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Choosing the Right Sign for Your Restaurant

Long ago, putting a sign in front of a business, whether it was a lawyer’s office or a restaurant, was known as “hanging up your shingle.” This is because businesses were operated out of the home of the owner so when they were open, the proprietor placed a roof shingle or tile near the front door to let customers know.

Today, restaurant signage is one of the most important marketing tools you can have as it lets customers know where you are and promotes your brand to those who are riding by. Therefore, these tips can help you choose the right sign for your restaurant while also keep you in compliance with local laws.

Choosing the Right Sign for Your Restaurant

Check Zoning Restrictions

Before choosing the sign for your restaurant, check for any zoning restrictions that may exist related to signage in your area. Some areas may have size limits while others may restrict lighted signs during certain hours of the day. You may be restricted as far as what you can put on the sign, such as graphics or other information. If you are leasing your restaurant, check your lease agreement as well to be sure there are no restrictions about signage.

Fit Sign With Neighborhood

If your restaurant is in a historic district, you will probably not want a bright, illuminated sign that detracts from the neighborhood. Choose a sign that blends well with the community but still stands out enough that people will notice it. Notice the colors of other signs in the area and try not to choose something that is too outlandish or garish.

For example, if the majority of the business signs in your area are soft, muted tones, it may not be wise to create a sign that is hot pink, fuchsia and lemon as this may actually deter customers than attract them. If most of your customers will be walking to your location, consider a sign that is at pedestrian level. If the majority of customers will be driving to your restaurant, be sure that the sign is visible from the roadway as people drive by.

Simplicity is Key

A sign needs to be simple in order to make a strong impression on customers. A cluttered and confusing sign may cause customers to miss important information that is on it, such as the hours of operation.

In most cases, you simply need the name of the restaurant, hours of operation and the graphic used in all your branding. Even the hours of operation can be left off the restaurant sign as they can be displayed on a door or window.

When choosing a restaurant sign, try to keep it as simple as possible and match other business signs in the area as much as possible. Although you do want your sign to stand out, you don’t want it to be offensive to customers. These tips can help you choose a sign that will help customers understand what your restaurant is about and encourage them to come in to see more.

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