For those who shoot for restaurant menus, how do you usually approach them?
I shoot lots of restaurant menus, though generally for chain restaurants, very rarely single locations.
I use a variety of methods to approach new business; e-mailers, post cards, cold calls, networking/referrals, etc. Timing is a critical element...contact someone when they don't have an immediate need for your services and your information generally gets put aside. I much prefer it when they contact me.
For a single location/small restaurant I'd think simply getting in touch with the owner either in person or by phone would be enough to start the discussion. Have a killer portfolio, a dynamic personality and you're 3/4 of the way there.
Best of luck.