Paper Matters Blog
Rethinking Your Restaurant Menus and Design

Reopening a Restaurant? Consider Multiple Paper and Print Options 

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our approach to safety in a variety of ways. As some states are beginning to “open-up,” the restaurant industry faces specific challenges regarding the health and safety of both employees and customers.

An optimal solution for durable restaurant menus and signs and other materials is to print on Xerox® Revolution NeverTear®. This product eliminates the need for lamination, which can be unattractive, time-consuming and harbor bacteria once the lamination bond begins to release. It’s also virtually tear-proof and made to withstand the toughest conditions including wetness, rough handling and chemicals. Xerox® Revolution NeverTear® prints color graphics and photographic detail well on the majority of digital equipment used in print and copy shops throughout North America. It can also be disinfected with alcohol and cleansers containing 70% alcohol or less without impact to image quality.

One particular area of concern is the restaurant menus. Menus, especially plastic ones, pass through many sets of hands throughout the course of a day and are actually one of the most unclean areas in a restaurant. In fact, according to studies, menus can have bacteria counts as high as 185,000 per square centimeter – far more than a toilet seat. Interestingly enough, the majority of the cleanliness issues related to menus have less to do with the material the menu is printed on and more to do with human error. “Restaurants are supposed to wipe down plastic menus using a disinfectant,” says Charles Gerba, University of Arizona microbiologist during a 2017 interview with Today, “but so many times, the employees either don’t soak the cleaning cloth in disinfectant long enough to kill its germs or they don’t take time to wipe the menus completely.”

To combat this issue as restaurants begin to reopen post-pandemic, many are switching from laminated restaurant menus to single-use paper menus to aid in sanitization and control further spread of the virus. Here’s a few paper safety facts that suggest porous paper surfaces are safe from the COVID-19:

  • According to the CDC, there’s no evidence COVID-19 can be transmitted by packages or paper.
  • There has never been a documented incident whereby the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted from a piece of print collateral, print newspaper, print magazine, print letter or print package, according to the world’s top doctors and scientists.
  • A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that the coronavirus lasts longest on smooth, non-porous surfaces.
  • Publishers, printers and the USPS are protecting customers through enhanced health and safety precautions at printing plants, distribution centers, newsstands and home delivery.

In addition to health and safety, Domtar Paper is also an environmentally responsible choice made from a renewable resource that is recyclable. Furthermore, purchasing from a North American paper supplier that obtains the ingredients to make their paper from forests that are managed responsibly ensures the paper chosen is an environmentally-responsible choice.

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Nicholas Pearson
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