and won't come back to your place ever again.