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How to Choose the Right Menu and Display Type

Presenting the food items you sell in a logical and enticing way can be a challenge, so let this guide make it simple! Discover how to present your well-designed menu in the best way possible. No two menus are alike in their design, content, or purpose and that is why choosing the right type of menu for your restaurant is so important.

Types of Restaurant Menus

Restaurant Equipment

Menus can be categorized by type based on the way items are sold and organized. Use this glossary of menu types to familiarize yourself will common types of menus and see what can work for your business!

  • Static menu: separated into categories like appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, sides, etc; not necessarily a la carte
  • A La Carte: French for “according to the menu;” buy items individually
  • Du Jour: menu of the day; plat du jour is a dish of the day; equivalent to daily specials
  • Cycle Menu: different daily menus for a set period of time, then menus are repeated; often weekly or bi-weekly
  • Table d’Hote: French for “the host’s table;” prepared dishes sold together at a fixed price; also called prix fixe
  • Beverage: list of drinks; often cocktail, wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks; sold a la carte
  • Dessert: list of desserts, like a beverage menu it is often separate from the regular menu; sold a la carte; often provided at the end of a meal
  • Wine Captain’s Book: extensive beverage menu that covers each wines history and features
  • Children's: often has more limited choices; incorporates bright colors and includes activities; often disposable

Ways to Display Your Menu

When looking for restaurant menu cover ideas and considering the most appealing way to display your menu that will best sell your food, consider the setting of the restaurant and the style of dining. Is your restaurant formal or casual? Sit down or counter order? Are you looking for a specific menu cover design or type? Do you need a menu you don’t mind throwing away? See the below to help you find the right way to display your menu based on your needs!
Restaurant Equipment

Menu Holder

  • Often made from wood, metal, or cork
  • Makes it easy to swap out daily menus
  • Can be used as a check presenter
  • Ideal For: bistros, cafes

Restaurant Equipment

Displayette/ Tabletop Tent Menus

  • Made from wood, acrylic or leather
  • Many viewing angles and takes up little space
  • Can be used to advertise specials and events
  • Ideal For: casual dining

Restaurant Equipment

Menu Sign/Board

  • Can be dry erase boards or chalk boards
  • Easy to clean and change day-to-day
  • Magnetic menu boards allow for hanging ads and pictures
  • Ideal For: cafes, fast food, food trucks

Restaurant Equipment

Menu Covers

  • Typically made of vinyl
  • Offers protection to menu and easy to clean
  • Better for lengthier menus
  • Ideal For: diners, casual dining

Restaurant Equipment

Disposable Menus

  • Made from paper
  • Offers convenience and easy clean up
  • Better for smaller and daily menus
  • Ideal For: bistros, food trucks

Restaurant Equipment

Deluxe Menu Covers

  • Made of leather or hardboard and have LED deluxe menu cover varieties to light the menu in darker settings
  • Provides an upscale, more professional look
  • Great for lengthier menus
  • Ideal for: fine dining, casual dining

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