5 Printing Tips for Restaurant Menu Design

5 Printing Tips for Restaurant Menu Design

A restaurant’s menu is the lifeblood of the company.

The menu is responsible for providing information to customers, guiding them through the offerings (and making subtle suggestions along the way), and most of all, representing the brand. All restauranteurs know that plenty of market research must be done to craft menus that speak to their customers, but these strategies can kick off the process and provide some much-needed food for thought before the printing process begins.

1. Remember Your Brand

It’s easy to get so caught up in the science of optimal menu design that you forget the brand behind the product. Whatever design considerations you choose, keep your brand properties in mind. Should you include your logo or contact information at the top? Should you aim for a minimalist design that reflects the elegance of your establishment? A menu is a marketing tool, and all choices made should be in service of the brand identity your restaurant owns.

2. Separate Inserts

When you offer daily or seasonal specials, it’s cost-effective to create smaller, separate inserts that can be switched out regularly. The best menu designs are printed on high-quality card stock with clear typography, high-resolution photos, and crisp colors. And while professional printing services are affordable these days, no business can afford to continually reprint its menu every time a new special comes around. Inserts are inexpensive and offer flexibility.

3. Isolate Menu Items

Within your menu design, isolate specific, high markup items that you want to push. Including a photo or two of these dishes can entice your customers without adding clutter to the overall layout. Maximize the visual appeal of your menu by leveraging outlines, boxes, and photos to support the sales of specific items. Most menus use large format printing and wide card stock, giving you plenty of space on the page to work with.

4. To Laminate or Not?

Lamination has several advantages:

  • Protection from spills and stains
  • Increased card stock durability and longer menu life spans
  • Depending on your print options, lamination can add contrast and can increase the visual appeal of typography and images

These advantages reduce the number of extra menus that will inevitably need to be printed and may reduce printing costs overall. But lamination isn’t suitable for every restaurant—this is another decision that comes back to brand identity.  

5. Consider Professional Printing

While many styles of modern office printers are capable of printing wide format marketing materials, there’s no substitute for professional quality. Work with a professional printing service to design your layout and bring it to life. Get a press proof before the full order is printed to see how your menu looks in your restaurant’s natural lighting and how it meshes with the brand atmosphere you’ve created. A menu can be a powerful tool to drive sales, but quality is a must. Professional printers are the easiest way to turn your menu design from an abstract thought into a clear, high-quality product that your customers will love.