It’s no secret that a restaurant’s menu is one of its most vital selling points. As such, many restaurateurs are often advised to put great effort into their menu pairings to ensure that they appeal to their guests.

The right food and beverage pairing can engage your diners and give them a more immersive and memorable dining experience. Being smart with your menu pairings can also help you upsell to customers while allowing them to try something new. Below are some specific insights into creating menu pairings that will surely captivate your guests.

Create bright and colorful dishes.


Colors are integral to the culinary experience, so consider mixing them to make meals more appealing. A grilled chicken breast accompanied by mashed potatoes and corn cake may taste great but will do a terrible job of visually stimulating your guests. On the other hand, the same grilled chicken breast with a more colorful rainbow salad will automatically make the plate more attractive. Consequently, always choose the right colors for your sides to increase the dish’s appeal and help clients visualize how great their meal will look even before it arrives. Since the visual element is integral to the dining experience, you can also invest in making your restaurant’s walls more engaging by showcasing quality photo posters. Creative printing companies such as Shutterfly can help with this need.

Shutterfly helps you create wall art, photo cards, picture books, invitations, photo prints, and personalized gifts for your friends and family on their website. You can order high-quality photo prints as premium posters, canvas prints, framed prints, and photo collage posters. Their premium poster prints are an eye-catching and fun way to inject some personality into your walls. You can quickly start making your photo posters by selecting your preferred template from their custom poster maker and further customize it with other features. Their canvas prints are also perfect for capturing special occasions and are made from high-grade poly-cotton canvas with semi-gloss finishing. You can also order photo collage posters, framed prints, and other prints in various sizes to showcase different kinds of wall spaces. What’s more, Shutterfly allows you to print your photos from any device, so clients can quickly transform everyday images into framed, unique memories that can be personal or gift-worthy.

Complement different flavors effectively.

Flavors are also essential when pairing food on menus for your guests, so keep this in mind. Spices bring excellent taste to several dishes because they bring out the ingredients’ flavors and combine them well. However, not all flavors collaborate well, so pairing the wrong ones could ruin meals. Therefore, always ensure that your pairings are in sync with each other because this can help you sell more. Complementary flavors can also save you from serving meals accompanied by the wrong sides. For example, a spicy main dish like hot buffalo wings will work best with a mild coleslaw side instead of a spicy side.

If you’re serving a seafood dish like grilled shrimp, consider pairing it with a Caesar salad and gin martinis, because this side and drink combination best compliments the shrimp’s taste. Since shrimp is a restaurant staple, you can invest in quality wild-caught Gulf shrimp and other shrimp products from trusted grocery stores. Some gulf shrimp suppliers even offer free shipping if you buy 10 pounds (or 160 ounces) of shrimp products, so they’re worth contacting for your shrimp purchases.

Provide nutritious offerings to complete meals.

Many health experts continually tout the importance of healthy eating, and more people seem to be paying greater attention to them nowadays. Therefore, offering nutritious sides to complete meals is an instant way to make your menu appeal to a customer base that’s becoming increasingly health-conscious. For example, pairing steak dinners with freshly blended fruit drinks or a side of greens presents the entire meal as healthier to clients. As such, invest in several fresh fruits and vegetables from local supermarkets to bring healthier choices into your menu pairings.

If you own a pickup truck, consider purchasing a helpful cargo management system that keeps your groceries and other items in place to prevent them from shifting about. An effective cargo management system should be versatile and lock in place well, whether under your tonneau cover for the moving trip or to your tailgate’s end during loading and unloading, so keep this in mind when searching for a great, foldable cargo box.

Experiment with different textures.

Textures are essential to dining because very few people fancy meals that are entirely hard or soft. The quest for varying textures to delight the palate largely accounts for everyone’s love of chips and dips or preference for veggies in pasta. Therefore, always ensure that your menu pairings have varying textures to guarantee guests’ wonderful dining experiences. Soft dishes like pizza and pasta will go well with a side dish like a crisp salad. The texture is also essential with drink pairings, as smooth-textured drinks like the American IPA pair well with several strong-tasting, crispy foods. The American IPA has a smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel and strong hop bitterness. This IPA also has a strong malt backbone with citrus and floral hop flavors that typically linger into the aftertaste.

Pair wines and dishes from the same regions.

Cuisine and wine from the same area have a long, rich history of being consumed together. Therefore, matching local dishes with specific wines from the same place is an excellent menu pairing idea that appeals to guests. These custom wine pairings are popular choices for clients because they’re straightforward and make more sense. For example, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Sancerre region in France will go well with a Crottin de Chavignol goat cheese from the same area. As such, pairing wines with corresponding local dishes is an effective menu pairing tactic worth considering for your guests.

Menu pairings are a great way to earn more money while allowing clients to try something new. The above-listed points are some insights into creating attractive menu pairings that will delight your restaurant’s guests.