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A Guide to Choosing Paper for your Restaurant Menus

Restaurant menus are an important aspect of all food service, related industries. Menus also go through a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis, which is why it's especially important to choose the right type of paper when looking for something that is durable and can stand the test of time. Here's a few things to consider when choosing the best restaurant menu paper and design for your establishment.

Paper Types and their Various Uses

Menu printing paper comes in different types of texture and thicknesses depending on the need. A thinner, textured paper (slightly thicker than copy paper) is commonly the base. Typically when a restaurant owner chooses this type of paper, lamination is suggested to add an extra layer of protection to prevent damage from use and spills.

According to MustHaveMenus Director of Operations Chuck Haddock, it really comes down to each restaurants' individual needs when it comes to selecting a paper style. We get a variety of orders including in-house menus, takeout menus, table tents, gift certificates, loyalty cards and kids menus. Each option requires a different type of paper and possibly the use of lamination. What we use for most in-house menus is a 12 point, gloss finish card stock. It really makes the colors pop out and offers a little bit of water resistance, Haddock said.

MustHaveMenus also offers additional options for in-house menus.

"We do offer a 5 millimeter lamination for both single sided and double-sided menus, which can be washed and sanitized easily. Another popular option is our synthetic paper that's washable and easy to sanitize. It's a hybrid, poly blend. Not like plastic. More of a paper feel, but water proof and tear proof. Perfect for someone who does not want lamination, but still needs durability," Haddock explained.

Currently due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many state governments are mandating that restaurants turn to disposable menus to help protect dining rooms against the spread of coronavirus. Disposable, single-use menus offer a safe option for restaurants and they can be bought in bulk and recycled after each use.

"Our disposable menus have become extremely popular. Each disposable menu is printed on a 60 pound, offset paper and is made to just hand to the customer who can then take it with them or throw it away,"Haddock explained.

Take-out menus are similar to the disposable, but normally include dine-in specials and additional contact information about the business. Traditional tri fold menus can be designed using various templates and fonts.

According to Haddock, his company works closely with restaurant owners to provide options when they shop online.

"We are here either for an online chat or over the phone to give them ideas of what to do for their curbside businesses, menus, table tops, flyers, and stands that direct customers as to where to stand for social distancing," Haddock said.

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