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Creating Restaurant Menus for Print using OpenMenu & InDesign

By:

Jason Clark
Jason Clark

on 3/17/2011

The following video is a tutorial of the OpenMenu service and it’s extremely useful features. The video focuses on using OpenMenu’s XML output to create restaurant menus in Adobe InDesign.

We recently launched the Mayan Cafe’s new website. Something that we discovered while building this website was the ability to use the exported OpenMenu XML file for your print menus, using Adobe InDesign. The big win here: you’ll never have to re-enter or format the menu data again. Once the initial files are set up, just update your OpenMenu online, export the XML, import it into InDesign, and print.

The basic outline of this Tutorial:

  • Intro to OpenMenu & XML
  • Creating a Flow-Based layout in Indesign using OpenMenu’s XML structure
  • Using XSLT to rearrange the information in the XML file.

One of the great successes of the project was the help that we were able to provide with improving the client’s internal menu production processes. Menus are, not surprisingly, an important marketing piece for a restaurant if they are promoted effectively, but maintaining them has traditionally been a huge challenge on the administrative side. One of our internal goals was to vet this process and improve it, for the web and for the actual print pieces. (See The Oatmeal’s beautiful comic strip on how horrible restaurant websites can be for why we though the web part was so important.)

* The XSLT segment references this linked XSLT file. Feel free to download and use if you’d like.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I had fun creating it. VIA Studio is happy to consult on any restaurant website design project you may be interested in. We’d love to scrub all the (entirely) Flash based restaurant sites off the planet!

~jason

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