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Menu Covers FAQ

  • 1. Why should I use menu covers?

     -Menu covers offer an efficient way to present your menu while also helping to justify higher price levels (apple pie at a restaurant using cafe menu covers is likely to cost less than at an establishment using cork menu covers).

     -They allow owners to frequently change their menus in order to test pricing, adjust their offerings to fit different seasons, and respond to raw material price changes.

     -They help set the tone of your establishment (casual, high-end, etc.)


  • 2. How do I choose the right menu cover?


    You want the menu cover to match the look and feel of your establishment.  Remember that everything from the décor of your establishment to the menu covers will paint a picture of what the customer is to expect from you, so make sure you send the right message.


    Size & Configuration

    Print out the menu in question to determine the menu dimensions and number of menu page views you require and order accordingly.  Remember that hard-backed menus have solid fronts and backs and therefore only offer page views on the inside of the cover.  Cafe and all-clear menu covers offer page views on the front and back of the menu covers, but note that the front is typically reserved for the restaurant or establishment’s name / logo.



    Determine your durability needs by considering the level of customer traffic in your restaurant and your customer base (are they families with small children or mainly adults?).  More durable menu covers can save you money by reducing the frequency of re-orders.   On our category pages we allow you to sort our menu covers by durability level so that you can choose a product that best suits the needs of your establishment.  For more information on product longevity see How long will my menu covers last?


  • 3. How long will my menu covers last?

    Product longevity varies widely based on a variety of factors that include the materials used in construction and the level of daily wear-and-tear, but broadly speaking:

    Café menu covers have served some customers for between 6 months and 6 years, although a lifespan within the lower fourth of that range is probably most common.


    Hard-backed menu covers tend to last for a number of years due to a combination of the materials used in their construction and the fact that they tend to be used in restaurants where patrons will handle them with care.


    All-clear menu covers tend to last for a few months so please remember to adjust your order volume accordingly.  All-clear menu covers are not meant for heavy use because they don’t have the benefit of the binding material and metal corners seen on our cafe menu covers.


    When thinking about product longevity consider the expected level of customer traffic and makeup of your customer base – are they adults out for a fine meal that will treat your menu covers with some respect, or families with children who are likely to put your menu covers through some tough times?  Remember that on our category pages we allow you to sort our menu covers by durability level so that you can choose a product that best suits the needs of your establishment.


  • 4. Do menu cover sizes refer to the size of the menu paper or the menu cover?

    Menu cover sizes refer to the dimensions of the menu insert paper that the menu cover holds, NOT the actual size of the menu cover.  An 8 ½ x 11 inch menu cover holds 8 ½ x 11 inch menu paper, while the dimensions of the menu cover are a little larger than 8 ½ x 11 inches.



  • 5. How many menu covers / accessories should I order?

    Menu Covers:

     Between 65% and 75% of seating capacity.


     Purchasing a number equal to 50% of your capacity would work for most restaurants, but it is a good idea to have extras on hand in order to reduce the frequency of your menu cover re-orders and to guard against loss and theft.


    Check Presenters

     Between 50% and 75% of the total number of tables you have.


     Check presenters can sit on the table for some time before they are used, and this fact can prevent them from being re-used quickly.


    Wine Books / Captain’s Books:

     Roughly 30% of the total number of tables you have.


    Table Tents:

     One per table.



     One per seat.



    You may want to slightly increase the size of your order if doing so will provide you with a volume price break.


  • 6. Can I get a free sample of the product that I am interested in buying?

    Yes, you can order multiple product samples 24 hours a day online and not only are they free (no production cost, no cost for ground shipping, no need to provide your credit card number), but there is also no obligation to buy.  We choose product samples from our inventory that you can keep / recycle.


    These samples are not meant to be in the size and configuration that you’re looking to purchase. Instead, their purpose is to allow you to see and feel the product’s material and construction before purchasing.  For your paid order, we can provide nearly any product size and configuration you desire.

    To order your free sample(s) click here.   



  • 7. Can I get a free pre-production prototype?

    Yes, you can obtain a single copy of your finished product (with your artwork displayed on the front cover) before your full order is produced.  To do so:


        (1) Place your full paid order with us.


        (2) Contact us immediately through your online account (if you don't already have one it is created when you place an order) or the Contact Us page with your order number and tell us that you would like to get a pre-production prototype before you receive your full order.


    *Timing: Pre-production prototypes generally take up to ten business days to produce and they do not impact the cost of your order. The request will add to the order’s usual production time by the amount of time it takes the prototype to reach you via ground shipping, plus the time it takes you to approve the prototype.


    *Note that even if you don’t ask for a pre-production prototype, prior to producing products that have your artwork printed onto them we will ask that you approve a digital color rendering that provides a depiction of how your product will look once we print your image onto the cover.



