It may be just a piece of cardboard or a small rectangular leather but it can make a huge difference in terms of how the restaurant is viewed by its clientele. That is the role of a restaurant menu cover. A role so important that restaurant owners are going out of their way to make sure that they get the menu cover that will surely impress their clients.

Historically, the whole concept that involves people eating their meals in restaurants began in China during the Song Dynasty. However, it was only during the middle of 1700 that menus were made. It was because the style of restaurant during the olden times is to serve whatever the restaurant owner prepares. There are no constant dishes cooked so there is nothing to list down in the menu.

However, restaurateurs soon noticed that some dishes are more popular and sought after by diners more than the others. This led the way to having a fewer options for patrons to choose from. Only, due to the extra expense for paper and the illiteracy prevalent at the time, restaurant owners, particularly the French, had their servers recite the available menu to the clients. There is also the option of choosing from a chalkboard whatever the available meals are for the day. When finally, the printer menus came about, the problem of the need to protect them from spills and excessive handling, as well as the normal wear and tear became the primary reason for coming up with durable and quality portfolios of a restaurant menu cover.

Today, a restaurant menu cover can come in a wide array of designs, style, material, color, sizes and cost. A restaurateur may choose to get a design of his choice or his concept or simply get the services of experts who have been in this line of business. The owner may choose to make the cover menu very formal and of high quality and expensive material if he operates a posh restaurant. On the other hand, if he owns a restaurant that caters to families and kids, it would be wiser to go for more colorful and less formal design.

When choosing the menu cover, certain features are constant. First thing that should be considered is the durability of the material of choice. It would be expensive to change menus all the time. It is therefore vital that the menu cover is able to protect the menu, otherwise, no matter how beautifully designed the menu is, its appeal disappears when diners find it already worn out or dog-eared.

The other factors to be considered are the color, the size, the material and the cost. Colors should of course be accordance with the restaurant's overall image. So is the material. Expensive leather is suitable for expensive high-end restaurants. You can make use of basket weave or wood menu covers for restaurants that have the ambiance of the beach; a bar may get metal or dark colored menu covers in keeping with its style. Other available materials are canvas, fabric, leatherette, PVC, linen, vinyl, laminate, etc.

While it is important to set aside a budget for menu covers, it is equally important to be practical enough in your choice and no expense should be wasted. It is but right to buy expensive menu covers for restaurants. It is however not wise to do the same of middle range eateries that serve reasonably priced food.

The good news is, there are a huge number of services being offered online that specializes on the production of various types of menu covers. They will do all the work for you, from the choice of design to the estimate of the number of pieces that should be produced. You need not lift a finger and still you will get the menu cover you need.