The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting restaurant owners to rethink operations. As the time comes to reopen, many are moving to virtual and disposable menus. Virtual menus are web-based and accessible to diners via their smartphones while disposable menus are paper-based one-time-use menus intended to be disposed of after use.
Virtual menus require some technical skills and either an app or website. Many restaurant owners are outsourcing this process while others are comfortable enough with technology to do it themselves. If you’re planning on using a virtual menu, it’s imperative that you make it easy for diners to access it quickly via their smartphones. A large sign with the website URL and a QR code they can scan is a good way to do this.
Disposable menus can also be outsourced, but commercial print service providers may have high minimum quantities. In addition, once printed, you lack the flexibility to change prices or menu items — which could be important with looming meat shortages. Likewise, you won’t be able to add specials to your preprinted disposable menus.
Fortunately, printing your own disposable menus is an affordable alternative that gives you the ultimate in flexibility. We recommend Epson WorkForce printers for this task.
- Chain restaurants — If you have a chain of restaurants, the remote printing function (available on select models) enables you to print disposable menus remotely. Thus, you could design the week’s menus in your corporate office and send the print jobs to each restaurant’s Epson WorkForce printer.
- Independent restaurants — If you own an independent restaurant, you could start with your basic menu and update it as needed. For example, if you’re unable to get beef due one week to the shortage, you can remove all beef menu items and replace them with vegetarian, pork, or chicken entrées. Likewise, if costs are higher than expected, you can edit the prices before printing your disposable menus.
You can also print disposable menus on demand, reducing waste. Epson WorkForce printers are fast, so your customers won’t be left waiting. Depending on where you position the printer, this could be a contact-free option. Simply print the disposable restaurant menu and let the customer remove it from the printer.
You might want to add QR codesto your disposable menus as well. For example, you could include a video of your chef describing the day’s specials to your menu by embedding a link into a QR code. Now, not only do you have a disposable menu, you have an interactive menu!
Epson WorkForce ET-4760
Epson has an entire lineup of Epson WorkForce printers that would be suitable for printing disposable menus with a variety of features and price points. If you’re an independent restaurant owner on a budget, consider the Epson WorkForce ET-4760 color inkjet printer.
The Epson WorkForce ET-4760 is an “EcoTank” model that comes with a two-year supply of ink. Printing a one-page color document on an EcoTank printer has an ink cost of about 1 cent compared to about 20 cents with cartridge-based inkjet printers.
It has a print resolution of 4800 dpi, allowing you to print gorgeous full color disposable menus. The ET-4760 has a color ISO print speed of 8 pages per minute (or for two-sided color menus, 4.5 pages per minute). Whether you print batches of disposable menus each morning before you open or on demand as customers arrive, you’ll find the Epson ET-4760 is a fast, high resolution printer that produces high quality disposable menus you’ll be proud to share with your patrons.