Hiring a menu designer is expensive. Want to save some money by using a restaurant menu maker instead?
A menu forms the first impression of a restaurant together with the shopfront and interior. Thus, restaurant owners must not take it lightly.
Other than cost savings, some of the benefits of a restaurant menu maker include:
- Complete ownership over menu design.
- Faster turnaround time.
- Make design changes without incurring revision fees.
- Create menus for print, web, and mobile devices at the same time.
In this guide, you are going to read about every restaurant menu makers out there. You will learn about their unique features, things to note about them, as well as the price. Pick the best among them to design the perfect menu for your restaurant.
MustHaveMenus gives restaurateurs a menu builder with an instinctive design. It possesses the ability to design menus for print, the web, and Facebook Pages.
Restaurant owners update their menus with price changes and new items all the time. MustHaveMenus takes this into account and stores your menus on the Internet. By doing so, all online menus will reflect changes as they are made.
It doesn’t cost anything to give MustHaveMenus a try. To get started, register an account with them. Then, choose one out of the many templates they offer, and you are good to go.
For customers in the United States or Canada, MustHaveMenus offer a menu printing service. The price is based on your order quantity. If you are paying for their menu builder, you are entitled for a 20% discount.
Price: $216 yearly / $29 monthly
OpenMenu is another online or cloud-based restaurant menu maker. You can use it to create menus for the web, print, mobile devices, and social networks.
You can also add deals and coupons into the menu you create. OpenMenu comes with an analytics feature that shows the total view count for menus and deals within a certain period.
Is your restaurant located near a tourist spot? Does your target market include foreigners? If you answered yes for both, you will like OpenMenu’s one-click translation feature.
A menu created using OpenMenu can be embedded anywhere that allows HTML input. The steps are just like how you would embed a YouTube video. OpenMenu also has plugins for popular content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
With the features above, OpenMenu removes the need to hire an IT service provider or a web designer for online menus. Embedding OpenMenu to your website is probably the only time you need their service.
You should have no problem making changes to the menu thereafter. Thus, menu updates are going to be faster and less tedious.
Price: Free with limited features / $19.99 per month
SoftCafe MenuPro is an offline restaurant menu software for desktops.
Once you have it installed, you will get a drag-and-drop interface for menu designing. There are over 1,500 menu styles, graphics, backgrounds, and menu borders in the software.
The culinary dictionary is one of its primary features. It helps to prevent embarrassing spelling mistakes in your menu. The dictionary also supports foreign languages like French, Spanish, Danish, Swedish and others.
Boxes help to highlight high profit food items in your menus. With MenuPro, you can add them to your menus with only a few clicks.
You have the options of exporting menus created using SoftCafe MenuPro into a PDF or a JPEG image file. Most menu printers accept these two file formats for printing.
Additionally, there is an option to export the menus into HTML files. You can export a set of HTML files for desktops and another for mobile devices. The version for mobile devices has a minimal design to help it load faster.
You can upload the menu to your Facebook Page too with MenuPro’s Menu App.
On the flipside, it can be very tedious to update your menus with an offline menu maker. You need to have basic web hosting knowledge to upload the menus onto your website. If you do not have the knowledge, you will need to rely on an IT service provider.
Menu changes take longer when you rely on a third party. The service provider may also restrict the number of changes that you can make.
Price: One time fee of $329
A desktop software has its limitations. These limitations become even more obvious when more restaurants are getting online.
Restaurants want to see the changes they make to their online menus instantly. On top of that, they want to spend as little time and effort as possible on the changes. SoftCafe, which developed MenuPro recognized this need, and decided to introduce iMenuPro.
Essentially, iMenuPro is the online version of SoftCafe MenuPro. It distinguishes itself with the ability to synchronize menu changes across the Internet. Any menu change gets reflected immediately. It does not matter if the menu is embedded on a web page or a Facebook Page.
iMenuPro’s design interface revolves around a master food list. You only need to enter menu items into the software once. After that, you can use them on any menus at any time by dragging and dropping them into place.
Price: $15 per month
The Menuat team will deliver both the digital menu boards and software to you upon sign up. The purpose of the digital menu boards is to display your in-store menu.
The installation is planned and handled by the Menuat team so you do not have to worry about it. Concurrently, they will have designers to help you out with menu design.
Most online menu makers today offer menu synchronization across the web. Menuat takes this to a whole new level. They want to make real time synchronization possible for in-store menus as well.
Changes to your menus get reflected instantly when you have a digital in-store menu. You can even experiment with designs, layouts and prices on a menu. Best of all, you do not need to pay additional printing costs to make these changes.
The downsides of using a digital menu provided by Menuat are worth noting though. An Internet connection is a must. At the same time, the digital menu boards cannot work without electricity. These are non-issues if electricity and Internet disruptions are rare in where your restaurant operates.
Price: From $95 per month.
The Webstaurant Store created a free online menu designer to promote their menu papers. Its features are nowhere near what other menu makers are offering though.
The application interface may seem like it is offering you the option to choose a menu design from a list of templates. Yet, these “templates” are just designs of menu papers that are sold on The Webstaurant Store.
Any menus you export from this tool will only have a plain white background. If you are not buying the menu papers, this tool is only as good as a word processing software.
There is an option to publish your menu online, but it will have the ugly WEBstaurantStore.com branding in its web address. Also, there is no way to embed the menu on a webpage.
A good restaurant menu maker comes with a wide variety of templates and designs. It should also integrate well with your restaurant website.
Above all else, it needs to be easy enough for you and your employees to use. The last thing you want is to spend the entire day trying to change the price of a list of drinks.
From the list of menu makers above, which one of them interests you the most? Tell us in the comment section below.
If you gave any of them a try, we want to hear your feedback too.
Images courtesy of FestivitiesMN.