Disposable Menu Vs. Washable Menu

disposable menu vs washable menu

Disposable menus are the norm in our society, but what about reusable ones?We'll explore both sides and help you make a decision that will work for your business.

Disposable Menus:

A disposable menu is a single-use item that's only presented to one customer and then thrown away, hopefully recycled. Disposable menus are typically on light paper stock - 90–150gsm (or even less), with sizes ranging from A3s up through large posters if needed; they generally have two sides printed for ease of use by restaurant staff who may not want the hassle or cost associated with printing multiple copies per day during busy periods when sales might be higher than usual. The first impression of a disposable menu may give off a low-cost restaurant. As noted, the paper is usually thin, flimsy and may look unprofessional. 


  • Inexpensive
  • Can constantly update the menu's content
  • Cleanliness, each customer is presented a new menu every time


  • Printing them constantly and making sure you have enough
  • Paying the designer for constant content updates
  • Trees used
  • May look flimsy and cheap upon your restaurant's reputation
  • Not waterproof/ rip proof, can get damaged in storage etc.

washable menu

Washable Menus:

Nowadays, it is common to find a washable menu. They can be used time and again without losing their appearance or functionality after one use. This type of reusable item has many different options available: laminated paper or card usually means they will get soggy when wet because water seeps through the surface readily; however you might also have an option in synthetic polyester paper by AquaProof Paper that does not yellow over long periods due sun exposure like others depending on how often they are cleaned (or even bleach). They're also rip proof and waterproof. Because they're more of an investment, the first impressions of washable menus come across as high quality. That higher quality makes the restaurant seem more high-end too.


  • Reusable 
  • High quality look and feel
  • Waterproof / rip proof
  • Longest lasting menu material
  • Washable / able to spray sanitize / disinfect


  • Initial price for menus is higher
  • When updating a menu item, the cost to replace the menus is higher
  • They need to be placed in a dishwasher or someone needs to clean them


The Drill Down:

Disposable menus are a great way to provide customers with confidence that there is good hygiene practice happening. You get the menu, and it goes straight into their trash can for disposal later on! However, they do have a "cheesy" cheap feel to them.

Washable menus are a great way to keep your business looking aesthetically pleasing, innovative, and professional by the demonstration that you can clean them as well. Customers tend to notice the "paper is different". Many of wait staff report customers asking them about the menu's unique feel. The explanation, "The menus are treated like any other dish ware or glassware, these too will be cleaned after use - they're waterproof menus!"

The Final Verdict:

It depends what impression you want to give to your customers. Is you restaurant casual or high-end?


If you have any questions about our washable menus or menu design, give the team at AquaProof Paper a call today: