What’s your goal when you go out to eat at a sit-down restaurant? To grab a quick sandwich and get out the door?
Let fast food restaurants take care of mass produced food. When you go to a sit-down restaurant, you are looking for fantastically fresh food, a great atmosphere, and unforgettable moments.
If you are a restaurant owner, that's what you need to create for your customers.
Unfortunately, when food is presented in a boring way, it doesn’t check any of those boxes. The result is a drab dining experience for customers - certainly not something they’ll come back to or recommend to their friends.
Thankfully, spicing up your food presentation can be easy.
With items like fancy toothpicks, bamboo knotted skewers, and custom drink stirrers, you can make your food presentation stand apart from the competition and have customers raving about their dining experience!
In this article, the Pick On Us team has collaborated to put our years of experience together so you can start utilizing fancy and custom toothpicks and take your food presentation to the next level.
Ready to go? Let’s get started!
21 Creative Ways To Use Fancy Toothpicks With Food
Snuggling under a blanket with a warm cup of hot chocolate on a blustery winter night is about as fun as it gets.
But at least one thing can make it better:
Add a few marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream to your steaming cup of hot chocolate. Suddenly your hot chocolate goes from being appealing to being a unique and delicious treat.
Fancy and custom toothpicks have a similar effect.
No matter how you use them, fancy toothpicks enhance dining and create a personally memorable experience for each customer. They give food that little bit of uniqueness customers are looking for.
Let’s dig into some practical examples of how you can use fancy and custom toothpicks at your restaurant, hotel, or catering business.
Using Fancy Toothpicks to Inform Customers
Do you know how some sailors used to eat while exploring the uncharted oceans?
They would eat at night, so they couldn’t see the terrible food they were putting in their mouths.
That’s something you don’t want your customer to experience! In fact, people want to know that they received exactly what they ordered, how they ordered it.
That’s where fancy toothpicks come in. Here are several ways you can use fancy toothpicks to inform customers:
1-Use fancy toothpicks as brand markers.
For example, you might use a custom toothpick to mark someone’s burger with your business logo or as a reminder for tasting wine and cheese.
2-Use custom picks as allergy markers.
The process is simple:
- Get custom toothpicks with various food allergies marked on them.
- Put the toothpicks with the appropriate food, whether it's a gluten-free or dairy-free request.
- Allow your customers to eat in peace, knowing you have taken extra caution with their food allergy.
This makes customers feel cared for, as they know you have taken extra pains to make sure they get the right food with the right ingredients.
3-Use them as meat temperature markers.
When you have a group of people ordering steak or burgers, show attentive care to each one by placing a custom toothpick in their meat that marks how they wanted it cooked.
For example, one steak might be marked with a “medium rare” custom pick while another is marked “rare.”
And the best part?
You can include your brand or logo on the fancy pick as well so that people remember the amazing experience they had at your business.
Using Fancy Toothpicks in Drinks
Drinks are an essential part of life in America.
Think about it:
For almost every special occasion we celebrate, we include some kind of drink. Maybe it’s milkshakes at a big birthday party, a cocktail at a wedding, or pink lemonade at a baby shower.
Either way, drinks are a way we make important events memorable and unique.
If you are looking for ways to make sure your event and brand is remembered, decorative toothpicks in your drinks is an excellent place to start.
Check out this blog from Pick On Us if you want to know how to make a killer signature cocktail!
4-Use fancy picks as drink stirrers.
The options here are endless - you just need to use your creativity for a stunning drink stirrer.
Looking for some practical ideas? Try these:
- Use a decorative sports pick garnished with lemon to top your 19th hole drink at your country club.
- Put a colorful beaded pick to work with a raspberry or strawberry to top your martini.
- Try a custom drink stirrer engraved with someone’s name to celebrate an anniversary or significant milestone birthday.
5-You can also use them in milkshakes!
Again, the opportunities for making a milkshake special with a decorative toothpick are endless.
Try a colorful bamboo tulip pick for a fun, whimsical look or a bamboo knotted pick for an elegant touch to any milkshake.
6-Make your cocktails and drinks unique.
It’s the same idea as before. Choose a pick that you think is beautiful or matches the theme of your event. Then garnish it with whatever you’d like!
You could try a jack-o-lantern toothpick to pair with your Witch’s Heart Halloween cocktail or a shamrock drink pick to complement your Saint Patrick’s Day cocktail. Or, keep it classic with a bamboo loop pick at a wedding or corporate party.
7-Finally, try using decorative toothpicks as hot drink toppers.
Use a Christmas tree pick garnished with marshmallows, cookies, or other sweet treats to top your hot chocolate. You can also try a cute snowman pick or silver star toothpicks to accompany a latte or steaming cup of coffee.
Using Fancy Toothpicks in Appetizers
Appetizers give you a chance to make a lasting first impression. And first impressions matter - big time!
The sequence in which we encounter events matters in how we judge subsequent information. This is called the halo effect - it means that we use our first impression of a person, thing, or event to judge all of our subsequent experiences with that same person, thing, or event.
