Everybody has to eat, but visiting your restaurant, sitting at your table, and enjoying the food prepared by your cooks is a conscious decision made for a multitude of reasons. Maybe your restaurant is close to the patron’s favorite store, maybe they were attracted by especially complimentary Yelp reviews, or, as we have seen so often, maybe it was the restaurant signage that caught an eye and won a customer. Restaurant signage is a tremendously important tool in the toolbox of marketing tactics. However, like many tools, it takes a practiced hand to use it effectively. At its worst, restaurant signage can mislead and actively turn off potential customers. At its best, restaurant signage can be the reason people give an establishment a chance. In a very real way, signs provide potential for any restaurant willing to implement and strategize with the following tips in mind.
Tips for Better Restaurant Signage
- The best-designed sign is useless if it cannot be seen. Though you might consider this tip a no-brainer, it is easy to get wrapped up in the elements of design and finding just the right words to adorn your piece of promotional art without ensuring it is clearly visible. Before mounting your sign, consider foot and road traffic, sight lines and shadows or glare that may affect your sign throughout the day. For after the sun goes down, ensure that your sign is in a well-lit area that remains visible through the evening.
- Do not get wordy. In most cases, the fewer words you can use to get across your message, the better. Though this is also true in everything from blog posts to professional emails, it is especially true for restaurant signage, where conciseness of messaging can get your sign read instead of passed over. No one has time (or a desire) to read a sign when walking by your shop, let alone driving by with only a second to understand what you are trying to get across.
- Social media makes a difference. Especially for sidewalk signs and larger window graphics or banners, include the social media icons where your brand is active. This will drive traffic to your social media, which allows customers and potential customers connect with your brand, learn more about your establishment and jump on promotions you share.
- Pair your signage with your window dressing. You can easily attract more eyes if you pair your restaurant signage with what you do best: your food. Many restaurants feature window displays that showcase delicious pizza pies, exotic cheeses or exotic cuts of prime meats. You can create a bit of a one-two punch by placing an impactful message beside the eye-catching options you provide to customers.
- Get funny. Though this advice may not work for every brand (higher-end restaurants, for example), adding a touch of levity, wit and humor to your signage can go a long way toward connecting with your audience on an emotional level. Appealing to humor instead of dry facts about a discount or offering often leads to far deeper connections.
- Car restaurant signage takes your message on the move. Like mobile billboards, car topper signs, magnets and more can turn a delivery vehicle into a powerful promotional tool. Whether caught in rush hour traffic, driving down a residential area to make a delivery or even parked in front of the restaurant, car signs do a fantastic job of getting your message out.