The COVID19 pandemic took a huge toll on the restaurant industry. With many restaurants having to close indefinitely or operate with take-out only, it’s never been more important to find safe ways to reopen. This means restaurants need to find different ways to print their food menus to keep sanitation as the top priority.
A reported 6 months into the pandemic, over 100,000 restaurants closed their doors. While hundreds of thousands of restaurants did survive the closures and restrictions, they need to get creative to keep diners and employees safe. The restaurant industry changes regularly, so they’re no stranger to adapting to the latest trends and customer expectations.
How can restaurants print their food menus in a pandemic-friendly way? It’s all about using the latest tech tools and also considering the role of print marketing in their efforts.
1. Use QR Codes
One of the best ways restaurants can print their food menus in the pandemic is by using QR codes. A QR code is a machine-readable code that uses an array of black and white squares to store a URL or other information that can be read by smartphone cameras.
Restaurants are printing QR codes on their menus to share additional information, from safety protocols to a longer menu. This makes it possible for customers to scan something from their devices without needing to physically touch anything that’s been held by several people. It’s safer and more convenient.
2. Single-Use Menus
Traditionally, menus are printed on thick cardstock or in a menu book. While these felt sturdy and were easy to flip through, they’re not practical in a pandemic world. Food menus today are more likely to be single-use.
What do we mean by single-use food menus? These are menus printed on inexpensive paper, and they’re designed to be kept by the diner. Like takeout menus, these don’t need to be returned to the restaurant. Because the diner keeps their menu and can choose to recycle it after use, there’s no worry about the spread of bacteria or viruses.
3. Shorter Menus
The days of long, endless menus are coming to an end. Because the COVID19 pandemic led to a number of shortages, more restaurants began offering a streamlined menu. This doesn’t have to be a negative change. It’s more affordable to print smaller menus, and diners appreciate having a curated list of favorites.
These shorter menus aren’t likely going anywhere. According to Harvard Business School, smaller food menus are actually preferable nowadays. This lest the restaurant focus on the quality and experience rather than catering to everyone.
4. Plastic Liners
Another alternative to traditional food menus that are pandemic friendly is to use a plastic liner on your menu. This allows you to print new menus on cardstock without worrying about wasting them with each use.
A plastic liner is an inexpensive way to make it easy to clean your menus after each diner. As long as you have a strategy for wiping down these menus with disinfectant after each use, this is a great compromise.
5. Take Out Menus
Lastly, more people are eating takeout than ever before. This means it’s never been more essential to have high-quality take-out menus at the ready. These are one of the most important print marketing materials every restaurant needs.
Your take-out menu should be easy to use, and it should make it easy for customers to place an order. Whether you integrate with your digital order system with QR codes or keep it simple, don’t underestimate the importance of take-out menus during COVID19 and beyond.
Is Your Restaurant Pandemic Proof?
There are so many things changing about the restaurant industry during the COVID19 pandemic. From banner displays to table tents, it’s never been more important for restaurants to adapt to the latest changes and expectations. Not only does this keep their diners and employees safe, but it also makes diners feel welcome back.
Is your restaurant ready to embrace these changes head-on? Refine your food menu strategy with the tips above. There’s no such thing as staying comfortable in today’s changing world.