Let’s face it, in the restaurant business, there are a lot of expenses to keep track of. Not only do you have to worry about standard business expenses like utility bills, taxes, and paying your employees, restaurant operation comes with a whole slew of additional financial burdens. Stolen or broken glassware needs to be replaced regularly, food prices fluctuate from day to day, and so much more. The initial startup costs of a restaurant can be daunting, but the ongoing expenses can be just as overwhelming. Your menu is a vital part of running a successful restaurant, but it can also be a major ongoing expense. Start with these tips to help minimize your menu costs and save on that ongoing expense.
Menus Are Costly
A nicely designed, well-written menu is likely the best salesperson in your restaurant. Yes, your serving staff can offer recommendations, provide descriptions, and encourage up-sells, but none of that will be particularly effective if your menu does not support what they say. More importantly, your menu is where most diners will look to gather ideas and ultimately make their decision. Diners may listen to the specials or recommendations from the waitstaff, but more often than not, it’s your menu that does the bulk of the enticing. Of course, that’s a two-way street. A poorly designed, overwhelming, or generally unkempt menu can just as easily steer diners toward less-profitable options — or drive customers away entirely. Because of the sheer amount of sales power your menu has, it is important to keep them looking fresh and clean no matter how many customers have handled it.
Separate Kids Menus
A good starting point for keeping your menus in good shape is to keep them out of young kids’ hands. They may not know any better, but kids can wreak a lot of havoc and destroy menus. Spills, crayons, or even exuberant waving or tugging can leave a menu looking like it was dropped on the floor and walked over for a week. In order to minimize that damage, have separate kids menus. There is a reason the single sheet of plain, printed paper with coloring activities is such a popular option for kids menus. If you prefer something more professional for your menus, it is still a good idea to have a separate menu just for kids. That way, you can replace just the smaller kids menus rather than your full-sized menus.
Additional Drink and Dessert Menus
We suggest having separate drink and dessert menus for much the same reason we suggest separate kids menus. A table full of drinks dripping condensation and partially emptied plates can leave major marks on your menus. Instead of leaving a full-sized menu or two at the table for those who want additional drinks, have a separate menu — preferably one made from waterproof paper so it can stand up to the potential mess on the table. Likewise, dessert comes when there is likely going to be a lot of mess on the table. Include your desserts on the main menu so diners can think about it from the start of the meal, but when it’s time to place those orders, bring a smaller dessert-only menu to minimize the risk of mess ruining the menu.
Choose Better Materials
Opting for separate kids menus, drink menus, and dessert menus can be a great way to cut down on damage to your primary menus. Of course, the better way to reduce your menu expenses is to choose materials that will last longer. Paper on its own shows every spill and hardly holds up to everyday wear and tear. Laminated pages or page protectors help reduce the how frequently menus are ruined, but they still show signs of wear easily. The best way to cut down on menu costs is to switch to waterproof paper.
Waterproof Paper Perks
Waterproof paper is a boon in terms of menu printing because it is more durable and more professional-looking than other options available. Unlike many protective processes applied after the fact, like lamination, TerraSlate waterproof paper does not require post-printing work needed to make it waterproof. And, because the waterproof properties are imbued into the paper itself, it is also incredibly durable. TerraSlate waterproof paper will hold onto the color and fine detail of each print after weeks or months of use.