Ideally, the menu making process should be quick and efficient for all involved.
After the initial consultation about style, content, and layout, the turnaround time you should expect is approximately 10-14 days, depending on the complexity and number of menus. Some things can get in the way of this, and that certainly isn’t our goal. Here are some things to have ready in advance and things to consider before beginning the process.
1.) Art Assets Ready & Design.
During the initial consult, assuming you are completely redesigning the menu, the designers will need any art or logos you already have or want included on the menu in an AI, PNG or PDF file. This will allow them to directly input it onto their layout.
If you don’t currently have a logo and would like one made, give your designer a detailed idea of what you are looking for. Color scheme, size, and theming are all important. Where will these logos be? How intricate or minimalist do you prefer? They will use these base ideas to create a mock up set of ideas for you to choose from.
By this time, you should also have all of your prices and item descriptions set in stone. This will allow the team to input directly without making assumptions that may cause delays later on. Clever Tiger, a popular design blog , uses a set list of questions to make sure they have all the information they need at this stage. They include:
Do you have high res logos ready for use?
Do you have a brand guide showing fonts, colors, and styles?
Is there a complete creative brief with ample direction, or do we need to spend time researching how to approach the project for the best results?
Do you have all the copy written and in a usable format like a Word doc?
Have you collected all the images you need to include?
2.) Revisions & Questions
After the team has created a general layout for you, it is time to edit the content. A good company will already have checked for spelling and grammar, but of course small mistakes happen, and opinions differ. If there is a contested spelling, or a design feature you would like moved, now is the time to say it. The closer to the print date the revisions are the more stressful and higher the stakes. No one likes to waste money, and since something can’t be “unprinted” there’s no returns possible. At this point, it’s best for everyone for ALL revisions to be mentioned. No matter how small. Nothing is silly when it’s YOUR menu. Your designers are here to make what you envision a reality but if something is impossible or unreasonable to fit on the page, they will also let you know at this point. A good company is transparent with it’s limits.
A reasonable expectation per project is approximately:
Double sided menu page: 5/7 hours EACH
Logo design: 5/10 hours
Banner: 6-10 hours
This is assuming ONLY your project is in the works for this company at one time, so with other projects bouncing around this time table could differ.
3.) Creation & Final Review
This step is the easiest step for you and the most labor intensive part for us. We redesign, spell check, grammar check, and repeat before it gets back to you for a final revision. In this step, (which should take approximately 4-5 days) the company should present you with a printed out proof of your menu.
Your menu will be exactly how it appears in front of you unless you make changes at this point. This is the final round of revisions. This print test run is made to make sure everything appears as it did online. Sometimes colors and opacity vary from screen to screen but we print once to be sure everything remains as chosen.
It is very, very, very, important at this stage to make note of any changes. Something can’t be unprinted. It will be an expense for both you and the company.
If you are rushing last minute, or forgot to add things and want a reprint, and the company will have to push back other projects to complete yours first, you can expect to pay more for the privilege. As a client, through good organization you can avoid these rush fees. If it is a true unavoidable circumstance though, the rush order may be a small but not impossible to overcome extra expense. Your company should be willing to bend, but not break deadlines for you as long you have been responsive throughout.
This process may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation, it should be quick and easy. Our company prides itself on upholding time tables and making a quality product. You can take a look at work here and see if we are the right fit for you. If you are ever in need of other menu services such as food photography or QR design logo design, Turnkey Processing can help with these merchant services and more.