You’re at work, and your boss asks your opinion about whether your co-worker, Dave, would be a good team leader for an upcoming project. You don’t know Dave well, but you consider Dave an attractive person. So, you automatically say yes.
This is because your positive thoughts about Dave’s looks influence how you think of him in other favorable terms - including leadership and intelligence.
This can work positively and negatively for your food catering business or restaurant!
Give someone a bad first impression, and they are likely to form negative opinions about you. If you give them a great first impression, they are likely to think positively about you.
That’s why appetizers are important at a place that serves food. Here are some ways to make a great first impression with appetizers:
8-Use custom picks to create phenomenal single-bite appetizers.
Who wouldn’t be pleased with bacon-wrapped pineapple, mini pigs in a blanket, or smoked salmon presented on a fancy toothpick? The toothpick gives your already-amazing appetizer the finishing touch it needs to be irresistable.
9-Use them to hold food & appetizers together.
Have you ever tried a pickle in a blanket? They are easy to make and delectable, but you need a toothpick to keep it together.
- Spread a teaspoon of cream cheese on a slice of salami
- Top with a dill pickle
- Roll and secure with a fancy toothpick
- Serve cold for an amazingly refreshing appetizer
10-Toothpicks are essential when it comes to charcuterie trays.
Charcuterie boards are beautiful and delicious but can be a little unsanitary if people are using their hands to pick out their food. Thankfully, food picks allow you to pick up various cheeses and meats without spreading germs all over the food.
Beyond that, fancy picks can be labeled with an attractive food tag and used to identify different items on the charcuterie tray.
11-Make food lollipops that impress.
People love eating their food in novel ways, and a food lollipop is a great way to get people drawn into the dining experience.
Pop a mini meatball, a piece of sausage, or even a chunk of beef tenderloin on a fancy pick, and you have an attractive, savory appetizer.
12-Get creative with caprese skewers.
Your health-conscious customer may prefer a salad for an appetizer. If so, give them an option of a caprese skewer.
A Caprese salad skewer is a twist on a classic Caprese salad. You simply skewer mozzarella balls onto a bamboo pick along with cherry tomatoes and small basil leaves.
Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and balsamic reduction, and you have an appetizer that foodies dream of! Try it with a fancy tied heart toothpick on a tray passed appetizer for a wedding or anniversary celebration.
13-Use Decorative Toothpicks For Amazing Poppers.
People love those “popper” appetizers. And you can’t blame them - they are delicious.
We’re talking about things like jalapeno poppers, stuffed mini peppers, and cheese poppers. Put them on a custom toothpick, and you have appetizers that people can grab and walk away with - while continuing to socialize.
Using Fancy Toothpicks in Food
Fancy toothpicks are most commonly used in drinks and appetizers.
That means that if you want to take the next step and distance yourself from your competitors, you should consider using fancy toothpicks in main courses and entrees.
After all, the same principles apply. People want a quality, memorable experience at your place of business - so give it to them!
While you can't use decorative picks on every kind of food, you might be surprised at how often you can use them. Here are a few ideas:
14-Use fancy toothpicks in club sandwiches.
Nothing goes with summer like a club sandwich. Push a custom pick through someone’s club sandwich with their company logo, and you’re guaranteed to make their day.
You can even make club sandwich pinwheels - a club sandwich rolled up in a tortilla and topped with pickle and cherry tomato.
15-Garnish your soup in style.
Some people think soup is boring. But when you have a creative garnish to go with soup, no one thinks it is boring!
Grilled cheese croutons are excellent on top of tomato soup, while sauteed mushrooms make a flavorful impact on seafood chowders. If that’s not enough, try chopped apples with a creamy winter squash soup!
16-Try toothpicks with meat bites.
For the meat lovers out there, here are our top three meat bite ideas:
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites
- Coconut Chicken and Shrimp
- Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato “Buns”
You need to try at least one of them! You could get infinitely creative with other ideas as well.
17-Make mini shish kabobs with longer toothpicks.
Traditional shish kabobs - a dish of marinated meat and vegetables, come served on skewers.
You can take the same idea and make a mini shish kabob using custom toothpicks! Again, the options are limitless.
Typically, the meat on shish kabobs is beef, but you can get creative and try other things like shrimp or chicken. We especially love the delightful Hawaiian chicken kabobs.
For your vegetarian customers, you can offer shish kabobs using cubes of extra firm tofu. Trust us when we say there is a mini shish kabob for everyone!
18-Serve a creative breakfast.
Don’t limit yourself to lunch or supper when it comes to preparing your food attractively. Dare to dream, and make your breakfasts something to remember!
We love serving hushpuppy pancakes on custom bamboo toothpicks. They are adorable, delicious, and fun for everyone.
You can do the same with french toast bites, or you could go more savory and serve mushrooms on a decorative pick to compliment an omelet!
Using Fancy Toothpicks in Dessert
Dessert is a natural closing act for most meals. And, like first impressions, final impressions are important!
You want your customers leaving the party or walking out the door of your restaurant saying, “That was an experience I won’t forget!”
