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Menus, Marketing, & Management tips to grow your restaurant business.


Dine-In Menu Printing: How To Optimize Your Menu Design and Printing

Your menu is a physical representation of your restaurant and your food. If you have quality food and service but your menu doesn’t reflect this, you’re missing out on an important part of your customers’ perception of your business. Your menu is a key element in conveying your image and guiding customers’ decisions about what they will order, both on a conscious and subconscious level.

Trends in the graphic design industry affect dine-in Menu Printing as restaurant owners will want to project a specific image that comes through in every aspect of the experience. In addition to image, you’ll want a design that allows customers to navigate menus with ease while encouraging sales.

With that in mind, here are some aspects of the dine-in menu printing process restaurateurs will want to consider when creating a top-notch design.

Menu Fonts

Fonts play a huge role in making your menu look more enticing. Classic and sophisticated styles work well for high-end restaurants, while fun and colorful options are recommended for casual dining. Some styles help transport customers to a time or place. For example, retro is great for inspiring nostalgia. Playing with fonts so certain words pop off the page can help draw attention to menu items you want to highlight and get those mouths watering.

Chuck Haddock, Director of Operations at MustHaveMenus, has some useful advice on making your menu legible.

“The size and color of your font can greatly affect the readability of your menu,” Haddock says. “Be mindful of who is reading your menu and make sure they will be able to decipher it easily. Font style and color should have a strong contrast with the background so it pops off the page.”

Menu Images

Images are an additional tool that add to the quality of your menu. They are a great way to push popular menu items by emphasizing them with colorful visuals.

As the name would imply, images are great for projecting your restaurant’s image. For instance, a kid’s menu may include cartoon characters. Other menus may have images that instill a sense of comfort or provide a modern edge. Thinking through what your images say to the viewer is important to keep in mind.

You’ll want to use images carefully or they can end up hurting your business more than helping.

“Use images sparingly,” says Haddock. “They can boost sales of your items but using too many can do more harm than good. Be sure the images you use are good print quality images. If the image quality is poor on the page, they will connect that with the quality of the food.”

Menu Design Trends

Trends in dine-in menu printing come and go. While it’s important for restaurant owners to be aware of the latest trends when designing their menus, you don’t want to be overly trendy. If you follow trends too closely, you may end up having to change up your menu design as soon as the next fad comes in.

When it comes to today’s trends, eco-friendly is the way to go. The best thing about this trend is that it does good and it’s something patrons like to see. Customers will appreciate a menu printed on recyclable paper and, as the world becomes more environmentally conscious, it’s a trend that won’t be going away any time soon.

Minimalist designs have also been shown to have staying power over the last few years. Keeping your menu simple and limiting text makes your menu more digestible, interesting, and modern.

Haddock points out that many of today’s trends have been dictated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 crisis has really put an emphasis on single use menus (disposable) and laminated menus,” he says. “Depending on the county the restaurant resides in, their local requirements change.

“Single use menus are printed on #60 text paper and are designed to be taken home or thrown away. Laminated menus can be washed and sanitized after each use. For higher end restaurants that do not like laminated menus, we also offer a synthetic menu that can be washed and sanitized. It has a higher cost.

“Another trend is the use of QR codes to link to a published menu online. We support the creation of a URL that will point to the customer's menu and can be updated at any time. We also support the generation of a QR code for the menu that can be downloaded, if the customer wishes, or can be placed on a flyer, table tent or business card. The industry has termed this a ‘touch-less menu.’”

Armed with this information, restaurant owners can feel confident in their dine-in menu printing process. Your menu designs will be easy-to-read, modern, and engaging. What elements will you be including in your design?

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