We’ve all been to a restaurant, right? And no matter what type, style or location, they all have one thing in common – signs. Whether it’s permanent, like displaying the restaurant’s name and logo, or temporary, like displaying daily specials, restaurants of every type use some kind of signage every day.
Temporary signage seems to be what restaurant owners use most. The main reason is to promote certain menu options and specials that can vary by day, week or season. If a restaurant is about to open, a grand opening or coming soon sign is needed. And once that restaurant is in business, they might want a sign that says “Now Open” or “Now Serving”. Another use? To advertise that the restaurant is hiring or to display special hours during certain holidays.
While digital signage is preferred by the restaurant industry, it simply isn’t feasible for many restaurant owners from a cost perspective. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-digital sign types that will work as well. Our experienced team at Forerunner Signs & Graphics works with restaurant owners to determine what will work best within the allotted budget. Since we understand these sign types well and know the importance of restaurant signage, we’ve outlined a variety of options for our restaurant friends.
Promoting Deals, Specials, Menus and Drinks
Food deals and specials are common among all restaurants. Likewise, seasonal menus and drinks are a common element. Some restaurants may do daily meal specials or they may do a certain food item each day, like a soup of the day. There might also be certain foods or drinks only offered during a specific season or holiday. For these situations, restaurant owners need a quick and easy way to display and change those specials and unique offerings.
- Chalkboards are a popular choice. Set one up on an a-frame, easel or mount it to a wall near your entrance. While they are flexible and cost-effective they are easily missed and inadvertent erasing does happen.
- Whiteboards are another option. For all intents and purposes a whiteboard has the same pros and cons of using a chalkboard. Cheap and versatile but sometimes not worth the hassle!
A deli or less expensive restaurant can use these without thinking twice, but an upscale or fine dining establishment shouldn’t as they may be viewed as tacky or cheap by the customers.
- Window decals work great because they can be placed in high visibility areas of the restaurant. These are semi-permanent which means there is some wiggle room when initially installing them. These are best served for a promotion that will last several months.
- Static clings are another option for daily or weekly specials. These work by literally clinging to the surface they are applied to. This can be a sneeze guard or glass window and can easily be removed without any cleaning or hassle.
Advertising a Grand Opening
Good promotion means that all of your planning and effort leading up to your restaurant’s grand opening won’t be wasted. And announcing your restaurant is opening soon through eye-catching signs is a sure way to drive people to your business.
At Forerunner Signs & Graphics, we think that banners are one of the best ways to promote a restaurant opening. You can have “Grand Opening” or “Now Serving” written in big letters on your banner and let every passerby know they need to try out your restaurant. Banners are affordable and flexible in hanging or mounting. Finally, banners can be used for temporary purposes – swap out dates, times and specials with smaller banner pieces that attach to the bigger banner with velcro.
Announcing Holiday Hours, Job Openings and New Management
If you’re hiring, you want people to know. If you have special holiday hours, then you want people to know that as well. The way to properly announce these messages is through the right kind of signage – inside and out.
Seating & Directional Signage
Larger restaurants, especially, need seating and directional signage. Both acrylic and rigid plastic, whether cut to shape or not, can be easily mounted and removed using screws and bolts. This can be done as part of a sign pole or even on the wall but would be best for semi-permanent seating arrangements. For example, restaurants with patio or exterior seating during the summer months could easily post a “Patio Open” sign and remove it when the weather got colder.
Another important category of signage needs within restaurants is temporary “functional” signage. This can cover aspects or parts of the restaurant that are currently out of order or service. For example, a static cling, foam board or even rigid plastic sign could easily be put on a bathroom door to let patrons know it is currently out of service, under repair or temporarily being cleaned.
Professional signage that is reusable is far better than a simple piece of paper taped to the malfunctioning fountain drink machine or bathroom.
Signage for Staff
Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from strategically placed signs. Directing where employees can and should go behind the scenes is crucial.
As you can see, and most likely already know, there are many needs for permanent and temporary restaurant signage and an assortment of styles to choose from. Your restaurant style, specific use and budget will narrow your options and ultimately determine which sign type you go with. We love working with restaurants to make sure they have all of their signage needs met – from the large exterior sign to the smaller, directional interior sign. If you are a restaurant owner and would like to discuss your signage needs, contact the experts at Forerunner Signs and Graphics.