To do that, you have to finish strong.
Here are our ideas for using fancy picks to make your dessert a show-stopper.
19-Make your desserts bigger and better.
A fudge sundae is good - but a fudge sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top? Now that’s delicious.
Desserts are a prime place to make extra special additions that make all the difference. They are the icing on the cake of your meal, and they need an extra special topper.
Don’t just serve Valentine’s Day cupcakes. Serve Valentine’s Day cupcakes with a red heart toothpick securing a strawberry on top.
And when you bring out the cake, make sure it’s topped with some fancy toothpicks and truffle. It’s the details that are sure to impress and delight.
20-Use fancy toothpicks in fruit kabobs.
If you are running a restaurant or serving a large crowd of people, you are sure to encounter some individuals who don’t eat sweet treats.
But don’t worry!
For these folks, you can prepare fruit kabobs served on custom toothpicks.
In the end, incorporating fruit kabobs with pies, cakes, ice cream, and more is an excellent idea because the fruit adds a bold splash of color to a lot of neutral colors in traditional sweets.
Use dark red cherries, black raspberries, and pieces of apple for a sophisticated look, and use pineapple, mango, and honeydew for a bright, fun appearance.
21-Use toothpicks as s’more skewers.
There are various ways to prepare s'mores on a stick, but every way you do it with a skewer is cleaner than traditional s’mores while keeping the same famous taste.
Here’s our preferred method:
- Put a marshmallow on a fancy holiday pick.
- Dip the marshmallow into melted chocolate
- Dab the chocolate covered marshmallow in crushed graham cracker crumbs.
- Bake the marshmallows or heat them gently over a fire!
It’s clear by now that presenting food has an enormous impact on the experience your customers will have.
Whether or not you use decorative or custom toothpicks in your food presentation, you need to make sure you are putting careful thought into how people experience your food - not just how it tastes.
And if you want to make sure your food looks great, you now have plenty of ideas, as well as a few new recipes to try!
4 Ways Custom Toothpicks Help Grow Your Brand
Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, or hotel manager, you want to grow your business.
And while you know that customer satisfaction is vital in that, you may be wondering:
“Are custom toothpicks really going to help me grow my business?”
We’ve helped over 7,000 of the nation’s top restaurants make great customer impressions, and we’re here to say, “Yes! Custom toothpicks can help grow your brand.”
Here’s four reasons why:
The Social Factor of Custom Toothpicks
Consumer surveys show that more and more people, particularly millennials, prefer to spend their money on memorable and shareable experiences than on material goods.
That’s why cell phones quickly come out and pictures are taken when people visit restaurants these days. Ever heard someone say, “phone eats first”, and then snap a picture?
People want to take photos of their food and share it with their friends to show off what a great experience they had!
When your logo or brand is on a skewer or custom pick in the picture, you’ve just done some marketing.
And in the food business, nothing matters more than the recommendations of friends and family. In fact, 88% of diners said the advice of personal connections was the most significant factor when it came to choosing a place to eat.
The Quality Factor of Custom Toothpicks
When we can tell someone cares about serving us with the best they have, we are willing to forgive a lot.
If you’ve received an ugly Christmas sweater from a grandparent, you know what I mean. You didn’t mind that the sweater wasn’t your style because you know that your grandparent sincerely wants to give you a gift you love.
When you use quality, custom picks to serve food, your customers can tell you are putting every bit of energy into ensuring they have a great experience.
They’ll notice and appreciate your effort, and their loyalty to your brand will grow.
If, on the other hand, a customer suspects you are not committed to quality, they will write you off at the first opportunity they get.
The Custom Factor of Custom Toothpicks
You can engrave your brand on every single pick you use. Beyond that, you can put customers' business logo on picks, especially at events like corporate parties.
Every time that individual sees a photo of that experience, they will remember your brand.
Did you serve them a burger with a custom pick? The next time they crave a juicy burger, they will recall yours and the pick that was in it.
The WOW Factor of Custom Toothpicks
Roll the previous three benefits of custom toothpicks into one bundle, and you are left with a “wow” factor that clients won’t forget.
Having their company brand on their pick? They won’t forget that custom detail.
Receiving their steak with a pick that describes how it was cooked? That’s a unique experience that will stick with them.
A Caprese salad on a stick? There’s exceptional beauty they’ll want to remember.
They’ll walk away knowing they had one of the best dining experiences of their life and that they’ll be back!
If you are a caterer, hotel manager, restaurant owner, or chef and are looking to get creative with your food presentation, consider some products from Pick On Us for a little more pizazz.
We offer many different kinds of fancy toothpicks, including cocktail toothpicks, bamboo knot toothpicks, and decorative party toothpicks. We even offer bulk bamboo toothpicks and free shipping on orders over $249!
No matter the size or style you want, we have the custom picks you need for any event, group, or restaurant!
The best part about our fancy toothpicks is that they are all hand made from eco-friendly, biodegradable bamboo! Crafting our fancy toothpicks from bamboo means that we are helping the conservation of soil and forests.
Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!