Restaurant operators invest big amounts of time and money to their unique mix of appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts and beverages for the perfect menu. Each item is carefully considered for its appeal, food cost, and prep time. Some operators even bring in professional menu consultants to further ensure the success of their menu because of the big impact it has on their bottomline.
Sadly, many operators don’t put the same effort into plans for the design and production of various digital and print formats that communicate their perfect menu to the rest of the world. Menu production and design is a vital area of restaurant operations that impacts both sales and operating costs—and ultimately your bottomline.
For more than 25 years, Solutions Group has shared our deep experience in menu design and production with all sorts of restaurants—fine dining, casual dining, fast casual, fast food and even food trucks.
A lot has changed since we got into the menu game. Print was once king of the hill but now it’s been joined by digital. At the same time, a lot has not changed. Whether your menu appears on an animated digital screen or in a humble hand-held print format, we’d like to share these...
One of the most fun aspects of a new menu is the design phase. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of photo shoots, illustrations, typeface choices and more. Yet too few operators understand how smart design choices and strategies of building digital art files can save time and money when it’s time to update menu items and prices, or make multiple versions for franchisees and locations. This applies to all menu media including digital, hand-helds and menuboards. Solutions Group is proud of our track record of helping our restaurant clients plan ahead to deliver big savings of time and money.
If your menu or menuboards are printed—and yes, most restaurants still print menus—you’ll want to have a print production expert on your team. This is the time when the details matter. Menu size, quantity, number of versions, delivery location, finishing, turn-around time and more all can have an impact on your print costs. We suggest you work with a seasoned and savvy print professional to identify the best printers and plan your program. At Solutions Group this is one of our key strengths. In the past we’ve been able to save restaurant operators 25-50% on their menu-printing programs by focusing on Who, What & Where.
WHO is the best printer? It’s important to evaluate a printer’s capabilities, reputation and experience to decide if they’re right for your job and if your job is a good fit for their equipment and experience.
WHAT is the best format and paper choice? These two choices can have a huge impact on your bottomline.
WHERE should it be printed? Obviously moving printed materials around the country can have a huge impact on costs and on turn-around time. If your HQ is on the west coast but most of your restaurants are on the east coast, it may be best to find a printer closer to your restaurants. Minimizing shipping costs and time can make a big difference.