For many years, manufacturers of menu covers have given restaurants vague and untested advice on how to care for their menu covers. KNG's product engineers decided to get scientific so we could give the best advice available. This is why we decided to build an in-depth test area. The research laboratory we built includes automated machines, microscopic cameras, chemical testing pools, and much more. This is why we can confidently give advice because it comes directly from our laboratory testing.
Here at KNG we broke down the two main components of maintaining your menu covers into cleaning and storage. These simple guidelines will ensure the longest life of your menu covers.
Keep Menu Covers Clean
Keeping your menu covers clean is more of a sanitation and appearance issue than an issue of increasing the life of your menu covers. However, what you use to clean your menu covers has a lot to do with the overall life of your menu covers. The following points should be considered when choosing the cleaning solution you use on your menu covers:
Use Quat (or equivalent quaternary sanitizer): Quat is our most highly recommended cleaning solution. This common disinfectant should be used because it is the least harmful to the overall components of the menu covers (plastic, leatherette binding, and stitching). Plus it is found in almost every restaurant because it is required by law to be used as a disinfectant.
Stay away from citrus-based cleaners: Citrus based cleaners will eat away at the plastic and stitching of your menu covers quicker than other cleaners. Citrus based cleaners will also dissolve any foil stamping on leather menu covers.
Never use a solution with bleach: Bleach mixtures can cause discoloration to the plastic quicker than any other chemical cleaner. Bleach is a great cleaner but extremely harmful to menu covers.
Storing Menu Covers
Improper storage of menu covers is probably the leading cause of menu damage. It is hard to believe that the ways menu covers are stored could be harmful but it is crucial to follow these simple steps. Most restaurants don't look at this aspect but if they did they could prolong the life of their covers drastically.
Store in a constant temperature: Temperature can play a large factor in damaging menu covers over time. Storing menu covers in an area that is constantly changing temperatures can lead to cracking or warping of the menu covers. Extreme cold weather will cause cracking in the plastic where extreme warm weather will cause warping. An ideal temperature for storage is between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight: Sunlight will degrade vinyl and cause; discoloration, warping, and cracking of the menu covers. It is just like any other items exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. It is just not good for anything.
Store menus laying flat: Menu boxes with menu covers stored upright cause extra abrasion on the binding, split corners, and cause scratches on the vinyl. Just think about how many times a day menu covers are pulled out of and placed in the location they are stored. This is a lot of repeat motions that can cause additional damage very quickly.