Food tips

Get a full meal–drink and side included–for under $5 by ordering off the kids menu.

Kids menu meals come with fruit or chips and juice, milk, or soda–all for under $5. You can choose from three dishes: build-your-own tacos, a cheese quesadilla, or a cheese quesadilla with meat or guacamole.

Get more meat by choosing 2 proteins at no extra cost.

You can choose two proteins at no extra cost, but you’ll pay for the more expensive protein. Still, each portion typically turns into 3/4 of a serving each, which means more meat all around in that burrito.

Pay only $0.25 per Chicken McNugget by going with the 20-pack instead of the 4-pack.

Each Chicken McNugget costs $0.30 in the $1.19 4-pack. If your family loves McNuggets, save a nickel per piece by ordering in bulk with the $5 20-pack.

Save $1.30 by ordering a Sausage McMuffin with a round egg a la carte instead of a Sausage McMuffin with Egg.

Order a round egg for an added $0.50 and build your own Sausage McMuffin with Egg instead of ordering the real thing for $2.99.

Save $2.30 by ordering a Double Cheeseburger without ketchup and mustard, and with lettuce and special sauce, instead of a Big Mac.

You may not get the sesame seed bun, but you’ll save about $2.30.

Ask that your sandwich be made with a round egg instead of a folded egg.

Go for better quality and taste by asking that your sandwich be made with a round egg instead of the scrambled stuff that’s been pressed into a patty. The round egg is made right there on the premises in an egg ring, free of charge.

Save $1.19 by ordering 2 Junior Roast Beef Sandwiches instead of a Classic Roast Beef Sandwich.

You get more of the same food for less money. Bonus Tip: Buy anything off the menu, then call the number on the back of the receipt to do a quick survey. Write down the survey code and get back in line for a FREE Roast Beef Sandwich or Beef’n Cheddar Sandwich.

Match food presentation to your restaurant theme

Jim Solomon, chef and former owner of The Fireplace in Brookline, Massachusetts, says that the style of plating should match the restaurant’s atmosphere. “Small ethnic restaurants, where it appears grandma is cooking in the kitchen, can’t serve plates that try to emphasize vertical, architectural compositions,” he says. “Your guests expect a simple, welcoming presentation that stresses straightforward flavor cooked with heart and served with an unfussy, rustic quality. At relatively pricey, hip and high-end restaurants, guests want to see a degree of artistry and care taken in constructing the dishes.” The way you plate your food should directly reflect your restaurant type. Solomon adds that “food should have an element of height or visual texture, the balance of color and thoughtful garnishes—both carefully placed and intentional in flavor and texture.”

Choose the right plates

Michael Welch, the executive chef at Backyard Kitchen & Tap in Pacific Beach, California, preaches using the right plate size, color, and style. The color of plate matters as the plate serves as the canvas for your food. “Typically, chefs will stay away from blue plates as there isn’t any naturally blue food and it is thought to be an unappetizing color,” he says. “If you have something with a lot of vibrant color, it might stand out better on a white plate.” Jim Solomon echos the importance of choosing the right vessel to present your dish. “Choose a dish vessel that makes it easy for your guest to eat. This is also an opportunity for your chefs to show their personality in the dishes they create.”

Use edible garnishes and decorations

Garnishes and decorations are a great way of styling your dish, but there are some guidelines you should follow when using them. Whatever you use—whether it’s a herb, spice, or a flower—it needs to be edible. Everything on your plate should be placed with the intention of elevating the dishes taste first, and the way it looks second.