Upscale restaurants usually have menu covers made from premium materials and they are quite expensive. They are stylish, the finish is impressive and they have a fine texture. Small to medium restaurants and cafes, in other words the budget friendly places, tend to have simpler menu covers. They don’t look or feel expensive. They are more functional, as they must be. There is no rule that makes it imperative for you to invest a lot of money in menu covers. They need to be utilitarian and they should be durable. Also, they must be easy to maintain. Keeping them clean is a prerequisite. This is where things can get complicated but you can easily simplify the entire quest.
You must already have a fair idea of the type of menu covers you want for your business.
It doesn’t matter which menu covers in UK are more popular right now or what others are doing. The most important aspect is if you find a particular material, design and build viable enough for your business. Always prioritize durability and this is not confined to the material alone. The finest quality leather may not be an appropriate choice for you if you entertain a mostly young crowd, possibly infants and teens or if there is a possibility of the menus being handled in a rough manner. From spillage to physical mishandling, everything can damage even the finest quality of leather or other premium material such as cork. You need inexpensive menu covers if you know for a fact that they will not be handled with care.
The target audience and the setting you have will demand a certain strength in your menu covers.
The same two factors will also demand a certain style. There is no point in having fancy menu covers in UK when the offerings are not extravagant. Covers that are fully functional and easily maintainable are the best bet. However, there are different styles you can consider. Laminates and vinyl are often the default option for most restaurants and cafes. You can always go for wooden menu covers. You can do something interesting that will subtly pitch your brand to every guest who walks in. This subtle messaging has a profound impact. Many ordinary cafes and modest restaurants try to offer a special experience to their guests and slightly expensive and premium menu covers can be one of the many components to accomplish that objective.
You should always choose quality menu covers for your restaurant, bar, pub, club or hotel.
Your menu covers should reflect the same essence that you are conveying through other branding exercises. You should not choose a menu cover that looks and feels too cheap, but you should not unnecessarily exceed your budget either. You need to impress your patrons, but the design of the cover must not be loud, distracting or out of place. There are many such realities you would have to deal with while choosing a menu cover. Here are some tips you must absolutely adhere to.
Go for a lighter colour if you don’t intend to use coloured text & images.
It is better to avoid images anyway, but some restaurants find it easier to promote their dishes if there are actual or representative images. Darker colours would require the text to be of a distinct shade that makes the words or the prints lucid and coherent. Try to choose a colour that will complement the setting of your place and also complement the text or the print on the menu.
Do not choose a material that cannot be washed or cleaned.
You should choose a fabric or leather that can be washed, that would be resistant to stains and will stand the test of time even after extensive daily use. Leather or fabric would need some kind of protection along the edges and particularly at the corners since those are the areas wherefrom the wear & tear begin. If you are opting for laminates, then these should also be stain resistant and they should have protected edges and corners. You don’t want to replace menu covers every few weeks or months.
Branding needs to be subtle.
Your menu covers should ideally have the name of your business, but it should not be too large a font. You could go for embedded text or some kind of engraving. Embossed names or texts look great on leather and some fabrics. This is not really an option if you are going for plastic. Even if you choose wood, you can always go for engraving your business name, perhaps the address too. You can also have a pleasant message for your patrons.
You may want to pay a designer for a unique menu cover. Buying a generic one may save you money, but it will do nothing special for your branding.
There was a time when every upscale place had expensive menu covers.
It would be leather, leatherette or some fine fabric. Reasonable places usually had inexpensive menu covers. They were mostly plastics or laminations. Such practices are no longer in vogue. The clichés have been rewritten. You will find upstart cafes with cool menu cover designs. Some places have wooden menu covers, some use leather, some opt for metal and some still go for plastic but in a rather interesting way. The usual laminates and the mundane leather are no longer the favourites. This brings us to a simple question if it is time for a quirky menu cover.
Dining, partying and clubbing, including fine dining or elite nightclubs, have undergone substantial transformations in recent years. People have learned to not make themselves too seriously. One does not have to endorse irreverence, unpleasant or unacceptable eccentricity but there is always room for some quirkiness.
Menu covers do not have to be a standard square or rectangle.
It does not have to be black or blue or brown or some other safe colour. The texture does not have to be matte. The menus inside also don’t have to toe the traditional line. There is enough room for experimentation and most people that dine out or hang out and party these days are welcoming of uniqueness in every aspect of hospitality, including menu covers.
Quirky menu covers can do more to your branding than you can imagine.
A quirky design will get people to talk. The patrons at your establishment will find an ice breaker, they will marvel at the experimentation and they would share the quirkiness online, with their friends and across social media. This will get people in your city and beyond to notice your brand, they would talk about you and there is an immense probability of substantial rise in footfall. It is unlikely that quirky menu covers will help you to become an international trending sensation on social media but the impact on branding would definitely be tangible.
Every restaurant needs to carve out a specialty for itself. It has a target audience and thus it has to cater to a niche. Very few places are frequented by people of all ages and from every socioeconomic background. Since a niche is unavoidable, you might as well cater to the target audience with a relevantly quirky menu cover.
As a restaurant, café, bar or pub, you can always choose standard or bespoke menu covers in the UK. The former will be more affordable but the latter will be special. You would not be investing in menu covers every season or even once a year. It is a long term investment so trying to save at the cost of branding or durability of the product will be counterproductive. Continue reading “How to choose the best menu covers in the UK”