With the boom in foodie culture and tourism centered around eating out, it is important to stand out. Having great food isn’t always enough anymore. Not only are you competing for customers and attention locally but potentially on an international scale. Regardless of whether your business is in a close-knit neighborhood community or an expansive city, being unique can only benefit you.

Many restaurants and catering companies have opted to take their creativity online, but that doesn’t have to be it! There are plenty of other ways you can catch the eye of a potential customer. Here are some ideas we think are perfect for adding an artistic touch to your culinary business.

Idea #1: Pack a punch with the presentation. There are two ways to do this: either you can get creative with your plating if your customers dine in or invest in eye-catching packaging. Plating can be made more interesting with signature garnishes, layering, and other details. For desserts, you could add designs around the dessert using syrups or take the opportunity to drive home your business name by writing it out in the plate in an artistic way. Arranging foods differently can turn them into edible art.

As far as packaging goes, you could capitalize on a current trend or it could be as simple as choosing something that is out of the ordinary. This could range from the material to the overall design. Instead of typical take-out containers for a Japanese restaurant, you could find something that resembles a bento box. Whichever route you choose, always try to tie it into your brand.

Idea #2: Rethink classic shapes. Traditionally, desserts are either round or square but they don’t have to be. Depending on your menu, you can make your own custom molds in any shape you want using food-grade silicone. The shape could tie into a theme or be completely random, it just matters that it is something different than customers see everywhere else. You could even capitalize on where you live like making seashell-shaped cookies or succulent-shaped truffles. Think about your customer base too. If you make treats for pets, create shapes that play into that.

Idea #3: Get creative with color. There’s nothing like a little color to spice up a disc, but be warned: you will want tread lightly before getting too creative because color can make some dishes appear unappetizing. However, color is a powerful tool. From rainbow bagels to multi-color grilled cheeses, you likely noticed how many businesses went viral because they took advantage of the rainbow trend a few years ago. Think of how you can introduce color to some of your dishes. For Italian, think colorful pasta. Own an ice cream shop? Add food coloring to your whipped cream or cheesecake mix.

Color doesn’t exclusively have to be used in the food though. You could run with a monochrome theme for your culinary business, using different hues to create a modern and trendy ambiance.

Idea #4: Give your decor an edge. If the dishes you serve don’t lend themselves as easily to artistic flourishes, capture the attention of diners with the experience you provide. You don’t have to invest a ton of money to do this either. It could be as simple as a single decor item, eye-catching lighting fixtures, or even a themed mural. This is a great opportunity to emphasize your brand.

Idea #5: Design an interesting menu. Many restaurants miss out on this easy opportunity to engage with their customers. Whether you use color to draw their eyes to your more lucrative dishes or take the opportunity to inject some whimsy into their experience, design with a purpose. Laminated menus aren’t new but allowing diners to write and draw on them isn’t commonplace. An interesting pattern or interactive games on the back could keep them entertained while they wait.

Idea #6: Catch their eye from afar. Don’t underestimate the power of a good paint job. For instance, if you have a food truck, make sure your truck looks appealing and grabs attention from those passing by. Not an artist yourself? Hire a local painter to help you out for a great opportunity to connect with the community and even create interesting social media content.

Not only will these artistic touches please your customers but they could help build your business by making your business and offerings something that diners want to share with their friends, family, and followers.