Restaurant menus, once oversized and encased in bulky plastic shrouds, have shed their skins and slimmed down in recent years - offering an easier-to-read format for customers and an easier-to-afford solution for restaurants.
Take a look at these restaurant menu printing trends to see if they'd be a good fit for you or your clients:
Lose the fat
Restaurants have learned that they don't need extra-large print in fancy fonts to sell food to their customers - all they have to do is get them in the door. Once a patron likes you, that patron will be loyal until you give them a reason not to like you. For this reason, smaller menus are becoming the norm, complete with easy-to-read fonts and less wasted space. This means restaurants can print more menus for their money.
You don't need a menu company
There are good companies that exclusively print menus, but you don't need to go through one of those to create stunning menus that bring orders in. In fact, many fancy restaurants are opting for booklet-style menus, complete with Wire-O bindings and durable 100-pound gloss cover sheet and glossy or matte inside pages. More traditional restaurants such as pizza parlors, burger joints and Chinese cuisine restaurants are going for the more economical brochures, which are so economical they can be taken home as a convenience for take-out and delivery customers.
Restaurants today are marketing their fresh, natural foods, so it only makes sense that this industry above all would be cognizant of their environmentally friendly efforts. Printing a brochure-type menu on recycled 70-pound matte paper is a great way to show your customers that you care about the environment, while demonstrating that same care to the food you prepare for them. If you go green with your restaurant menu printing, make sure you prominently note it on the menu so customers know. You could have a blurb about your dedication to preparing only fresh foods, for instance, and tie it in with the green motif of your menus.
If you operate a take-out, delivery or catering business, you can drum up new customers by mailing your menu as part of a direct-marketing campaign. Even if you don't deliver, it can't hurt to let potential diners know that you are there and what you offer. In all scenarios you should include a time-limited coupon (offer and call to action).
Keep these tips in mind and remember that your menus should be visually engaging with lots of food close-ups and helpful suggestions. The menu is often overlooked as a marketing piece, but that's just what it is - the more you can convince customers to try, the more dishes they'll like and the more business you'll get. Be creative with your menu marketing, too. There's no reason your menu can't become a highly effective direct mailing, especially when coupled with a time-limited coupon.