Restaurant Marketing: Why Print is a Major Meal Ticket

Running a successful restaurant looks different from owner to owner, chef to chef. But one thing they all have in common? The need for restaurant marketing. Whether promoting specialty food, upcoming events or brand awareness, they’re leveraging print as the secret ingredient to elevate the dining experience and drive the bottom line.

Restaurant marketing

Marketing Cooks
Up Customers

As any good restaurateur knows, marketing is essential for drawing customers into your establishment. Using an online printer like Smartpress makes reaching those customers a cakewalk with Direct Mail Postcards that we can send for you, Door Hangers that get your message to the locals and Rack Cards to advertise your appetizers at nearby businesses.


Whether you’re announcing events, publicizing daily specials or simply pushing for brand recognition, your marketing strategy needs to be accessible and engaging. So leverage Brochures, Menu Inserts, Table Tents, Business Cards and Large Posters to promote happy hour specials, new products and outdoor events on your patio.


Hint: Be sure to set up a merch table at those outdoor locales. Print branded Stickers and Notepads (that double as order-taking essentials for servers). Even design apparel and promo items for guests and staff like T-shirts, aprons, pint glasses and coasters.

Custom menus

Menus Whet the Appetite

Once you’ve got customers in the door, you need a menu that suits your offerings and makes them look good enough to eat. And with our Versions feature, you can design multiple menus of the same size, stock and finish but with various content. Printing brunch, happy hour and event menus is a breeze (and easy on your budget).

Menu printing
Restaurant print marketing



Jen Howard, owner of Leo’s Table in South Deerfield, MA, chose the Brochure Menu format “to present the many meal choices available from Leo’s Table in a portable, compact size,” she said. “Our customers can take them and easily refer back to [them] in the future.”


Howard’s graphic designer, Andrew Sabourin, wanted to “create a layout that logically organizes food options and is conducive for skimming” since “customers will skim things quickly before going back to read in more detail.”

For Spiros Stogiannis, owner and executive chef of Easy Pie in Revere, MA, the benefits of Spiral Coil Menus were threefold: “The menu lays flat when open on the table, the spiral allows for easy change-out of pages and I thought it had a retro look and feel.”


Our Saddle Stitch Menus wow with superior color and pages stapled through the fold line, while Take-out Menus are ideal for pick-up orders and one-time use. Waterproof Menus guard against spills and are easily disinfected, while Backlit Menus illuminate your business with shining, vibrant graphics.


Hint: Want menu printing ideas? Get your fill with Restaurant Menus: 6 Print Ideas for Dine-in & Take-out.

Custom print

Signage that Serves

When it comes to restaurant signage, print marketing is all about “making a clear, concise message for the customer,” said North Country Food Co-op’s Matthew Hall in Plattsburg, NY. Hall’s strategy makes business sense no matter the medium.


Our custom sign printing lets you promote and advertise inside and out with A-Frame Sidewalk Signs that engage passersby, economical Styrene Signs perfect for bars and host stands, durable PVC Foam Signs with easel options for easy installation, Window Decals that can be easily removed as seasons and hours change and the unique visibility of Perforated Window Decals.


Not just for publicizing your gourmet grub and specialty spirits, custom signs are practical essentials, too. Exercise social distancing with Floor Graphics, point guests in the right direction with Clear Acrylic Signs and cater to all customers with restroom Braille signs.

Restaurant printing
Event marketing

Decor to Savor

Guests come to restaurants for both the entrees and the environment, and as the first thing customers experience, decor can’t be overlooked. “With so much competition in the food industry, it’s important to convey the unique character of your restaurant,” said Sabourin.


Decorate your front of house, waiting areas and dining spaces with Canvas Prints featuring product images, business milestones and themed photography. Try removable Vinyl Wall Graphics for brand logos and graphic designs and lightweight SEG Wall Graphics that captivate customers with incredible texture and detail.


Whether you’re designing for a casual cafe, a five-star restaurant or something in-between, take Sabourin’s suggestion and “let the restaurant’s personality shine.”

Spiral bound menus
Brochure menus

A Lucrative Recipe

Implementing a print strategy that keeps customers coming back for more is what Smartpress is all about. A positive dining experience, from ambience to food to service, can easily turn a first-time guest into a regular – which translates into good business for you.


Stogiannis was impressed with the user-friendly ordering process and the final product. “It felt and looked rich and it had a very professional vibe to it,” he said. “Our guests always compliment the menu.”

For Howard, the small things made a huge difference, like “the ability to easily transfer completed designs from my designer without glitches, crashes, obscene loading times or color errors.” And of course, “the ability to print a folded menu accurately.”


Details like that take your marketing from an a la carte strategy to a five-course success.





Hint: Want more restaurant marketing and printing tips? Here you go:



Styrene Sign and Window Decal Designs by Maranda Steinmetz-Robey
Backlit Graphic Design by Nicole Bullock
Clear Acrylic Sign Design by Maranda Steinmetz-Robey and Nicole Bullock
Large Posters, Business Card, A-Frame Sidewalk Sign, Floor Graphic, and PVC Foam Sign Design by Ross Bruggink, Buddy-Buddy Agency Design Director
Two Rivers Brochure Design by Ciana Cloud, Emerge Design (Photography by Jeff Cloud, Icon Creative Group)
Intelligentsia Coffee Postcard Design by Martine Ehrhart
Door Hanger Design by Catherine Yaw, Manager of Graphic Design, Shoate Construction Company
Grit Coffee Rack Card Design by Brandon Wooten, ID Company
Menu Insert Design by Prana Chai
Oakland Coffee Sticker Design by Yasamine June
Table Tent Design by Andy Upton for NOBL Coffee
Red Rabbit Saddle Stitch Menu Design by Angela Kallsen, Kallsen Studio and Design
Biscuits Take-out Menu Design by LH Formal Design
Nacho Mania Waterproof Menu Design by ANTONIO COLIN
Graft Cider Canvas Designs by Sarah Kenney
Neptune’s Brewery SEG Wall Graphic Design by Lauren Silano
Gorgeous Gelato Vinyl Wall Decal Design by Garrand Moehlenkamp

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