Depending on your target demographic, this isn't a bad thing. Go to any of the big chain stores such as Chili's, Red Lobster, or Olive Garden. That's exactly how their plates look -- three different items, sometimes touching, sometimes not (depending mostly on the consistency of the food, how much care the cook put into it, and how sloppy the server was in transporting). But it isn't "bad", it's simply "normal".
I think "plating" has a much bigger place in higher end markets. When the quality of the food requires higher pricing, then you want the dish to be more visually stimulating. For instance, if you've taken the time to make meat glace and gone through the extra expense, you must charge more. It's now time to show the customer that you put that level of care into the dish. If you started off with a boullion cube, no matter what you do visually, it's never going to command the higher price.
I do like the suggestions on how to make minor changes, but when it comes to trying to make everyday food look like something out of a magazine, I think the point gets lost.
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia
I've never known how plate things seperately. I don't mind my food teaching (roast beef ontop of mashed potatoes for example) and I do tend to plate this way at home. When I plate each item seperately on the plate it tends to look like a buffet dinner. Not pretty.