Creating a perfect menu that is impressive is not easy. It is a subtle science. Any business that requires a menu knows how important they are. They serve more than one purpose — they can help increase sales, improve relationships with your customer, excite (why not), and help establish a stronger business presence. A good menu gives the customer a teaser of what their experience is going to be, and why they should stay there.

For all of those reasons, any hotel, restaurant, coffee shop, or even fast food chain needs to invest time in developing an appropriate menu. There are more ways to go about it when you think about it. But even though no hard rule says that a certain business needs to use only one type of menu, and never the other, there is a certain logic to it that you cannot be discredited.

It should not be too extravagant, or simple. It should be predictable and should reflect your customer’s habits and behavior. Imagine if fast food chains suddenly started to have menus like the ones used in fancy restaurants. Sure, it sounds cool, but on practice, it might end up being a complete disaster. You want your menus to be attractive, understandable, and appropriate.

To help you out with choosing the type of menu that will suit your business the most, we have compiled a list with the most common types. Read through it and decide which one is going to work best for you.



Table d’Hote

Translated as ‘the host’s table,’ Table d’Hote is the type of menu where the person pays a fixed amount for a selection of different foods available on the menu. The customers either pay the price for multiple courses and customize it to their taste, or get access to unlimited options available at the location. This type of menu is often used in family restaurants, hotels, and buffets.

The best type of menu for this is the Long Menu. Table d’Hote menus rarely need images or long descriptions. Since they are not many options and the dishes can be seen, the menu needs to give instruction, and detail on the choices available for each course.  



A la Carte

The most common menu time, translated from French as ‘by the menu.’ It is pretty self-explanatory. It is a menu that has a fixed price for every dish. The prices are displayed separately, and the menu itself is usually organized into logical sections. This menu usually allows for larger menu selection, since all the meals are prepared on demand. Because there is a more significant presence of service involved the prices are usually also a little higher.  

Since it is the most common type of menu, it is also the one that has many printing options. As long as the menu format has enough space for images, and text descriptions, it is good enough. Booklet Menus and Folded Menus will work equally well, and the rest mainly depends on the selection and the budget of the place.  



Beverage and dessert menus usually come alongside the main menu. Often the desserts and drinks are included in the A la Carte menu, but sometimes to increase the sales the place might decide to create a separate menu.

The best option for this kind of menu is usually the long menu since they need to be compact, and easy to look through and rarely need images. If the selection of drinks is not large and the place wants its customers to always have the menu in front of them, it might use a Table Tent Menu. However, if the place specializes in drinks and dessert then a separate booklet menu with images and detailed descriptions might be the best option.



It is the type of menu that is used by fast food chains and restaurants that have a selection that does not vary from one season to another. They imply that the main template is going to be used for a long time, and that is why fast-food restaurants mainly use this type of menu. It is done on purpose since people usually come to those places and expect to see the same food options. They also help to make the decision-making process faster. Of course, fast-food chains have new additions once in a while, but the main menu remains unchanged.

The main type of menus used for this type of places is Folded Menus, considering they can be produced in large quantities and easily replaced if damaged. The other reason this type of menu is used is that it allows the usages of both images and dishes in the same folder, and a significant part of the menu can be used for branding, and that is what fast-food chains care about the most.



Cycle menus are the ones that rotate every day, week, or month. They are often used in schools, and universities, and family restaurants. They allow places that prepare large quantities of food to quickly adapt to the changes in seasons and add variation to their menu to create a sense of variety.

Cycle menu implies that there are variations of the same menu.  Since they rarely need images for this type of menu, and all the items on it are usually familiar, it means you can save space on long descriptions. Having a couple of Long Menus that change once in a while is probably the best option for cycle menus.


Du Jour

Du Jour, also known as a meal of the day menu, is the menu that has the selection of daily or seasonal dishes. Those menus are also perfect for special and holidays offers. Since the menu is only temporary, it needs to be printed or written on something that can change quickly, and should not require a lot of investment. Those are the menus that are either written on the desk or brought in as separate sheets.

Dishes on this list often come at a lower price, and if you want your customers to notice them, then you need something that will help promote the idea. That is why Table Tent Menus are the best for the cafes or restaurants that frequently offer special dishes. It is convenient, simple, and can be quickly changed from one season to another.

Each type of menu has its purpose. And even though no rule says that only one type of menu can be used for each of those purposes, having logic helps. No matter what you want, you can always come to with your ideas. We promise we will execute them perfectly. Click here to view the selection of menus we offer, and choose the one that fits your needs. All you’ll need to do is customization and wait for the menus to be delivered to whatever location you want (or pick them up from our lounge). We also have in-house designers that will help you create and perfect your design. Click here to contact us, if you have any questions.