The restaurant business is inherently a low margin affair. It's a space with heavy seasonal changes in customer base, that deals in mostly perishable products with fluctuating prices. That's why the most savvy owners look for as many strategies they can to stabilize costs, be it pinning down the perfect price/performance ratio on bulk paper towels, to meticulously adjusting protein buys from the purveyor to get the perfect overall discount.
In short, the key to success in the restaurant business is in the details. And menu materials are no exception.
For most restaurants, menu design is largely the same: readable, clean printing, sometimes with a few pictures, on laminated paper. And for the first few weeks, this usually holds up nicely. Lamination makes the menus relatively easy to clean, and adds up to major savings compared to printing off enough new bare paper menus for each customer.
It doesn't last forever; in some cases, laminated menus only hold up their pristine looks for a few days, depending on the customer base and cleaning techniques. That's why, increasingly, restaurant owners opt for a modernized approach to printing their menus: skipping lamination entirely and using fully waterproof paper to print their menus instead!
Here are three simple reasons why laminated menus miss the mark compared to waterproof paper:
Lamination is Susceptible to Peeling
First impressions are everything in the restaurant business. The look and feel of your menus projects key information to your customers about what kind of business you run. And laminated paper has a shelf life. It tends to peel apart due to extended, average handling. It cracks easily, leaving ugly marks that can cover up readable content. And as these dings, folds, and crusty-looking damage areas add up, the menus become harder to clean.
Waterproof paper has none of these issues. It holds up to repeated bending. And if a customer completely folds and creases the menu, finally giving it an unsightly appearance, well, that brings us to the second point:
Waterproof Paper is Accessible and Inexpensive
Printing up new menus is as simple as running your supply of waterproof paper through any dry toner laser printer. Menus ready for the rigors of restaurant use, printed up on-site, no problem.
Or, if your location lacks the space or interest in maintaining a local printer, ordering bulk print jobs on waterproof paper remains quicker and cheaper than going through the full lamination process.
Visual Clarity is Far Better on Waterproof Paper
Menus need to be readable in a variety of situations, up to and including the low lighting of a dinner service. Lamination has long created a problem in this kind of setting: people often need to lean their menus into the light to try to read them easily, yet the shine of the light reflecting off the plastic disrupts their attempt.
It's a small annoyance, but one that customers will appreciate avoiding in practice. Waterproof paper gives you the same clarity of a print job on standard paper stock. It's matte, clean, and easy to read.
These are just a few of the reasons why restaurateurs are increasingly turning away from laminated menus and towards waterproof paper menus. Give it a try; you'll be hard pressed to find a reason to go back to the old way!