If you run a bar or restaurant, you’ve had your menu making frustrations.
You spend a bunch of time updating your food menu to include a slate of new menu items. You tinker with design, formatting, and the rest of it, and then, after hours, days, or weeks, you print it off.
You’re finally done updating your menus.
Unless you run a rotational beverage program.
If you do, you’re right back to updating and tinkering every time you kick a keg or get a new wine in. You head to Google, find the beer or wine’s description, then copy and paste it into your menu, where you have to edit or tinker with it. Finally, you print it out, only to do that process all over again the next time a new beer or wine comes in.
It feels like you spend a ton of time updating your menus, which is especially painful because you already don’t have enough time to do the million other things on your to-do list.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Read on to learn how to save time by using BeerMenus to create your food and drink menus in one place.
Every restaurant owner can agree on two things:
It’s challenging to design a great food menu.
It’s challenging to design a great drink menu.
Here’s a not-so-obvious point: designing these different menus is challenging for different reasons.
Take beer and wine menus, for example. When making a menu template for these menus, restaurant owners must not only consider things like beautiful design, typography, layout, etc. They also have to consider process.
If you run a highly rotational beverage program, you’ll update your menus quite often. That means that whenever you change a beer or wine, you need to head to Google, find the beer or wine’s description, then copy and paste it into your menu.
Of course, this is true if you make your own menus manually (with Word, Photoshop, inDesign, Canva, etc.).
But what many restaurant owners don’t consider is that you also have to do this with popular online restaurant menu makers like iMenuPro and MustHaveMenus.
You don’t have to do that process with BeerMenus.
Unlike those services and others like them, the BeerMenus menu maker comes complete with beer, wine, and spirits databases that make updating your drink menu a breeze.
Just start typing the name of the product you’d like to add, select it from a drop down, and boom: your full drink menu—product descriptions included—is ready to print.
That’s a huge drink menu process improvement, of course. But BeerMenus checks all the other boxes, too, meaning you can also use BeerMenus to create food and drink menus.
All food, drink, wine, and beer menus made with BeerMenus include:
High quality, beautiful, professional menu designs
Fully customizable menu design elements like headers, footers, and menu sections
Free custom menu design from the BeerMenus in-house design team
Flexible menu layout
Raved-about customer support
Read on to learn whether BeerMenus is the right tool for creating your restaurant menu design, how BeerMenus works, and how to get started.
When considering the best menu maker for your drink menu, the first question to ask is: how often do I rotate my drink menu items (beers, wines, spirits, etc)?
👉 I update my drink menu items less than one time per week
How should I make my drink menu?
Using a menu maker like MustHaveMenus or iMenuPro could work for you. Even making your menu manually (with Word, InDesign, etc.) could be sufficient.
Because your menu updating frequency is low, the time added to your process for tracking down item descriptions is low as well. It can still be a pain in the butt, but it’s not as big a problem as it would be if you had 50 beers that constantly rotate.
👉 I update my drink menu items at least once a week
How should I make my drink menu?
You would likely benefit from using a menu maker like BeerMenus that makes updating your drink menu much faster.
Essentially, the differentiating factor BeerMenus offers is a large (over 250,000) database of beer, wine, and spirits descriptions.
When you need to update your drink menu, you can skip this painful copy/paste manual process:
find a description or other information (e.g. ABV) about the beer, wine, or spirit
copy the description
paste it into your menu file
Instead, simply start typing the name of the item you want to add to your menu, select it from the dropdown, and the BeerMenus database automatically includes beer information on your print menu.
Here's a quick (20 second) video of how that process works:
There are two things to consider when determining how to make your food menu:
How often does my food menu change?
How often does my drink menu change?
👉 I don’t change my food menu very often
You could create your food menu manually, though if you value top notch design it may make sense to use an online menu maker.
A menu-maker’s primary benefit is time savings per menu update, so its value is directly related to how many menu updates you make. If you don’t update your menu often, it’s unlikely that you’ll get enough benefit to warrant subscribing to a menu maker service.
But while time savings is the primary benefit menu makers offer, they do offer other benefits. One of those benefits is professional looking menu design. If this is important to you, then using a menu maker like BeerMenus, iMenuPro, or MustHaveMenus could make sense for your restaurant.
One important caveat: If you update your drink menu more than once a week, you really should be taking advantage of a tool like BeerMenus to expedite the process of updating your drink menu. And if you already use a tool like BeerMenus to make your drink menu, then you should also use it to update your food menu—why use a separate tool?
If you often change your food menu, it’s likely that you’d benefit from a menu maker service like BeerMenus, iMenuPro, or MustHaveMenus.
Because of saved items. All these menu makers allow you to save all your food items (and their descriptions) so that when they return in the future you can bring them back onto your menu without having to start from scratch.
Of the three menu makers mentioned, BeerMenus handles saved items most intuitively.
With BeerMenus, whenever you want to add a historical item back to your menu, just start typing the name of that menu item in the add menu item field. Select the item from the dropdown, and it will populate all relevant fields, description included.
One important caveat: If both your food menus and your drink menus change often, then BeerMenus is the right menu maker choice for you. You can read why in the next section.
How drink and food menus intertwine
When it comes to restaurant menu design, restaurant owners often think of their food menus and their drink menus as entirely separate things that require entirely different menu-making processes.
However, because of the explosion of craft beverages and rotational drink programs, many restaurants must update their drink menus much more often than their food menus.
