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‘We Want Plates’ campaign backlashes gimmicky serving dishes in restaurants

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Amy Lewis
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Pork medallions served in a mini urinal? Bread rolls in a flat cap? For one Twitter group, experimentation with new ways to present food has gone too far.

We Want Plates is making a stand.

Set up by digital content manager Ross McGinnes, from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, the campaign wants what it says; food served on what is fast becoming a dish of old.

McGinnes isn’t against experimenting with taste and flavour of course, he’s just had to catch peas rolling off a slate one too many times.

The Twitter bio of his campaign reads: “The crusade against serving food on bits of wood and roof slates, jam-jar drinks and chips in mugs," and while the protest has been running on social media for over six months, things have just stepped up a gear.

Rather than just sharing images of meals served in disappointingly inventive ways, McGinnes and his followers are now also sending meals back to the kitchen, to be placed on a proper plate. 

They have the before and after pictures to prove it.

“Restaurants are trying to stand out, but they’re just making their customers look like infantilised idiots while eating,” McGinnes tells The Guardian.

“I hope we’ll make a difference,” adds David Martyn, an active We Want Plates follower. “How are you supposed to eat fish and chips off a slate? It’s presentation over practicality. And surely it’s old hat by now?”

While some restaurateurs are welcoming the naming and shaming from We Want Plates in good spirit, others, of course, are not.

Great British Menu contestant Michael O’Hara tweeted: “Absolutely couldn’t give a f*** about We Want Plates,” after his langoustine tartare served inside a giant plastic egg came under fire.

Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern meanwhile, the man guilty of putting bread rolls in a flat cap, railed against the campaign branding its followers "sad We Want Plates muppets who need to get a life (or a slate)".

From Prosecco chilled in a wellington boot to a prawn cocktail served over a glass containing a live, swimming goldfish, We Want Plates certainly may have a point.

Creativity has gone far beyond quirky cocktails in jam jars.

But judging the wealth of material the campaign's followers are still tweeting, it seems the novelty of innovation is yet to wear off for business owners…

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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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