Buying Menu Covers? Do the Math.

They may look alike, but . . .

Many menu covers may look alike but they’re not all made alike.

You’ve written your menu copy, maybe even have given it to the printer, and now you need a cover. If you leave it up to the printer, you may get the best cover you can for your dollar, based on your printer’s past experience and resources or you may get a cover from the manufacturer who offers your printer the largest price discount.

The style of cover to choose may be a daunting challenge, but the choice of supplier is simple. Select the vendor who offers the best guarantee of usage.

The math is easy. Take the unit cost of the cover and divide it by your best guess as to the number of times you’ll use that cover over the vendors guaranteed life of the cover. The lowest ‘cost per serving’ will be your best value.

Example: Vendor A sells a cover for $3.00 a piece, and offers a three month guarantee, vendor B sells what appears to be the same cover for $6.00 a piece and offers a one year guarantee. You plan to purchase 75 covers to serve 100 people a day. 100/75 = each cover will be used 1.33 times a day x 7 days = 9.3 times a week x 4.33 = 40.3 per month.

Vendor A will guarantee that you will get 3 months, which at 40.3 per month  = 121 servings from your $3.00 cover or 2 ½ cents per serving.

Vendor B will guarantee that you will get 12 months, which at the same 40.3 uses per month = 484 servings from your  $6.00 cover = less than 1 ¼ cents per serving.

If it’s in your budget, menu covers from vendor B is definitely the more economical way to go.

The choice of style of cover can be made easier by reading the descriptions of the products. If you are planning on serving finger food and dips, your menu should be protected from food stains and greasy finger prints. Film lamination from your local printer is a popular solution if food prices are steady, but if you have to keep changing prices then restaurant menu covers with plastic sleeves into which you can insert and remove inexpensive printed menus may be the way to go.

If your restaurant offers a more upscale atmosphere and a more creative selection of food and beverages, then more upscale looking menus and menu covers may be necessary to showcase your items and the higher prices you need to cover your higher food costs.

#7  in a series of comments and suggestions by Mark R. Strange

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