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Spotlight on Menu Safety: Laminated Antimicrobial & Waterproof Menus + Handy Cleaning Tips

Spotlight on Menu Safety: Laminated Antimicrobial & Waterproof Menus + Handy Cleaning Tips

Now more than ever, the focus across our nation is on keeping things clean and germ-free. Naturally this extends to dining establishments, among the hardest hit economically by the pandemic. As restaurants have started to re-open for dining-in, keeping facilities and menus safe for staff and customers is an essential part of daily business. Below, we take a look at antimicrobial, laminated and waterproof menu options to help restaurant owners protect, clean, and safely re-use their menus.

Antimicrobials 101

Without getting into too much of a science lesson, briefly summarized, an antimicrobial can be a natural or synthetic substance with the capability of inhibiting growth of microbes. Microbes are harmful bacteria and viruses that can result in disease or illness. While you can’t view microbes with the naked eye, they can cause mold and odors. Besides causing these troublesome defects, microbes that grow invisibly on items like menus and tabletops can cause illnesses including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.

To avoid wearing off over time like a coating, antimicrobial substances are integrated into menus during the manufacturing process so that the menus can offer reliable, continuous protection. Antimicrobials incorporated into menus don’t stop microbe growth but rather inhibit it, slowing down the growth significantly.

Menus with Microban® Protection

Microban® provides antimicrobial protection against bacteria. Since 1984, the Microban International, Ltd. has been setting the standard in antimicrobial technologies and odor control solutions. In recent years, MenuWorks began a partnership with this industry leader to develop a revolutionary solution for restaurant menus. The Microban® additive is directly integrated into the menu to minimize the growth of microorganisms on the surface of the menu. This processed is utilized for all of MenuWorks’ matte laminated flat, bi-fold, tri-fold, and coil-bound menus1 and helps resist the growth of bacteria that can cause stains and odors. “Menus are known to have a high level of bacteria,” according to Kevin Parrish, SVP of Strategic Alliances at Microban. “Microban helps provide peace of mind when consumers are out at their favorite restaurant by inhibiting the growth of microbes on the menu.” Microban® antimicrobial product protection works to minimize damaging microbial growth on the surface of products, ensuring they remain cleaner and fresher between cleanings and aids in reducing the risk of premature product degradation, extending the life of your menus.

Waterproof Laminated Menus

Flat, bi-fold, tri-fold and coil bound menus can be fabricated with an attractive gloss (or matte) laminate and can include a convenient waterproof finish2. This makes cleaning and sanitizing menus quite easy and also provides for longer use with the added durability of the waterproof lamination. On an aesthetic note, colors pop and photos stand out beautifully with gloss lamination as well.

Menu Cleaning How-Tos: A Little Effort Has Great Importance:

Laminated menus are easily cleaned with soap and water or sanitized with antibacterial sprays or wipes. Typically, restaurants clean their menus when they are noticeably dirty and/or schedule regular daily, bi-weekly, or weekly cleaning depending upon usage. Now that business owners and consumers around the globe have heightened awareness due to Covid-19, there is more of a need to assure your establishment’s guests that your menus are safe and frequently cleaned. Many restaurants have initiated or plan to initiate new procedures that include cleaning and sanitizing menus between customers, much like they do with tables and counters. A simple solution of dish washing liquid and warm water will do the trick. MenuWorks’ laminated menus can even be safely sprayed with Lysol® Disinfectant Spray. It should be noted that cleaning and wiping down menus featuring Microban® will not deplete the effectiveness of its antimicrobial protection.

An Alert About Paper & Other Materials

Paper menus are fine if restaurants distribute them for takeout orders (especially now, if with many businesses focused on takeout and delivery) but should only be used in a restaurant setting if they are being discarded immediately and not re-used by multiple guests. As restaurants begin to re-open to the public, owners and operators must re-think paper and shift to more sanitary and easily cleaned options such as waterproof laminated menus or those protected with Microban®. Restaurants currently using vinyl and leather menu, wine list, and guest check covers should also make plans to migrate to other more easily cleaned and maintained options or appropriately clean and sanitize these items after every customer (keeping in mind any exposed paper or card inserts cannot be cleaned. Here, washable vinyl sleeves may be an option.)

If your restaurant is looking for durable, easy-to-clean waterproof antimicrobial or laminated menus, contact one of MenuWorks’ experienced account managers for more ideas and to receive a sample pack of menus in various styles and sizes for reference and inspiration. MenuWorks also offers expert design services for convenient one-stop shopping, so be sure to ask for samples designed by our talented in-house team as well.

1 MenuWorks is pleased to include Microban® antimicrobial protection on ALL matte laminated menus at no additional charge.

2 MenuWorks includes waterproof finishes on ALL laminated menus at no additional charge.

Microban® is a registered trademark of Microban Products Company.

Lysol® is a registered trademark of Reckitt Benckiser LLC.

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