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Different Materials Used to Make Menu Boards for Business

Different Materials Used to Make Menu Boards for Business

Menu boards have many uses beyond the food service industry. Learn more about menu boards and how they could benefit your business.

Menu Board Materials

Menu boards have many uses beyond the food service industry. Learn more about menu boards and how they could benefit your business.

Menu boards offer a great way for businesses to display their products or services, along with the prices, where customers can easily see them. They are common in fast food and fast casual restaurants, but menu boards have uses far beyond the food service industry.

Almost any business that provides services to walk-in customers could benefit from well-designed, sturdy message boards. An experienced print shop like AlphaGraphics North Austin can help you explore the various menu board options that are available.

What is a menu board?

Menu boards aren’t just for restaurants. A menu board is any kind of display that shows the products or services that a business offers. Menu boards often list products and services along with their prices in order to help customers decide what they want and order it from an employee. Examples of uses for menu boards include:

  • Food service businesses like restaurants, coffeehouses, and food trucks;
  • Personal service businesses like nail salons, barbers, and spas; and
  • Box offices at entertainment venues.

Menu boards are often placed behind the counter where customers place their orders. You can use menu boards in other locations as well. A menu board placed outside your location can entice people to come in and order something.

The first question to consider when deciding what type of menu board to use is whether you are going to place it inside or outside. You might need signs made from more durable material for outside use. These last longer against the elements, but often tend to cost more. Menu boards made from materials that are best suited for indoor use tend to cost less while not being as sturdy. Keeping them inside can help prolong their use.

Materials used to make menu boards

Common materials for printed menu boards include the following:

Corrugated plastic

Corrugated plastic is lightweight, waterproof, and weatherproof for a reasonably long period of time. It is also inexpensive, making it useful for both indoor and outdoor purposes. When placed outdoors, corrugated plastic can hold its shape even in rainy, cold, or hot conditions. It is not likely to stain or shrink. Maintenance for a corrugated plastic menu board is often as simple as wiping it off after a rainstorm.

One downside to corrugated plastic can be an unexciting appearance. If you are looking for a menu board with a certain “wow” factor, corrugated plastic might not be your best choice. It is ideal, however, if you need simple utilitarian menu boards that do their jobs without complaint.


Wood is a classic material for all kinds of signs. You want something that will display text your customers can easily read. Beyond that, you may have many options in terms of features like color and grain. The price can vary widely based on these choices. A wood menu board could be perfect for a business with a rustic environment, or one with an elegant look.

Some types of wood can withstand the elements outside for several years or longer. It depends on factors like the type of wood and the finish. Many wood menu boards are best suited for indoor use.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is perhaps best known for its use in pipes and other building materials. Its use in plumbing demonstrates its durability. PVC menu boards can stand up to any conditions that Texas weather can throw at them. They are available in two sizes, 3mm or 6mm thick.

In terms of cost, PVC tends to be more expensive than corrugated plastic but less expensive than many other materials. The smooth surface provided by PVC also makes it look more “professional” than corrugated plastic.


The use of metal in menu boards provides various creative opportunities involving magnets. A base level can have the business’ printed logo and other information. Other layers can consist of graphics and text printed on magnets. Employees can move layers around as needed. This type of metal menu board tends to work best indoors where the elements cannot damage any of the layers.

Metal menu boards can also have graphics and text printed directly on them. Some types of metal work very well outside, such as on the side of a building or food truck.

Generally speaking, metal signage is more expensive than many other materials. The cost may depend on the materials and layers involved.

Let’s create a menu board from start to finish!

AlphaGraphics North Austin provides a wide range of graphic and printing services to businesses throughout the Austin area. We can create memorable, eye-catching menu boards and other graphic displays for your business. Contact us today to get a quote!

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