You have opened a restaurant, plan to make changes, or simply a new season is approaching, bringing changes to the menu. We will advise you on how to approach it and create the most beautiful menu card for your restaurant, bar, café, or pub. Let’s start right from the beginning, which is the first point – getting to know the place and its surroundings.
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Place – The menu card is the heart of the restaurant
Before we start working on the menu card, we need to answer a few essential questions. These questions should also be asked before opening a restaurant or any other gastronomic establishment. Why did we open this place? Let me refer here to a restaurant that offers a wide range of dishes, drinks, as well as a menu of alcoholic beverages or cocktails. So once again – why? Because we have knowledge and experience in this field, we have been involved in it for many years, and now we want to share our culinary expertise and introduce other people to it, or simply – we want to run a successful business and make a profit? Of course, everyone wants to make a profit, but did we open it only for that reason? The answer must be honest. It will be difficult to gain recognition for a restaurant if cost-cutting and minimizing expenses are evident from the moment guests enter. The customer must feel taken care of from the moment they step through the door, throughout the service, the meal, all the way to the bill and “goodbye.”
It is crucial to determine the guiding theme and character of our restaurant. What does it serve? What type of cuisine? Will it be Italian, traditional Polish, regional, vegetarian or vegan for the more demanding customers, or maybe just authentic Italian pizza straight from the oven? These questions will later help us create an appropriate graphic design for the restaurant menu. Another question – who created the restaurant? For example, Mrs. Jadzia – known for her kind heart and helping others, or the owner of the largest hotel chain in Poland, or does it have a bigger purpose – such as a cat café, or perhaps healthy food, or is the place associated with an interesting history – located in a historic building with a long history, or maybe the restaurant’s guiding theme is the neighborhood and its promotion?… These are just some of the questions worth answering not only before creating the menu but also before establishing the restaurant itself, and later furnishing or painting it.
Because the menu card is the heart of the restaurant. It should be clean, well-maintained, and reflect the place, its history, and the people working there. It should embody everything that is best. You can oversalt a dish or add too much sugar to a cocktail, but the menu card must be perfect. Never give guests a dirty and sloppy one.
Consistency – the menu card should match the restaurant
The second point of our topic is the selection of suitable colors and format. It seems simple, yet we often stumble upon it. If your restaurant offers healthy food, think about using green and white colors, maybe with light touches of red. If you have a fast-food establishment, consider using orange. For a pizzeria, representing Italy, you can use colors like red, green, and white again. Of course, the color scheme should also match the interior of our restaurant. We don’t recommend having a pizzeria with great Italian pizza but a menu card in blue-yellow and orange interiors—unless the name of the pizzeria is “Bajzel” or “Misz-Masz” (which mean “Mess” or “Hodgepodge” in Polish). The format of the menu card also depends on the length of the dish list and whether it includes beverages or only food items. It also depends on the size of our tables and the number of guests we serve. An A3 format may not fit well on small tables and might not be convenient. A large number of guests means more handling of menu cards, resulting in more stains and more wrinkles. The menu card design must be consistent with the overall theme, and we need to adhere to that.
Appropriate material – cleanliness, readability, and a good impression – the best menu card
Another important point in designing and creating a menu card or dish card is the selection of the appropriate material on which we will print our design. The cheapest options are a clipboard with printed sheets. It’s quick, and you can do it yourself, but is it the best choice? If there are no other options, sometimes it turns out to be the best, but… If you have a wooden inn, think about combining the menu with wood, perhaps through graphics or wooden coasters? But that’s not what I wanted to talk about in this point. I wanted to draw attention again to the cleanliness, tidiness, and readability of the menu card. I am a bit sensitive about them, but for me, the menu card must be clean. I don’t like menus touched by greasy fingers, crumpled, scribbled with pens, or with prices crossed out by waiters. It tells me a lot about the place immediately—is it crowded (if it’s crowded, does it mean the food is good? But if they don’t care about investing in a clean menu, do they care about cleanliness in the kitchen, the proper number of chefs, etc.?), are they cutting costs on the menu card (is saving on paper equivalent to saving on ingredients? Or maybe they are eco-friendly?). I see germs everywhere—touched by strangers (yes, someone touches every menu, but I prefer not to see their fingerprints). Therefore, it is worth considering the appropriate material. If using paper, it could be thick, waterproof, non-staining, and non-crumpling. Perhaps a menu card in a case? With replaceable printed sheets made on our simple printer.
You can focus on quantity or quality. We won’t discourage any option here because each of them is good for the appropriate type of restaurant. If we continue with paper, for example:
- Quantity: Ordinary paper with a thickness of 130-180 g, typical for flyers, perhaps in a folded menu format. It may not be the most beautiful option, but it’s cost-effective. If it gets dirty, you can easily discard it.
- Quality: Thick paper above 300 g, laminated, with a soft touch. You can order a smaller quantity, and it offers greater durability, making it harder to soil or crease.
Designing a menu card – menu card graphic designer
And now we move on to the penultimate point. We know what we have, what we want, and how it should look. Of course, if you don’t know, a good graphic designer will guide you and propose suitable solutions and materials. That’s why it’s worth turning to a professional and trusting them. For many years, we have been involved in designing menu cards, and they are often praised by restaurant guests. A menu card doesn’t have to be just a plain collection of dishes. It is best if it tells the story of the restaurant on paper. It narrates the place’s advantages, its specialties, the people involved, and besides describing the place’s merits, it also engages the customers while they wait for their orders. It must be readable – guests shouldn’t get lost in it or have to flip through page after page searching for something. They should know where to find what they want. That’s why it’s worth choosing a skilled graphic designer, a graphic design agency, and creating something extraordinary – something that is attractive, beautiful, memorable, and evocative. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with some of our works in the portfolio section. We have created many menu cards for restaurants, dish cards for bars and pubs, beverage and alcohol menus, as well as other graphic projects such as banners, roll-ups, business cards, flyers, etc.
Printing – First the Finished Menu Card Design, Then the Finished Product!
And the final point is printing and choosing the right printing company. If you already know what you want to print and in what quantity, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a printing company. Nowadays, there are so many of them, and each strives to maintain good quality and survive in the industry. If you’re unsure, we’ll be happy to advise you on where, how, and how much to order and print. And so we’ve reached the end of creating the restaurant menu card. Of course, there is much more we could write and discuss on this topic. That’s why we encourage you to contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at +48 511 601 005.
Tags for the article: restaurant menu card, menu card for restaurants, restaurant card, menu card design, menu card design for restaurants, hotel projects, restaurant graphic designs.