One of the most difficult challenges that restaurants face is how to attract customers. Think about it: it doesn’t take long for people to look at your restaurant’s sign and decide whether or not they’ll eat at your establishment, right? You’ll have to design your signage to have maximum impact in that short period of time. Here are some tips to do just that:
1. Visibility is Key
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your signage can be seen at all times. This means:
- Go Big: Make your signage as large as possible so it can be easily seen by anyone who’s walking or driving by. You may want to think about using billboards or roadside signs if your restaurant is in an area with a lot of traffic.
- Check the Angles: You’ll want to look out for anything that can block a customer’s view of your signage like trees, passing cars, or even other signs. Consider adding other forms of signage to make sure that your business can be seen from all angles.
- 24/7 Advertising: Use lighted signs to ensure visibility when the sun goes down, and even after you’ve closed up shop. Consider using LED signs which are brighter, visible in direct sunlight, and use less power than old neon signs. Another option is the use of Marquee signs. These light up signs can be customized according to your needs and is also a good way to market your brand.
2. Keep your Text Short and Sweet
Once your signage gets your customers’ attention, you have to think about what you want them to know about your restaurant. You only have a small window of time for this, so you’ll want to keep your message at 10 words or less. Here are some ideas on what to put on your sign:
- Say something witty about your restaurant. It doesn’t matter how corny that food pun sounds, customers will always appreciate a sense of humor.
- Tell them about your history. Seeing that your business has been open “since 1974” can help you stand out.
- Ask for a follow on social media. This will also let customers know that you’re online so they can easily check your restaurant out.
If you can’t make up your mind, then you may want to consider an adaptable sign like a chalkboard. You’ll be able to change the message anytime you like to keep it up to date.
3. Post your menu outside
Of course, you don’t want to lose potential customers because they can’t browse through the menu. You’ll want to post a free-standing menu holder in an easily accessible location.
- Use larger fonts to make the menu easy for anyone to read.
- If you can’t fit the whole menu, just promote your signature dishes so customers will have a sense of what your restaurant offers.
- Be sure to include some traditional favorites for less adventurous diners.