Trabon Group provides an array of options for custom, high quality laminated menus. Servicing over 70+ national restaurant brands, Trabon Group maintains a vast experience and detailed knowledge when it comes to producing durable, laminated, professional menus.
Laminated menus will ensure your printed menus last longer in a harsh restaurant environment. Print menus are often exposed to food, liquids, bacteria and other elements that will deteriorate the menu quickly if not addressed. Laminated menus provide a protective covering that extends the life of the menu. The lamination menu can be cleaned with certain anti-bacterial chemicals, allowing the menu to be safely re-used day in and day out. They are easy to clean and durable, increasing the lifespan in restaurant.
Trabon Group provides two primary types of custom, laminated menus: edge seal lamination and flush cut lamination.
Edge Seal Laminated Menus
Edge seal laminated menus ensure the lamination is sealed around every side of the menu. This lamination extends beyond the edge of the paper product, which is encased with lamination. Edge seal lamination tends to reduce wicking from moisture on the table, ensuring a longer term use of the menu. Most restaurant brands looking to prioritize menu durability choose edge seal laminated menus. Additionally, if the menu is not replaced frequently, edge seal laminated menus may be a good choice. These menus last longer in the restaurant environment meaning reprints to replace worn out menus are not as necessary.
Edge seal lamination ensures your print menu is fully incased in a protective laminated coating. The menu page is entirely sealed by the laminated layer on both the top and bottom of the menu. There is a margin of laminate film left surrounding the menu to ensure that the top and bottom layer have sealed the menu tightly inside, protecting it from moisture. Print menus marketed as “waterproof menus” often feature an edge seal finish.
Flush Cut Laminated Menus
On the other hand, flush cut laminated menus refers to a trim of the lamination that leaves no lamination visible along the edge of the menu. When restaurant brands prioritize aesthetics over durability, flush cut laminated menus tend to be the best choice. These menus are still durable and easy to clean, however, due to the exposed edges where the lamination and paper were trimmed together, the exposed paper can wick water. This leads to a deterioration of the product over time. However, if the menu is constantly updated resulting in frequent print runs it is possible the deterioration over time will not be a factor.
How do I clean my restaurant menus?
The CDC has shown that both mild detergents and common disinfectants work to sanitize menus, so restaurants can either wipe the menus with soapy water and then disinfect or sanitize them, or they can be wiped clean with a cleaner/disinfectant combination. Either way, they can be safely recirculated without disposing of them after only being used by one guest. In a sense, if you don’t use laminated menus, you’re just throwing money in the trash.
What Type of Laminated Menu Should My Restaurant Use?
Trabon Group provides full color print services for several types of restaurant menus in varying laminate and paper stock. Deciding what type of menu to utilize in your restaurant often depends on factors related to how often you plan to change your pricing or food items. There are two primary types of laminated menus, edge seal and flush cut, but there are also paper menus that may feature coated paper, or no coating such as disposable menus. Each menu presents new opportunities and challenges for your business, but ultimately you’ll need to find what works best for your customers and your seasonal menu changes.
For instance, if you plan to print menus monthly due to feature a rotating selection of seasonal food items or change price, then maybe paper menus are perfectly capable of maintaining quality during that short time period. Longer gaps between campaign cycles with consistent price offerings may require more durability presented by edge seal laminated menus. It is also important to consider how often you clean the menus and which cleaning product is used. Cleaning the menus with a harsh chemicals may deteriorate the menu faster than other similarly effective cleaners.
Similarly to how standard menu printing includes gloss or matte finish, you can also choose these finish options in your laminate menu. A matte finish will create a soft touch finish, that feels more comparable to a velvet texture. On the other hand, a gloss finish enhances the color of the page leading to shinier, glass-like design.
Should I use synthetic plastic menus or laminated restaurant menus?
Many restaurants have chosen to step away from printing synthetic plastic menus during the COVID pandemic. Due to stronger chemicals used to clean the menus, managers may notice that the intense cleaning supplies wipe the ink right off of the synthetic plastic material. The plastic holds up, but the ink on top of the menu is degraded by the intense alcohol based cleaners. Restaurant owners will eventually notice that continuous cleaning of the synthetic menus for even a few weeks will lead to smudged ink, even in cases where the menus are UV coated.
On the other hand, the ink printed on laminated menus is covered by the thin layer of lamination. Depending on the mil thickness, this creates stronger protection from surface cleaners. The mil thickness of the lamination can vary depending on the level of menu durability you are looking to provide. Whether printing your menu on an offset or digital press, even if it includes a single page or multiple pages, there is still an option for a laminated finish.
How is laminated thickness measured?
The thickness of laminate film is denoted by “mil”. One mil is equivalent to 1/1000th of an inch. Therefore, one mil is not the same as a millimeter. For example, the thickness of your menu may be anywhere from 3 mil to 10 mil thick, or greater. Whether you are printing folded, stitched, and full color menus, you can still choose a laminate finish.
What does “aqueous coating” and “UV coating” refer to in the printing process?
Throughout the printing process you may hear the term “coat” or “coating” referenced as a method to protect printed pieces. Whether you choose offset printing or digital printing for your print project, coating is an important part of the discussion.