Beautiful, high-quality menus can really build up a customer’s appetite. Fortunately, they’re our main course.
Where to begin when it comes to menu printing? The oh-so-important menu comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and paper that can make or break a dining experience for your patrons. No pressure, though, truly. We can easily walk through it with you if you need a consultation.
Types of menus we print
Having printed a multitude of menus in our time, we’ve seen our fair share of designs and menu types. The most common menus we’ve helped restaurants create are:
- Appetizer menus
- Drink menus
- Main menus
- Dessert menus
- Takeout menus
- Late-night menus
The type of menu you’re needing will play a role in your design and layout.
Design and layout for printing your menus
We’ve seen a ton of menus over the years, but they each tend to fall into one of four categories.
The Booklet Menu
In our experience, we often see this type of menu when there is a large number of menu options available to choose from. Restaurants tend to have different sections which provide detailed information on their products alongside some pictures to highlight their delicious looking food. If we weren’t hungry before printing these menus, we certainly were afterwards.
The Flat Sheet Menu
Perhaps you’d like a menu that is a single sheet of paper or multiple sheets of paper. No problem. Flat sheet menus are great for keeping things simple. They’re also versatile and work great as a stand-alone piece or an insert into menu covers. This format is a bona fide classic and is well-received by patrons.
The Tri-Fold Menu
Used almost exclusively for takeout, a tri-fold menu is a perfect format for people on the go. They’re easy to hand off, staple well to a takeout bag, stick around in your patron’s home, and are exceedingly cost-effective. Win-win-win-win.
The Rack Card Menu
These slender menus are most commonly used for takeout and limited-time offerings like those found at brunch and happy hour. Best done on a decent cardstock, this format is excellent for keeping menu items accessible and print costs down.
What paper should I use for my printed menus?
Great question! Standard coated or uncoated paper stocks are typically great options, but it ultimately comes down to the look and feel you’d like to achieve. Some restaurants have used linen stocks, off-white stocks, or even coloured stocks to bring individuality to their menus. In the last few years, synthetic paper stocks have become a worthwhile investment for their tear-resistant properties.
Making your menus last
If you want longevity with your menus, we highly recommend two methods, both of which we offer in-house. The first and most often used method is lamination. You can use a laminating film for your printed menus, making them water-resistant, tear-proof, and capable of being wiped down. You have options for a finish with gloss, matte, and velvet. Check out our menu printing and lamination case study to get an in-depth look at choosing.
Another option is to use synthetic stocks. This type of stock has emerged over the last few years to offer a viable alternative to lamination. Like lamination, it is water-resistant, tear-proof, and easily wipeable.
Both of these methods can be utilized for short and larger-volume print runs.