If you update your drink menu more than once a week, you really should be taking advantage of a tool like BeerMenus to expedite the process of updating your drink menu.
As outlined above, doing so means no more Google searches for product descriptions, no more copying and pasting product information (e.g. ABV), etc.
Just start typing the name of the product you want to add, select it from the dropdown, and print your menu. Just like that, you’re saving hours each month.
And if you’re already using one menu maker to create and update your drink menu, then why use a separate tool for your food menu?
When you use the same tool for your food and drink menus:
You don’t need to familiarize yourself with another tool.
It’s simple to maintain consistent branding across all your menus since you can duplicate settings from one menu to another.
You’ll save time on menu design.
You don’t need to pay for two separate menu maker tools.
BeerMenus design templates: typography, design, images, etc.
Whether you own a sports bar, a Japanese restaurant that sells sushi, a fine dining restaurant, a steakhouse, or you just need a burger menu or a simple pub menu, your restaurant has unique branding, and you need to keep that branding consistent.
The flexibility of the BeerMenus menu maker frees you to completely capture that branding in all of your menus.
Every BeerMenus menu can be configured to fit your restaurant’s needs. When you create a menu you can adjust:
Number of columns
Orientation: landscape vs. portrait
Spacing (e.g. compact, cozy, etc.)
Menu headers and footers
Menu headers can be completely customized to your business. They’re essentially an image file, so you can use the header space to message specials, happy hours, your social media, or more.
Basically, if you envision it, it can be done.
Here are a few menu header examples:
Within the BeerMenus menu maker, you’re free to create the precise menu sections you want. This ensures that your menus are laid out the way you want them to be.
For your food menu, you can create menu sections like Appetizers, Starters, Entrees, Desserts, etc.
For your drink menu you can create separate menu sections for your taps, cocktails, white wines, red wines, and so on.
You can also create menu sections that are a little more “out there,” like “Dylan’s Favorite Beers,” “Mind Altering Tacos,” etc.
Fonts can be adjusted on all menu elements (e.g. header, subheader, menu item name, menu item description, etc.)
The BeerMenus menu maker includes access to more than 30 fonts, but we can track down and add any font your business needs.
Custom menu design
BeerMenus has an in-house design team that can make you a completely custom menu design.
Here’s the best part: you can get your custom design for no additional cost.
The BeerMenus design team is made up of professional designers who’ve designed thousands of menus for restaurants and bars. Designs run the gamut from simple, elegant menus to extremely stylized menus that are truly unique.
During the call we’ll discuss the menu you’re looking for and we’ll have your design back to you by the next business day.
If you’re looking for design inspiration, check out these custom menus we recently designed:
Can I make my food and drink menus with BeerMenus on my own?
Using BeerMenus to make your restaurant menu templates is extremely easy—no graphic design skills necessary!
Use these steps to create all the menus you need for your restaurant.
Step 1: Add your business to BeerMenus:
Step 2: Decide which menu you want to create first
You’ll be creating your menus one at a time, so decide which you’ll tackle first.
Of course, the way your menus break down is completely dependent upon your restaurant—you might have separate lunch and dinner menus, you might have a menu reserved just for your taps or you may have a drink menu that covers everything.
Just choose the menu you want to start with and keep in mind what you need and are looking for as you move on to step 3.
Step 3: Design your menu template
As soon as you get started on BeerMenus, you'll be brought to your Print Menu settings page, where you can preview your menu template:
In order to help you design your menu right away, we automatically provide a selection of sample menu items. These free you to hone in on design without having to add menu items first.
Start by selecting from one of our 5 professionally designed menu themes. After that, move through the rest of the settings along the left hand side of the page to tweak your menu as you'd like it.
Step 3: Add your menu items
After you're happy with your menu design, navigate to your update menu page by clicking "Update menu items" in the upper left hand corner:
Once you're on your update menu page, just add your menu items. This takes 10-15 seconds per beer, wine, or spirit, and just a little longer for food items, since you’ll need to add your menu item description.
Note: We'd be thrilled to add your menu items for you to get you started! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your current menu. (Oh, and please be sure to include your business name as well!)
Step 4: Return to your Print Menu settings/preview page
Beneath the blue "Add item to menu" button you'll see the name of the menu template you just created. Click "Edit" on the right side:
This will bring you back to your Print Menu settings/preview page. You're doing this quick check to make sure your design turned out the way you wanted. If you need to make a few tweaks, use those settings along the left hand side of the page.
Once your menu looks good, you're ready for step 5:
Step 5: Push print and start using your Print Menu! 🚀
Click the "Print" button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This loads up a full PDF, which you can print just like you would anything else.
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 for your other menus
You’ve done it once already; now just repeat those same steps to create your other menus!
Frequently asked questions
I’m considering a digital menu board—does BeerMenus create digital menus for restaurants?
Yes, absolutely! You can create your own menu from scratch (which allows you to include your own branding, your own images, etc.) or rely on an existing menu theme (e.g. a “chalkboard” theme).
You can also add “Specials” slides to your digital menu. Many businesses include specials that message upcoming events, bands, or even food photos to entice guests to order more food.
We're a group of beer loving folks who connect bars, restaurants, beer stores, and breweries with local customers from across the world, through customized Print Menus, TV Menus, and online marketing tools.
If you want to read more about how and why we got started, check out our founding story.