The best type of paper for a menu

Written by Azza Hawash

The best type of paper for a menu

paper for a menu

How can you know the best type of paper for a menu? This is what we will answer in our article today. It has been proven that customers prefer the printed menu. QR-coded menus alienate those without smartphones and don’t offer the same hospitality or flair as a classic printed menu. When designing it, there are lots of options for menu paper type, size, and layout. So, whether you’re creating a one-page menu, double-sided, or bound restaurant order booklets, how do you know what type of menu paper is best for your restaurant? Before we give you the answers you need, let’s take a look at why the paper used to print the menu is important.

The importance of the menu

Menu paper may seem like a small option compared to all the decisions involved in opening a restaurant, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. For many customers, this will be their first encounter with the experience you offer. The type of menu paper should reflect the brand and ambiance of your establishment. Choosing the right menu printing paper isn’t just a logistical decision; It should create the mood for the overall dining experience, ensuring that customers’ first point of contact is a delightful preview of the meal to come. Although restaurants vary from casual to fine dining, all menus should look professional and solid.

Understanding the process of choosing the ideal menu paper type is key, as this choice sets the tone for both the durability and aesthetic appeal of your menus. This plays an important role in the overall patron experience. When you start printing your menu efficiently, it’s important to have a clear vision of what your restaurant is about and its customers. This clarity ensures that every aspect, from custom design elements to printing paper quality, aligns seamlessly to comprehensively represent your brand story and values.

Thriving restaurant menus will need to withstand a lot of wear and tear as they are handled by hosts, waiters, and customers throughout the day. It is difficult to replace rolls just because the paper is torn. But for some menus, like take-out meals or daily specials, plain paper is all you need.

Considerations for restaurant booklet paper (whether a single sheet or part of a menu booklet) include menu paper size, weight, finish, foldability, and lamination. Naturally, you’ll also have to think about menu design. Should you include photos? Use colored lines or paper? What about font and spacing? There are a lot of choices to make when it comes to printing your paper menu!

List paper types for the menu

Now that we’ve highlighted why menu paper is an important part of the menu design process, let’s talk about paper coatings and finishes. What is the difference between a glossy, uncoated, and matte finish? Let’s find out!

Gloss makes rolls look shiny and smooth. This finish provides well-defined colors for menus with detailed photos or food photos. But sometimes you don’t want or need a hint of shine if that’s not your style. Matte finish is a sleek, clean, and professional look, especially if high-resolution images aren’t part of your portfolio. The matte finish is flat. It does not reflect light the way glitter does. Finally, uncoated paper is plain paper. It’s best for single-use listings, such as daily specials listings.

For maximum shine, choose a glossy UV paint. This will give your menu a postcard look.

Synthetic paper allows menus to be waterproof, tear-resistant, and sanitizable. They feel coated to the touch. This protection is useful because customers inevitably spill food and drinks. Plus, tear resistance means kid resistance.

How to choose the best menu paper for menu printing

When choosing the best paper for menu printing, take cues from your customers and your kitchen.

A laminate menu, while incredibly durable, is better suited to casual establishments rather than fine dining. They are easy to clean and child resistant. Lamination turns text paper into something that will stand the test of time.

Text paper is a basic, thin paper that looks like what you put in your copier or printer at home. Heavier weight paper indicates its thickness. For example, 70 lb paper is thinner than 100 lb paper. Thick, premium paper is considered 100 lb or higher paperboard. Convey quality to your customers.

Thin paper works well for daily specials because it changes frequently. Thin paper brochures are easy to take with you, making them ideal for carrying options and promotional flyers. If your restaurant serves dishes and drinks in the dining room, you will need to provide a more sturdy and durable menu for your customers.

Do you want your menu to be folded or flat? Flat format is recommended for menus with fewer selections. It can be printed on one side or on both sides. To accommodate more menu items, choose a half-fold, Z-fold (accordion format with three sections), or tri-fold (booklet format with three sections) style. Whether you print single-sided or double-sided also depends on the number of menu options you offer.

Restaurant owners know that menus aren’t just about communicating information. They are sales tools that entice customers to order a new dish or try something outside their comfort zone. Well-designed menus make dishes attractive by highlighting the dish with enticing descriptions and attractive pictures.

Tips for designing your menu

Always rely on the ambiance of your restaurant

If your vibe and food are simple and casual, your menu should reflect that. Does offer a more upscale experience

With fine dining? Choose premium, high-quality paper for your menus.

Don’t forget to look up the dimensions of the listing size paper as well

Standard restaurant menu sizes are 8.5 x 11 inches (letter size) or 8.5 x 14 inches (recommended). The 3.5 x 8.5 inch menu is small. This works well for an entry that describes daily specials. 4.25″ x 11″ is the perfect size for a bar menu. You can also choose to customize restaurant menu sizes.

Keep in mind that any menu larger than 11 x 25.5 inches will take up a lot of space on the table. If it’s too small, it won’t fit all of your items, prices, and descriptions. Small rolls are perfect for dessert options. When in doubt, scope out your competitors and find some examples you want to emulate.

Pay attention to the content

As for what’s printed on paper, think about your restaurant’s colors and kitchen symbols. Choose appetizing colors like red and avoid unattractive colors like yellow. Casual restaurants should avoid solid lines. Keep your logo, font and branding choices consistent.

The amount of content you need to include in your list should be a key factor in your search for the right paper size. Select a large menu paper type if your restaurant has a wide variety of dishes. This can ensure that your menu doesn’t look cluttered and that each item stands out enough. Conversely, a smaller, concise menu may benefit from a compact, simple paper size that aligns with a streamlined aesthetic.

Number of times offers are changed

If your restaurant frequently updates the menu based on seasonal ingredients or popular dishes, consider using standard-sized paper to make updates and reprinting easier. Medium-weight paper can be the best paper for menus if you want to strike a balance between durability and cost-effectiveness, especially if you need to change the menu several times a year. Feel free to switch things up for special occasions or holidays with a custom paper type or size that celebrates the occasion!

Visit our blog to learn more about how to design a unique restaurant menu.


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