It wasn't really until the mid-twentieth century that restaurants began to employ 'menu specialists' to design, print and manufacture their menu covers and wine list covers. This new breed of menu enthusiasts looked to traditional book-binding methods to help them in their quest to provide quality menu 'shells', ...and so a revolution was born!
Would you believe that European book-binding dates as far back as the fifth century, albeit sheep skin was the desired covering material, but that's still some going! The intricate process consisted of wrapping and binding the material to heavy weight board... it is this method that we use here at Smart Hospitality today.
It's a similar situation with hot foiling (or gold leaf as traditionally termed) and embossing (blind blocking). This type of personalisation first found itself on the exterior and/or spine of books back in the fifteenth century. Once again, these are the techniques we use here at Smart in 2013, as well as some modern additions such as full colour digital printing. From the customers' point of view, it must be comforting to know that quality tradesmanship is still very much alive. We really do take care and pride over every product we make, with attention-to-detail being one of our greatest driving factors.
You may be asking why menu covers became so popular so late on in history; after-all, the restaurant trade had been going long, long before then! Well, it was probably due to the rise of the middle classes and the emergence of a more disposable income. For the first time in a long time, people could afford luxuries. Dining out was no longer restricted to the upper classes and restaurateurs played to this. New venues were opening up and down the country. Competition was high and marketing your establishment started to become important.
So, here we are; half a century later: the restaurant trade is at its all time high, particularly with a growing number of European and International venues intensifying the competition. In turn, hospitality marketing specialists are also on an all time high, with a constant demand to supply the best...
Well... you will be glad to hear that we are the best! A bold statement we know (and no-one likes a blagger), but if you just quickly look at the list of quality venues we have worked with, you'll soon realise how serious we are ...we'll see you on the other side.