7 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Restaurant Signage
In the hyper-competitive world of restaurants, attracting diners is central to success. After all, no diners means no revenue! And with no revenue, it’s only a matter of time before a business fails. 29% of failed start-ups, for instance, list insufficient funds as the primary reason they shut down. For restaurant success, then, enticing customers through the door is all-important. Of all the ways to do it, restaurant signage is one of the most fundamental- not to mention effective. A high-quality, aesthetically appealing design can make a mighty difference. Indeed, the sign that hangs above an eatery’s door says a lot about the dining experience. It’s like a company logo, summing up the brand, ethos, and culinary encounters to be had on the other side of the door. With so much riding on enticing diners, it pays (literally) to get the signage right. Keep reading to learn 7 top tips to help you do exactly that.
1. Think About the Audience
The audience should be front and center of any restaurant signage decision making. In other words, the sign should appeal to your restaurant’s target audience. For example, a vegan eatery is unlikely to have hardcore carnivores as their top customers! Creating a sign with any implication of meat consumption will never attract the people they have in mind. Figure out the wants and needs of your customers before designing your signs. Lacking hard data, conjure up a mental image of who they are instead. Consider their appearance, interests, financial status, and desires; their local hangouts, political preferences, and overall style. Doing so should provide a better chance of creating relevant signage that strikes a chord with your target market.
2. Visibility is Paramount
The best sign in the world will have zero effect if passers-by can’t see it. This is why it’s pivotal that you take the positioning and surroundings of a restaurant into account. The last thing you want is for the sign to disappear from view behind a tree or lamppost! Passers-by won’t have a clue what you have on offer. This is the case regardless of the type of sign you’re creating. It doesn’t matter if it’s the main shopfront sign, an A-frame sign to go outside, or a window sign. The environment will play a key role in the sign’s success. Make sure it’s visible at all times and in full view of your target customers. Here are more restaurant marketing tips to read about!
3. Know That Less Is More
Many restauranteurs design complex signs that are overloaded with information. It’s easily done. You’ve got a lot to show and say in minimal available space, making it tempting to cram everything in. Unfortunately, complexity will kill a sign’s effectiveness. People don’t know where to look or what info to digest; they’ll pass by none the wiser. Remember that we now have attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish! You need to grab someone’s attention in an instant. A simple and engaging design is the way to do it.
4. Know That Size Matters
Bigger is usually better in the world of restaurant signage. Sure, there are limits to abide by. Too large and the sign might seem outlandish and laughable; it might not fit with your overall brand either. Generally speaking, though, bigger signs attract attention and compel more diners through the door. It comes down to visibility again. Small signs get lost in the maelstrom of daily life. Walk down a sidewalk and there’s any number of a-frame boards advertising this, that, and the other. You can end up ignoring all of them! Make yours larger and you’ll stand a better chance of sticking out. Prioritize size for the sign itself, as well as the imagery and typography.
5. Use Quality Images
You probably know already how significant visuals are to human beings. There’s a reason we say that a picture’s worth a thousand words. It’s because we’re inherently attracted to imagery. It garners attention at a far higher rate than copy alone. As such, strive to utilize images in/on your restaurant signs. Next, though, make sure you use images of the highest quality. This isn’t that time for generic, grainy, and illegible photography! There’s nothing quite like it for sending the wrong impression. Get a pro photographer to sort out your snaps. They’ll have the gear and know-how to make the final product have the desired effect.
6. Update It Regularly
Some types of signs need to be updated on the regular. Take a-frames that sit outside on the street in an attempt to attract passers-by. Many eateries go out of their way to include a witty, clever, insightful, attractive, or otherwise attention-grabbing headline. They might write a joke that aligns with the restaurant’s concept, brand, and their target customer’s sense of humor. Passers-by see and enjoy the joke, venturing inside as a result. In time you might even gain a reputation, and compel people to share the jokes on social media. You get a boost in popularity and exposure in the process. Changing the joke on the board is important though! It won’t take long for that once-winning pun to get old and lose its allure.
7. Highlight Key Contact Information
Think about including your contact info. Again, this won’t apply to every sign you’ll have in the restaurant. However, on prominent signs, having contact info for reservations is vital. It’s about getting the most from the signage by making it easy for people to get in touch. They see the sign, like it, and feel compelled to book a table. Don’t lose out on that potential custom by forgetting to put your contact info on it. For an extra impact, you could also include your social media handles to encourage follows.
Time to Improve Your Restaurant Signage
Restaurant signage can be a deal-breaker when it comes to attracting diners. Hopefully, this post has included a selection of top tips to help you create the best signs possible.