How to Attract New Customers With Outdoor Restaurant Signs

With so much emphasis on digital advertising and online presence these days, many restaurants tend to neglect one of the most tried-and-true ways to attract new customers: vibrant, inviting outdoor signage. If your restaurant is situated in a metropolitan area or on a street with several other restaurants, outdoor signs are a great way to stand out and let potential customers know at a glance that your place is worth checking out. Here are some tips on how to effectively advertise with outdoor restaurant signs:

Choose visually striking elements

Outdoor signs are usually seen at a glance, so you’ll want to use visually striking colors and typefaces to grab someone’s attention. Typefaces should be simple and easy to read, so avoid cursive or unnecessarily complex lettering. For color choices, use contrasting colors that stand out, with light color fonts on a darker background or vice versa. If you include a logo, make sure it’s unique enough to distinguish your restaurant from others in the industry, and use a color scheme on your sign that complements the logo.

Promote your brand

In addition to a simple logo, you can use signs to promote your brand. These signs should include signature colors or design elements unique to your business, and remain consistent from outdoor signage to indoor materials and décor. You can also include social media icons and handles so people who see the sign on the go can check out your place online later.

Convey your message efficiently

Considering the limited space on a sign and the limited attention span of potential customers, it is extremely important to maximize the impact of the words on your outdoor sign. Try to keep your message under 10 words, emphasizing important information such as the type of cuisine you serve and take-out opportunities. You can also inject some humor into the text, which is tricky to nail but can be highly impactful. Another idea is to use nostalgia to capture attention, such as mentioning that your restaurant is family-owned, or has been in operation for decades. 

Choose your placement wisely

The best placement for your outdoor sign will depend on its size and the layout outside your building. Many restaurants use multiple signs that are visible from different vantage points: a larger sign placed high up to catch the attention of drivers, and a smaller sidewalk sign for foot traffic. A good way to determine the placement for any signs is to walk and drive past the restaurant yourself and note any obstructions or potential for glare, and then place your signs accordingly.

Post an outdoor menu

In addition to signs set up outside to attract people walking past your restaurant, it’s important to post an easy-to-read outdoor menu for potential customers to peruse once you have their attention. You can either post a sample menu identical to those available inside, or you can post daily specials, customer favorites, or signature dishes that give people a good idea of the cuisine you offer. 

Utilize the skills and experience of professional designers in San Diego

While a witty one-liner scrawled on an A-frame chalkboard sign might earn you a chuckle or two, the best way to convert quick glances into actual interest in your restaurant is to hire a professional designer or sign-making firm to create your outdoor signs. The professionals at L+L Printers know how to make a clear and concise sign that will appeal to your target audience. We also offer marketing services to increase traffic and turn first-time customers into longtime regulars. For more information, fill out our contact form or call us at (858) 859-9044 for our San Diego office or (760) 477-0321 for our Carlsbad office.

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