For restaurants, fast food places, coffee stands, bakeries, and more, probably the most important piece of print marketing is your menu. It’s important to, not only showcase your brand, but entice your customers and target audience. Creating a compelling and delicious-looking menu should be a top priority for any kind of eatery.
Before you start to design your menu, you will want to think about what kind of menu you are creating. Are you wanting to make a menu that your dine-in customers will use? Do you want your menus to be disposable or more permeant? Are you creating take-out menus? There are going to be different recommended products and specifications based on what your end goal is.
Recommended Design Specifications for Take-Out Menus
Ok, you are going to be creating a Take-Out menu; wonderful! There are a couple of different formats that you can choose from. The classic take-out menu is in a brochure-style. This is a single sheet of paper that is folded to create different sections. The most popular size for a folded take-out menu is 11 x 8.5 with a trifold. This creates 6 sections to display your menu to customers.
However, this is not the only option to consider when creating your take-out menu. You can also create your menu as a rack card. A rack card is a thin and tall piece of paper that is printed on the front and back. You can usually find these cards in community centers, hotels, or restaurants. These are a popular choice because you can purchase a rack card holder to prominently display your take-out menus to your customers.
A final way to create your take-out menu is as a postcard. A postcard is usually printed on thicker paper and similar to a rack card, it also has only 2 sides to display your contents on. If you are thinking of printing your menus as postcards, we would recommend a size of 6x9 or larger to get a bigger impact. You don’t want your menu to be confined to too small of a space.
Product Sizes for Take-Out Menus
Below is a table on the sizes that are available for each takeout menu product type. The most popular sizes for take-out menus are highlighted.
If you don’t see a size that is perfect for your take-out menu, you can also enter a custom size into our pricing tool. Below the Size option on our pricing tool there is a blue hyperlink that says, ‘Custom Size’. If you click on that link, you can enter the width and height of your project. Just be aware that the width of your project should be between 4 and 11 inches and the height of your project should be between 5.5 and 17 inches.
Below is a table of the recommended file specifications for each takeout menu product type. This is the ideal specifications that you would enter into our pricing tool when placing your order.
If you have the option to choose what kind of finish you want, we recommend that you add UV High Gloss to both sides of your product. Not only will this give your print project an extra level of shine, but it will increase its durability against scratching and scuffing. It’s a win-win!
PrintingCenterUSA is also G7 Certified, which means that we have color consistency across all of our printing devices. This is incredibly notable because this is not just a certification that we purchased. All of our printers are regularly tested by independent auditors in order to receive and maintain our certification.
Recommended Design Specifications for Dine-In Menus
At this time, we don’t offer Hardcover Menu options, but we have a wide variety of disposable dine-in menu options. These are health conscientious and affordable.
Dine-In menus are generally going to be larger than take-out menus and are printed on heavy-duty paper or bound to look more professional. There are three main formats for dine-in menus that we are going to talk about: Flyers, Brochures, and Posters.
Flyers are single sheet printed materials that can be printed on both sides. They are usually the size of a standard sheet of paper or larger. These can be inserted into menu covers to create a professional and sophisticated look.
Brochures can also be used as a dine-in menu option as well as take-out. However, we would recommend choosing a larger size for dine-in, since your customers aren’t going to have to carry it around with them.
For a high-impact menu, you can choose to create a menu poster. This is a great option if your eatery is not a traditional sit-down establishment, but more cafeteria-style, fast-food, or diner-style restaurants. Make sure that you still include lots of beautiful images to make your dishes pop and keep your text large enough that it can be read easily from your guests!
Product Sizes for Dine-In Menus
Below is a table on the sizes that are available for each dine-in menu product type. The most popular sizes for dine-in products are highlighted.
If you don’t see a size that is perfect for your dine-in menu, you can also enter a custom size into our pricing tool. Below the Size option on our pricing tool there is a blue hyperlink that says, ‘Custom Size’. If you click on that link, you can enter the width and height of your project. Just be aware that the width of your project should be between 4 and 11 inches and the height of your project should be between 5.5 and 17 inches. This is available for Flyers and Brochures.
Below is a table of the recommended file specifications for each dine-in menu product type. This is the ideal specifications that you would enter into our pricing tool when placing your order.
How to Create Print-Ready PDFs
Now that you know all of the file specifications that you need to create your menu, let’s talk about what it takes to create a print-ready PDF. At PrintingCenterUSA.com we offer a variety of templates for whatever style of menu you would like to create. You can use these in any Adobe Suite design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, or InDesign. These templates will help to ensure that you have the correct bleed, trim, safety, and fold lines set up in your document.
Additionally, if you choose to use your own design software, you can double check your files before you print with our Free File Review tool. This tool will run your file through our 43 point checklist, identifying any common issues like bleed, product size, and image quality that could be in error. This is a free program that anyone can use!
Click the links below to see our templates.
It’s very important that, if your menu has images in it, your images are 300dpi or higher. Otherwise, your images may come out looking blurry, fuzzy, or pixelated. Make sure that you check this because images online only have to be 72dpi to appear clear on a monitor. We recommend not using images that have been sent via email or downloaded off of Facebook since most of the time these images are compressed to be 72dpi so that they are smaller files.
If you use one of our online design tools, you will get an error on your image if the dpi is not going to support the image size that you are printing. Please take these errors seriously. Menus thrive on beautiful, yummy-looking photos to sell your food and we want your photos to look as good as possible!
Now that you know everything there is to know about printing your own custom take-out or dine-in menus, you are ready to start designing! You can get an instant quote by going to our Menu page and entering your project’s details into our pricing tool by clicking the button below. Happy printing!
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