Signage Options for Restaurant Menu Boards and What Works Best


The menus you display in your restaurant need to be functional and easily changed out.

We will go into detail on the different types of signage systems used for menu boards today and how they work so that you can make an informed decision for your restaurant or cafe.


Fabric Frame Light Boxes:

Dye sublimated fabric is stunning for displaying food and meu items because it can achieve a much higher level of saturation and variance than other forms of printed signage. An added advantage is that the latest fabric frame systems can easily be changed out by staff members, so it is as easy as ordering a new skin when you need to change out your food or drink menu.


Acrylic Light Boxes

This type of illuminated menu can go wrong very quickly in the hands of an inexperienced signwriter. When illuminating a large area like a restaurant or cafe menu it is easy to create inconsistency in the illumination resulting in what we call “spotting” (when the sign is not evenly illuminated).

The happy boy is a slimline lightbox with a synthetic, translucent media layer over a special light diffusing layer, behind a removable front which is held in place with magnetic strips.


Digital Screens:

Digital screens are becoming more popular in restaurants and cafes because the graphics can easily be updated offsite by a media company. This sounds like the easiest and ideal solution, but it is always worthwhile assessing all the possible options and benefits of other solutions before just following the crowd.

It is a cost-benefit analysis. Will it be worthwhile setting up a screen menu with power, mounting brackets and a data connection if you are only changing the menu annually? The question to ask is how often do you need to change out your menus and is a low-fi option more effective solution?


Chalk Boards:

This is a fun way to set up your menu boards, particularly if you have staff on hand that have a steady hand and some artistic talent. This type of menu signage is only used when it enhances the experience at the establishment because it takes time and practice to build consistency in the style used to hand draw the menu on the boards with chalk.

Luckily, chalkboards are less expensive than illuminated menu boards wand when the menu is drawn on in the right way it can also be highly legible due to the matte surface and high contrast between the blackboard and the white chalk.


Non-Illuminated Vinyl and Paper:

This type of menu board is not very aesthetically appealing unless it is executed stylistically with a specific design in mind that makes sense with this type of printing. Although it may be a very cost-effective solution to menu boards, it lacks personality and can be difficult to ready without internal illumination.

Vinyl will require professional installation whereas paper can be easily changed out yourself with the right kind of mounted paper frames.


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