  • 8. Do you carry all of your products in stock?

    Unfortunately not, as the large number of variations that exist for each product prevent us from carrying all of them in stock.  That said, we do carry some products in our Fast Shipping program, and there are numerous ways to determine if a product is available for fast shipping:


      1) You can see a complete list of the menu covers and wine books that we hold in our Fast Shipping program by clicking here.


      2) If all or certain configurations of a given product are in the Fast Shipping program:

            -On the category pages we place the words "Fast Shipping" below the product picture in question.

            -On the product pages, after you configure your product we alert you to whether or not it is in our Fast Shipping program by displaying the words "In Stock" or "Not In Stock" below the configuration dropdown menus.

  • 9. If I want to order a product in a color, shape, or size that I don’t see offered on your site can I obtain it through a custom order?

    Yes, you can.  We take custom orders over the phone.


  • 10. How do I send artwork for printing onto my menu covers?

    The reality for most customers: It’s very easy

    The vast majority of our customers simply attach and send a JPEG or PDF file that contains their artwork via our product pages, although we can accommodate many other file formats. 


    Most customers do not have their artwork saved in the ideal digital format (see below), but that should not worry you because most customers simply pay a $70 one-time fee to have us adjust their artwork so that it is ready for printing.


    The ideal format: It would be great, but this is not required

    Ideally you could attach and send a vector file (which includes Adobe Illustrator and .eps files) that contains your artwork via our product pages.  Doing so will allow you to avoid the one-time artwork adjustment fee noted above.



    *Line thickness should be at least 5 pts, lettering at least 24 pts, and the artwork file should be at least 300 dpi. If there are fine lines or a high level of detail in the artwork we will have to adjust it because images spread a small amount when printed.


    *The artwork file that you upload via our product pages should be a maximum of 2MB in size.



  • 11. What if (a) the color shades in my artwork don’t match those that you offer, (b) my artwork is intricate, or (c) my artwork uses colors that you don’t offer?

    While we offer numerous color choices for printing onto your menu covers, we cannot match a given color (i.e. we can’t match any shade of blue that your artwork may contain). 


    If exact color matching is important to you, if your artwork is intricate, or if you are using colors that we don’t offer we suggest that you use a cut-out picture window whereby we print your design onto cardstock using a high-quality printer and then laminate the design and place it into a window that is cut into the menu cover.


  • 12. How much does it cost to have my artwork printed onto my products?

    If your design needs to be altered before it is ready for the printing process there is a one-time cost that will not recur for future orders: $70.


    Metal Die(s) 

    For each metal die that we have to create (up to 35 square inches): $90  

         *This is a one-time cost, as we keep your die(s) on file for future use.

         *We must create one metal die for each color used in your design

         *If you have a multi-color design where two or more colors touch each other we may have to create an additional die that serves to differentiate the level of depression between the colors.

         *The dies we create are specific to the width of the front cover onto which they are printed.  Printing onto a wider or narrower product will require the creation (and cost) of one or more additional metal dies.

         *For website orders we always assume that your design will fit within a 35 square inch space (the vast majority of orders fit these parameters).  For larger designs please call to create a custom order.



    The process of printing a one-color design onto your products is free. 


    When ordering 25 units or more: For each additional color used we have to repeat the printing process and charge an additional $2.20 per menu cover. For orders of 200 units or more, please call for pricing.


    When ordering less than 25 units: For each additional color used the printing fee is $80.


    Printing onto check presenters

    Check presenters are an exception to the above rules: With these products there is an $80 per color fee to print your design on up to 100 units, and for larger orders the fee is $0.80 per color, per unit.  Note that these check presenter fees apply to each color used, including the first color.


    Note that choosing “Imprint without color” as your color choice produces the same printing costs that result when printing with color.



  • 13. What if my artwork needs alterations before it gets printed onto my menu cover?

    Not a problem.  Most first-time customers require us to adjust their artwork before printing.  The one-time charge for this service is $70.



  • 14. May I see how my artwork will look on my menu covers before production begins?

    Yes.  Prior to the production process we will ask that you approve a digital color rendering that depicts how your product will look with your artwork printed on the cover.


    We will usually email the digital color rendering to yourself within a day or two of receiving your order (the process can take an additional one or two days when we are extremely busy).



  • 15. How is my artwork transferred onto my product?

    A metal die is created to transfer your chosen image onto your menu cover using colored foil, pigment, or by pressing the shape of the image into the product without any color (i.e. “Imprint without color”).


    We depress the image into the menu cover material in order to help prevent the color from coming into contact with other surfaces and rubbing off.


