The appearance of a sidewalk menu board on the outside of a restaurant is as important as the menu on the inside.
The Cafe Metropol’s board is one of the most ingenious: A laminated logo-touting poster allowing the use of dry-erase markers. The most noticeable of all sidewalk signs in the Financial District is Caf? Claude’s. Tucked four steps above an alleyway –
Also, the daily menu board transcriber, Yulinga Kukosh, has been writing the menu for a very long time.
“I change the board twice a day, for lunch and dinner. I have to make sure that everyone can read what I write and I try to do it at around the same time everyday,” Kukosh said between strokes of daily specials.
Often, the menu board is looked at as a miniscule task. Think of it as a major communication vehicle between those walking past and those stopping, it suddenly takes on a new look.
Endless lists. Putting out fires from yesterday’s business. Covering checks, schedules and the unwrapped chicken in the cooler and the day is rapidly disappearing. Time is the enemy in the early and mid-morning. And when it is time to write the daily specials on the chalk board it can often become a last minute, non-important task.
Recently, I was having lunch at First Squeeze in
Here are ten tips on writing the menu board…
1). Make sure the board is n good shape. Crooked, taped, cracked and sandwich boards that have blown away, been run over by a delivery truck, or left in the rain and warped should be given to your competition.
2). Make sure the chalk board, or dry erase board is clean. A smudged board doesn’t make a very good host for the new daily specials.
3).Handwriting is important. If Samantha can’t write a guest check she shouldn’t be writing the menu board.
4). Keep it simple. Use one or two colors. A rainbow of colors is difficult to read when walking at a decent pace.
5). Daily sayings work on the menu board. A simple thought of the day provokes thought. Make it food related at it provokes thoughts of eating.
6). Make the specials on the board price friendly. Don’t broadcast how expensive you are.
7). Use the same format daily. Change the board between day parts.
8). Make sure the chef can spell and the menu board writer can read the chicken scratching on the paper the chef or manager hands out.
9). Have long pieces of chalk readily available. Don’t scrimp on the chalk if you use a chalk board, or dry erase markers if you use a dry erase board. Have spares around.
10. Have a procedure written out with the time of day, amount of specials, pricing and style you want the menu board written in. Type it up and make sure the person in charge of the board has a copy.