Smaller restaurants tend to have guest checks that are filled in by hand rather than printed on the computer. These guest checks are generic and lack that something extra that many restaurant owners want to give their customers. An alternate choice that comes somewhere in the middle for cost, is to have custom-printed guest checks.
There are many classic choices for design for a restaurant guest check. Many restaurants choose to use their restaurant name or logo either at the top or in the middle of the check as a faded image you can write on. Another creative option: Make a larger guest check and have a coupon printed on it. If going with a coupon, stick with a dollar amount off the meal purchase instead of specific menu items. This will raise the chance they'll come back and use the coupon.
Cost of printing will vary by printer. Check around for the best prices. In addition, the more ink colors you choose, the more expensive it will be. If you're trying to save money, choose just one or two colors to print with. Ordering in bulk will save on per page printing costs. If choosing this option it's best to wait until you can purchase a really large order that will last you at least a few years. Not only does the printing cost go down the bigger the order, but you also must pay a set-up fee each time you print.
Most printers can print restaurant guest checks, but some printers have special experience, such as Pegasus Ventures whose entire business is built around pre-printed as well as custom-designed restaurant guest checks. Ask the printers you're considering how you should submit your files. Each printer has different requirements, and knowing this up front will help you or your designer during the design process.