Row of colorful restaurant signs on a wall.
Here's your sign to update your signage.

Your customers see hundreds of signs a day - do yours stand out?

  • Here's how you can boost your brand and improve visibility, inside and out.. You’ve heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but in the food industry, first impressions matter. And that starts with your signage, both inside and out. Here’s why you should pay more attention to your signage – and how a refresh could pay off.

Exterior Signage

  • Exterior of restaurant with illuminated sign lettering reading, “Snap Pea.”
    • The reality is that assumptions about the quality of your restaurant are made from the street – and there are a lot of ways your sign could dissuade a customer. An out-of-date, dirty or broken sign can reflect poorly on your brand and can make potential diners question your cleanliness standards inside.
    • However, the biggest issue most restaurants have with their signage is visibility. How many signs and advertisements do your customers drive past every day? With thousands of restaurants and businesses competing for attention, it’s easy for inadequate signage to make your restaurant to fade into the background. In fact, 60% of American consumers have mistakenly driven past a business they were trying to find due to insufficient signage.¹
    • Many restaurants will neglect their signage because of cost or a belief that other details – like food quality, word of mouth, or interior design – are enough to make their business stand out. However, the food industry is incredibly competitive and improving your visibility could pay off in more ways than one. A national survey by the University of Cincinnati found that sign changes had significant positive impacts on sales, number of transactions and profits.² After making sign changes, roughly 60% of businesses reported increased sales and nearly a quarter of respondents reported hiring more people!

Illuminated Signage

  • Dominoes
    • Sign replacement and maintenance can be costly, which can make updates seem that much more trivial next to other needs, like a new griddle. But rather than writing off signage as an unnecessary expense, it could be time to explore other options that work for your restaurant – without the massive price tag.
    • For example, 3M Illuminated Sign Film and Substrates come in a variety of dynamic colors and are specifically engineered to enhance light transmission – for brighter, more energy efficient LED signs. In fact, these films could actually decrease your overhead and carbon footprint (such as with Domino’s and Santander (PDF, 372.82 KB)), lowering costs and improving your restaurant’s public image to green-minded diners.
    • But upgrading your signage doesn’t have to be limited to traditional signs. In fact, exploring unconventional display options could bring new life to your brand. 3M’s line of graphic films and overlaminates for building exteriors and sidewalks can engage your guests before they walk in the door. Plus, 3M films are designed to be efficiently applied, cleaned and removed (if necessary), so you can invest in your business and future customers without worrying about lengthy installation or complicated maintenance.

Interior Signage

  • Green floor graphic in shape of coffee cup reading, “Life begins after coffee.”
    • But once customers are inside, signs are still important. If it’s difficult to find the bathroom, the exit, what’s on the menu or where to wait to be seated, they’re liable to turn right around. But if implemented strategically, indoor signage can reinforce your brand, guide your customers through their experience (without extra help), and even convince them to make an unexpected purchase. Rather than holding on to worn-down, confusing signs or graphics, trying a few new options could give you the edge you need to become a neighborhood hot spot.

Walls and Floors Signage

  • Interior restaurant window with wall and floor graphics and two workers behind the window.
    • From floor to ceiling, 3M graphic films and wall wraps are designed for reliability, durability and ease of use, as well as creativity. Add a splash of color or artistic detail, feature a seasonal dish or a new promotion, or guide diners to the restroom without impacting your floorplan or traffic flow. With simply applied, easily maintained films and wraps, you can bring design and convenience to every corner of your restaurant, including the floors. Beyond navigation and promotional opportunities, 3M floor wraps have the ability to transform an interior space into a completely new environment – helping reinforce your brand, your esthetic and your attention to detail.

Take Your Signage on the Road

  • Minivan with colorful car wrap, parked in front of building with window wraps.
    • While your building signage should stand out, your visibility doesn’t have to stop at the front door. If you’re operating a food truck, sending out delivery vehicles or taking your brand on the road for events, your fleet is a mobile extension of your brand that you shouldn’t take for granted. The average American spends more than 20 hours on the road a week, which translates to innumerable opportunities to catch a potential customer’s eye.³ Rather than just going from point a to point b, you can turn every trip into an advertising opportunity with stunning vehicle graphics from 3M.
    • 3M™ Fleet Graphics are a simple, cost-effective but visually striking way to showcase your brand and protect your assets. From bright colors and custom designs, to reflective accents and protective films, you can bring your restaurant’s personality to the road as well as keep your vehicles looking great for miles. 3M fleet graphics are easily and quickly applied – ensuring your fleet is never off the road for long – and are built to last, so your brand always looks its best. The reality is by investing in your vehicle graphics, you’re not just investing in visibility – you’re investing in your reputation. In fact, 98% of people who saw a vehicle graphic said it created a positive company image.
  • While there are many expenses associated with operating a restaurant, signage should never be overlooked. By taking the time to review your signage, explore new solutions and invest in a few upgrades, you can increase your visibility, streamline your operation and attract potential business no matter where you take your brand.

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