Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your menus:
No matter how hard you try, it is only natural that your prized menu covers will come into contact with dust and dirt, crumbs and spillages. First off, do not panic and certainly do not go reaching for any harsh chemicals, sprays, wipes or even bleach (yes, that has happened).
Products such as these can damage, and even destroy, your menu cover material or any foiled / embossed artwork. The best thing you can do is use simple warm water or very mild soapy water on a soft damp cloth or sponge at the end of every shift (particularly the busy one’s).
Refrain from using the sponge on anything else during the day and change it every three or so days at the least. Ideally, clean the inside pockets with that very same sponge every day to avoid the pockets sticking together.
Be wary of products that can permanently stain:
Whilst many of our menu covers are both water resistant and stain resistant, some products are just not meant to come into contact with such materials, such as permanent markers or that dreaded bleach.
As soon as you receive your latest menu covers, you really ought to have a little pep talk with your staff to make them more aware of those pesky products that stain. Exchanging pens for pencils could be an instant preventative, as well as insisting that all menu covers and wine list covers are removed from the tables before service begins.
The way in which you store your menu covers at the close of business every day could also impact their longevity for the better. At SMG, our manufacturing team recommend that you store your menu covers in an upright position and cover them lightly with a basic blanket or towel (something that won’t attract bits).
As with food, please be wary of the temperatures you expose your menu covers to. For example, try and refrain from storing them near explicit heat sources; such as radiators, or let them come in contact with stoves, coffee makers, hot plates, etc. The same applies to cold areas too – try and avoid refrigerated rooms or unheated supply areas that may cause materials to crack. The best thing you can do is keep your covers at room temperature whenever possible.
Be wary of the bar…
…for more reasons than one! Whilst most bartenders are constantly and manically wiping down their bar tops, a handful of spillages always manage to seep their way through. For this reason, do try and urge customers to pass back your menus once they have decided what they would like to drink. A cherished menu cover submerged in beer or other sticky liquids is not really going to stand the test of time. Likewise, do not place your covers in dishwater or any other fluid that will completely immerse them – they can’t swim.
The above tips may seem somewhat obvious, but after you have been in this game for a few years, you wouldn’t believe the stories we hear. On that basis alone, you might like the familiarise yourself with the basics. Warning – approach your menu covers with caution – and you’ll all be alright.