    With placemats we only use imprinting without color because these products receive a significant amount of wear – making colored images more likely to rub off faster than is the case with a menu cover.


    As is standard in the industry, we will place your image just above the vertical midpoint on the front cover and centered from left to right (just as you see with the menu cover designs on this website).



  • 16. Can I have common stock phrases such as “Wine List

    Yes.  You can order menu covers with the phrase “Wine List” printed on them via the website (see our Standard Hardcover Wine Books). To use other stock phrases, please call with your request.



  • 17. How do I send artwork for displaying in cut-out picture windows on my menu covers?

    Laminated window inserts (available when ordering online)

    Simply attach and send the highest-quality electronic file you have that contains your artwork via our product pages (vector file formats such as .ai and .eps files are preferred but not required).  We will print and laminate the images before placing them into your product’s cut-out picture window.


    Other types of window inserts (only available through a custom order)

    Sending artwork for other types of window insert materials (this includes brushed aluminum, copper, and menu cover material inserts) is accomplished in the same way you send artwork for a regular menu cover.  For details see the FAQ entitled “How do I send artwork for printing onto my menu covers?”


    We will determine the appropriate cut-out window size and shape after receiving your artwork, and before production begins you must approve a digital color rendering depicting how your product will look with your artwork printed onto the cover.



  • 18. How much does it cost to have my artwork displayed in a cut-out picture window?

    Laminated window inserts (available when ordering online): $8.50 per unit


    Menu cover material window inserts: $8 per unit plus the cost associated with printing onto a regular menu cover (i.e. possible metal die and printing fees).  For a description of these fees see the FAQ entitled “How much does it cost to have my artwork printed onto my products?”


    Brushed Aluminum window inserts: $15 per unit.  Note that the metal die required for this material costs $200 (a one-time charge when used on products of the same width).


    Copper window inserts: $15 per unit.  Note that the metal die required for this material costs $200 (a one-time charge when used on products of the same width).


    The last three options in the list above are only available through a custom order.



  • 19. How long will it take for my order to arrive?

    One must account for (1) production time and (2) time in transit to your establishment.  The production and transit times listed below are estimates:


    (1) Production times

    The time frames noted below are measured either from the date of the product order or, when applicable, from the date you approve your digital artwork proof (sent via email).


    When counting “business days” the day you place the order counts as the first day if we receive the order by 10AM PST / 1PM EST on a business day.  Otherwise, the following business day will constitute the first day.


    For items that are in our Fast Shipping program

    Cafe menu covers and other products that don’t require decoration: They usually ship the same or next business day.


    Standard Hardcover Menu Covers and Standard Hardcover Wine Books: Usually 7 – 10 business days when printing onto the product.  Usually 3 – 5 business days when ordered blank.


    For items that are NOT in our Fast Shipping program

    Cafe menu covers: Usually 5 – 7 business days. 

    Menu covers that can have artwork printed onto the cover: Usually 18 – 20 business days.

    Check Presenters: Usually 18 – 20 business days.

    Table tents: Usually 5 – 7 business days for Cafe style table tents.  Usually 18 – 20 business days for all other styles.

    Placemats: Usually 18 – 20 business days.


    Rush production / guaranteed shipment date options

    You can request that we accelerate the production process and guarantee your order’s shipping date.  This option usually requires an additional fee, and you can learn more about it in the FAQ below entitled “Do you offer rush production / guaranteed shipment date options?”


    (2) Time in transit

    We usually ship via UPS within the continental US.  For shipments to PO Boxes and other addresses (including Canada) we most often ship via the US Postal Service.

    Estimated UPS ground-shipping times to various parts of the US are as follows:

    Delivery Times Map

    Via UPS we also ship 2nd Day Air (2 business days), and Next Day Air (next business day).


    We are not responsible for delays in transit.



  • 20. Do you offer rush production / guaranteed shipment date options?

    Yes.  For an additional fee you can request an accelerated production schedule whereby we also guarantee your product shipment date.  We cannot guarantee shipping times in transit. As an example, for hardcover menu covers a rush production schedule that cuts production time to roughly 10 working days (down from the usual 18 – 20 working days) can add about 25% to the total product price after excluding artwork-related charges.



    You must first provide us with (a) all of your product order details and artwork files, (b) your desired product arrival date (it must be a weekday), and (c) your mailing address.  We will then determine whether or not we can guarantee your desired delivery date and present you with a price quote that may have to include accelerated shipping (only ground shipping is free).  The delivery date guarantee assumes that you will approve your emailed digital artwork proof within one day of its arrival, and the order quote is sometimes only valid for the day on which you make the request.  We can generally only provide rush production quotes on weekdays before 3:30PM PST.



  • 21. What is your shipping policy?

