Unless you are looking for it, most people do not realize how much print goes into a restaurant. Deborah Corn shares her experience with print in restaurants.


Most restaurant owners do not understand how valuable print is in their business!

Having a great menu, bar, food and desserts. Making sure your to go boxes and take-home containers are labeled with name and contact information.


Have a Meal! Actually, have many. It’s market research. Last week I went to a restaurant and their “current” beer list was printed out 4-up on an 8.5 x 11 from a desktop printer, and cut with a scissor. The food specials were bigger, but same method. I asked the manager WHY it was done this way. She replied…

Clearly, no printer has explained to this restaurant that there is a better way to do this through digital printing. Establishing a designed template where new specials can be emailed night before/morning of, dropped in by the printer and picked up when needed, is just one. The professionally printed drink list and specials will clearly elevate the current method and establish that the restaurant cares about such things. Print does create credibility and authority… business cards for example.

Once that process and TRUST is established, you can start offering more. Let them know that printing the full menu with the rotating specials is also possible. The drink specials can be included, too. Offer table tents with drink specials/food specials, information about upcoming music and special events, maybe even a “meet your chef or bartender” piece. Create a restaurant package with a menu of opportunities and let these restaurants order up some fresh digital print.

Take it Home! Barring the iconic Chinese take-away container and the black plastic bowls with the clear lids, more times than not my delivery and take-out food comes in a standard aluminum tin with a white cardboard-ish lid. The first thing you must do is open everything to see what is inside. Seems like a great opportunity for a label! Most restaurants have a standard menu so take-home labels can be printed up for those items, and when warranted added to the “specials” order mentioned above. One little life-hack may seem unimportant, but it helps businesses create a positive user experience with their customers. It’s a simple affordable extra-step restaurants can take to show they care, and say thank you for patronage, too.

Get a Gimmick! There are ways to help local restaurants stand out that tie into trends and establish connection to customers. Turn the menu into an adult coloring book for patrons to take home that includes incentives for their return, or take-out order. Create life-sized cutouts for customers to take selfies with, change them weekly. Encourage the restaurant to promote on Facebook and Instagram and share the pics through their social accounts. They can print trivia questions or “pick-up” lines on napkins and coasters at the bar. It’s digital print! Keep changing it up to keep it fresh. There are so many opportunities. Find them and match the application with the business, and their customers.


While I focused on restaurants here because it was the catalyst from a life real-life experience, this approach can be applied to many other establishments. The key is going in as a CUSTOMER and having the print experience currently being served, then figuring out how to help businesses add some spice to it.