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”
Your wine list demands the plushest menu covers. They should be the finest at your establishment, better than the menu covers used for foods and other beverages. We are not saying that the menu covers for the foods and other drinks should be of inferior quality but the one for your wine list should be superlative in every way. The material needs to be of premium quality, the build and design, the texture and the feel should be satiating and it should clearly stand out among the rest. It should not be loud in any manner. The presentation should be subtle but the establishment must make a branding statement with the choice of menu covers for the wine list.
Many restaurants and bars, pubs and clubs serve wine but they have a limited inventory. It is normal to wonder if a separate wine menu is necessary. If you don’t serve more than a handful of wines then there is no need to have a segregated menu. However, there is nothing wrong with a menu dedicated to wine only. This menu should not include beers, whiskeys and cocktails among other alcoholic beverages. Any place that has an expansive collection of wines should always have a dedicated menu for them. As far as the choice of material is concerned, there are some truly special options.
Leather is often the de facto choice for wine menu covers.
You can opt for premium leather or you may go for faux pas leather. There are many variants of leatherette that can be just as elegant as leather but anyone who is familiar with different types of authentic and faux pas leathers will know the difference. You may also opt for original cork menu covers. There is faux pas cork as well. The substantial difference in price may be a compelling factor but do bear in mind the impact on branding. If you have some rare and expensive wines in your cellar and you intend to impress some connoisseurs, then the best option is to go for leather or cork menu covers for the wine list. Anything less would be a disservice to the prized collection of wine and also to the standard of hospitality you wish to uphold. Be equally attentive to the design, build and size as you would focus on the material and cost. Menu covers for a wine list should be nothing short of perfection.
Many restaurants have one menu cover for food, another for drinks and perhaps one for desserts. Many restaurants have only one menu cover for everything they have to offer. Regardless of this variance, many places have some type of supplementary display to place special menus. You may have a dedicated menu cover for different offerings and you may use the same one throughout the year. Or, you can have a special menu cover for specific occasions.
It is needless to mention that having different menu covers for specific occasions would cost you money. So it is absolutely normal for anyone to not consider such an option. Yet, the benefits may be able to convince you otherwise. There are places that have different types of menu covers for special occasions and they have reaped the rewards.
One of the immediate benefits is the impact on branding. Many restaurants invest in a substantial overhaul for special occasions, be it Christmas or New Year, Easter or St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day among others. These changes in décor, menus and perhaps freebies incur a cost. These expenses are seen as investments that reap rewards. These initiatives are often deemed imperative for branding, to stay relevant on these days and to have more people walk in to partake in the celebrations. The same can be achieved with a special menu cover for specific occasions.
A special menu cover will actually go beyond branding.
It shows that the restaurant cares for the occasion and is willing to take an extra step to make the customers feel special. Everyone knows that restaurants deck up for special occasions to make the dining experience a bit more memorable. It is all about having fun, feeling special and cared for, indulging in a different experience than usual and spending some quality time with family and friends. A special menu cover will make patrons feel special.
Many special occasions have meticulously curated menus. From lavish brunches to themed dinners, the spectrum of possibility is fascinating. Just as you would have a sought after menu, it is only fitting that such a menu is presented with a special menu cover. Such types of menu cover can always be reused. You don’t need to invest in one new menu cover for every occasion and you certainly don’t need to discard one after using it for a day. You can keep using them for more than one occasion for several years.