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Buyer's Guide

Below is a collection of selected topics from our FAQ that we have gathered into one place to create our easy-to-read Buyer’s Guide. Simply click on your topics of interest and you’ll be menu cover shopping with confidence in no time.

The Basics

 + How do I choose the right menu cover?

+ How long will my menu covers last?

+ Do menu cover sizes refer to the size of the menu paper or the menu cover?

+ How many menu covers / accessories should I order?

+ Can I get a free sample of the product that I am interested in buying?

+ 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?

Placing Artwork Onto Your Menu Covers

+ How do I send artwork for printing onto my menu covers?

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

+ How much does it cost to have my artwork printed onto my products?

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

+ May I see how my artwork will look on my menu covers before you produce them?

Receiving Your Order

+ How long will it take for my order to arrive?

For answers to more questions, please visit our full set of FAQ

 

ANSWERS

+ How do I choose the right menu cover?
Style
Perhaps most importantly, 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 in order to justify the prices you charge.
  
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.
 
Durability
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.

 

+ 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 think about 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.

 

+ 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.

 

+ 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
 
Placemats:
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.
 

+ 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.

To order your free sample(s) click here.

 

+ 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 and through email.

 

+ 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 attaches and sends whatever electronic file contains their artwork via our product pages. Artwork files that we receive are typically in JPEG or TIFF formats (although we can accommodate other file formats).

It is the rare customer who has 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

The ideal files for you to send would contain black & white vector outlined artwork. In practice, very few customers have such files (or know exactly what they are). 

Multi-color designs should be sent with separate black & white files for each color in the design as well as a color file showing the entire design. Our online ordering system is equipped to allow you to attach and send multiple files at once. 

There should be no fine lines or high level of detail in the artwork because images spread a small amount when printed. Lines should be at least 5 pts and lettering at least 24 pts. The artwork file should be at least 300 dpi. 

Adhering to the above standards should allow you to avoid an art-reworking fee.

 

+ 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 whatever electronic file contains your artwork via our product pages. We will print and laminate the images before placing them into your product’s cut-out picture window. We do not adjust artwork that is used for laminated images displayed in cut-out picture windows.

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 you will approve a digital proof of the menu cover before we proceed with production.

 

+ 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 will 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.

 

Printing

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.

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.

 

+ 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 (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). 

Copper window inserts: $15 per unit. Note that the metal die required for this material costs $200 (a one-time charge). 

The last three options are only available through a custom order.

 

+ May I see how my artwork will look on my menu covers before you produce them?

Yes. 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.

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).

 

+ 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.

Items that are in stock

Café menu covers and other products that don’t require decoration: they usually ship the same business day. Otherwise, they usually ship the next business day. 

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

Items that are not in stock

Café menu covers: Usually 5 – 7 business days.

Menu covers that can have artwork printed onto the front: 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 delivery date) options

For an additional fee you can contact us to request an accelerated production schedule whereby we guarantee your delivery date and hardcover menu cover production time usually gets cut to roughly 10 working days from the time of our price quotation. This compares to as many as roughly 20 working days for a normal production schedule. When providing the rush production service we add 15% to the total order price after excluding the price of artwork dies, art adjustment charges, and any shipping charges. 

Procedure: 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 only valid for the day on which you make the request. We can only provide rush production quotes during production hours: 8AM – 4:30PM Pacific Standard Time.

 

(2) Time in transit

We ship via UPS, and estimated ground-shipping times to various parts of the US are as follows:

UPS transit time 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.