From the minute a customer catches sight of a restaurant, you want to make sure they know exactly what’s on your menu. After all, they’re there for the food and you want to make it as clear and easy as possible for them to know just what you’re offering. This is why the menu is often seen displayed in various ways around your establishment, right? Some of these ways are subtle, a framed page of entrees attached to the front of the host’s podium. Some ways aren’t as subtle, especially if there’s illumination involved. But when your menu is going to be what gets the clientele inside, you want to showcase it in the best way possible. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of menu holders out there for you to choose from. Each style of holder is designed to showcase your menu in different ways in different locations. Whether you’ve got a high end gourmet bistro or a small and casual sandwich shop, there’s a menu holder out there that will be able to display your papers exactly as you’d like.
When potential customers walk up to your restaurant (especially on warm summer nights like the ones we’ve got coming up) greet them by the entrance with a free standing menu stand. A good stand will complement your décor and menu without taking center stage over the important bits. The stand should also be easily portable for when the weather gets not quite summery any more. Some other nice features for the stands to have are a non-glare lens, a height adjustable central post, angling frame with a design that makes for quick and easy image changes, a lightweight construction for easy maneuverability, even an adjustable frame orientation from landscape to portrait and back again. And we can’t forget the illuminated stands, which are great for getting attention later at night when customers are looking for dinner after going to a movie or other show. Look for styles that use LEDs, which are long lasting and energy efficient, keeping your bills as low as possible.
When it comes to displaying your menu outside, you could also opt for a wall mounted frame. This style is good where there’s little sidewalk space for a free standing sign. When it’s placed directly at the general eye-level of passersby, it’s quite easy for them to stop and check out your offerings. Be sure to get an outdoor rated frame, or you’ll run the chance of ruining your displayed menus and frames with weather exposure. You can also mount the menu on the inside wall of your restaurant with a more traditional frame that’s sized to work with menu sheets. This is a great way to give the menu a presence in the vestibule of the restaurant, or put it on display in the waiting area for customers to check out as they’re waiting to be seated.
Indoor menu displays don’t have to just hold the actual paper menus. In some eateries, especially smaller ones where the business is more take-away rather than a sit-down sort of a place, letter boards and chalk boards are a way to keep the menu highly visible to customers. Both of these styles are easy to update, allowing you to quickly tailor your menu to reflect daily specials or to remove an out of stock item temporarily. The letter boards, like the name implies, comes with a series of plastic letters that can be inserted into a specialized backboard. Letter boards are popular because the sharp lines of the plastic letters are easily seen, even from a bit of a distance away. Chalk boards, especially when paired with multicolored liquid chalk markers, turn the menu display into a decoration that adds a hint of personality and warmth to a location. Sometimes it’s the little touches that will really help your restaurant shine.
Finally, we can’t forget the traditional menu holder. In sit-down restaurants all across the world, the chances that you’ll be handed a folder with the menu in there are strong. It might be made from black leatherette or clear PVC, but your customers will know exactly what they’re getting when you hand them one of these. They come in a variety of sizes (some may be ideal for letter sized sheets of paper, while others look more like they should hold a drinks menu or wine list), and should be easy to slide pages in and out of so that updating your menus is as easy as it can be. A good menu folder should be water and tear proof, making them as long-lasting as possible. Both leatherette and PVC can be cleaned up safely and easily, saving you from having to replace the folder if something accidentally gets spilled on it (which is highly likely in a restaurant).
We almost take the humble menu sheet for granted, knowing that it will always be there for you and the customers no matter what happens. So why not give it time to shine with a specialized holder?