    Within the continental US we offer FREE ground shipping on all orders

    We usually ship via UPS within the continental US.  For shipments to PO Boxes and other addresses (including Canada) we most often ship via the US Postal Service. 



  • 22. What if my shipment is damaged in transit?

    Inform us of what happened to the package, what merchandise is damaged and in what way it is damaged.  Please hold on to the damaged product and keep the box and packing material in which it arrived.


    We will send replacement product free of charge while deciding whether to (a) ask that you hold on to the damaged product and packaging for the carrier to inspect, or (b) return the damaged goods to Menu Cover Depot (at our expense) for us to inspect.



  • 23. How can I place my order?

    You can place an order online through our secure online checkout process or over the phone.  Please look to our product pages to determine what product specifications to have ready for us when ordering over the phone.



  • 24. What payment options are available?

    We accept payment via credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover), PayPal, Google Checkout, and electronic checks.



  • 25. What is your policy on product returns?

    (1) To return an item under our guarantee

    To learn about our guarantee please see the FAQ below entitled “What is your company guarantee?”



    Please tell us your original invoice number, what you want to return, and your reason for wanting to return it.


    Provide us with the pick-up address and the best days / times for UPS to pick up the package(s). We will schedule the pickup.


    We will issue your refund / replace the order as soon as we are able to confirm the contents of your order.


    The free return shipping within the continental US that is covered by our guarantee applies to UPS’s first three pickup attempts.  We must charge customers $10 per box for each additional set of three attempts that UPS has to make.

    (2) To return an item for a reason that is NOT covered by our guarantee

    If you want to return an item for a reason that is not covered by our guarantee (e.g. because you ordered the wrong product) and it is an item that we agree to accept as a return, there will be a 25% restocking fee and the customer is responsible for the return shipping cost.  We will arrange the product pickup.


  • 26. What is the best way to store my menu covers?

    It is best to store your menu covers by laying them flat on top of each other.  Repeatedly placing them into and then retrieving them from a box in which they stand upright leads to unnecessary wear-and-tear.



  • 27. What is the best way to clean my menu covers?

    It is best to clean your menu covers using a slightly damp soft cloth containing mild soap and water.  Strong chemicals can damage your menu covers, and note that wiping with a rough cloth may harm the artwork printed onto your menu covers.


    Do not submerge your menu covers in water – our products are water resistant (designed to resist but not entirely prevent the penetration of water), not waterproof.



  • 28. What is your privacy policy?

    Here is a link to our privacy policy.

  • 29. How will my products arrive?


    Menu covers come wrapped in butcher paper (multiple covers in each wrapping) and are shipped in a corrugated box.  No more than 20 menu covers to a box for hard-cover menus, although many more cafe menus can be shipped in one box (roughly 100 size 8 ½ x 11 cafe menus in a single box).  In order to keep the delivery manageable for you, we keep the weight to 30lb or less per box.



  • 30. Why do your cafe menus use single, not double-stitching?

    We do this to extend the life of the menu cover.  Using a double-row of stitches increases the number of holes in the binding material and leads to greater incidence of tearing and a lower product life-span.



  • 31. What is your order cancellation policy?

    To cancel an order contact us via your online account, our Contact Us page, or call our toll-free number: 1-800-906-6919


    Customers that cancel an order will be charged for any costs incurred up to the point of cancellation plus:


        *For orders cancelled more than two business days after the order was placed (measured from the hour the order was placed): 5% of the product cost or $15, whichever is greater.



  • 32. What is your company guarantee?

    We are so certain that you will love our products that we stand behind them with a 1-year 100% money-back guarantee.  This guarantee applies to all of our products, including those that you customize with your artwork.  We will even pay for return shipping for customers within the continental US. 


    The 1-year time frame is measured from the product delivery date.


    This guarantee only applies to product quality and to product specifications that are presented to the customer in writing.


    Specifically, we will not refund or re-produce orders without payment in the following situations:


    *Customer changes their mind after making the purchase.


    *Customer accidentally orders a product model or product specifications that are different than what the customer needs.


    *Customer fails to read the product description before making the purchase / Product is “not what I expected.”


    Nearly all products that we sell can be ordered as product samples, and after an order is placed we can most often ship a single unit of the order for customer approval before the rest of the order is produced. This helps to assure that customers order products that are suitable to their needs.


  • 33. Where are your products made?

    They are all made here in the USA.



  • 34. What are your business hours?

    Online orders: 24 hours / day, 7 days / week


    Call center: We have live call center representatives available 7 days / week 

    3AM – 9:30PM PST

    6AM – 12:30AM EST


  • 35. Do you carry pre-printed menu paper?

    No, we do not at the moment.


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