Restaurant Signage

Facts and Statistics about Restaurant Signage

Most people put up restaurant signage as a matter of course, but few truly understand its impact on their business. The restaurant business is a competitive one, and you have to constantly to attract the attention of the public to make sure they always have you in their minds. Restaurant signage is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when you’re closed, so it is marketing your business without any effort. It is therefore important to invest time and effort in designing your signage, and execute it in the most attractive way possible. Here are some statistics to start you thinking about it.

85% of your customers live or work within a 5 mile radius

There has been a lot of talk about how the Internet has enabled anyone to have a global reach. It has leveled the playing field for big and small companies alike, and you can virtually exist nowhere else but in the Internet and still have a successful business. Unfortunately, these do not apply to restaurants, or any other business where the customer’s physical presence is required. Sure, the Internet can still help you spread the word of your business, but ultimately you need to have a strong local presence if you are a restaurant. You need to catch the attention of people in your immediate vicinity, and the easiest and most effective way to do that is with a great storefront sign.

If you happen to be in the mall or a building, you can use attention-grabbing lobby signs to lead the  customers to your location. It should feature your bestselling items or your latest promotions, and include your specific location i.e. 2nd floor. Your main signage is still important in this case.

17%  of people walk in on impulse because of a sign

Whether you are a standalone restaurant or in a mall, 17 people out of a 100 that pass your restaurant  will walk in on impulse if you have a good sign. It may be well-lit, stainless signage that beckons people to take a load off, or the delicious or intriguing food displayed on the menu board just outside your restaurant. It doesn’t even matter if you get a lot of foot traffic or not; that is still 17% of the number of people that would have simply passed you by if you had not had a good sign telling them to come in.

20% of people move every year

What is the importance of this statistics? This means that every year, the community will have a new crop of people to impress, 35% of which will see your restaurant signage, all of whom are potential characters. You want to make sure you make a good impression with them. Another 14% of these people will  ask the locals about a good place to eat, so touch base with the  community every so often so that they will mention you.

The signage value is equivalent to 24 full-page newspaper ads every year

Tim ho wan 1 | restaurant signage | acrylic signageTim ho wan | restaurant signage

A great sign might be expensive, but there is no recurring costs. Studies show that the average onsite sign will cost $0.02 for 1,000 views, while a newspaper ad will cost $2,81, and only 53% will actually see it. Instead of placing an ad in the newspaper, invest in different kinds of onsite signage that will get the attention of people that count. Pay the premium to your sign maker to get the best quality signs you can afford.

50% of new customers that come into a restaurant do so because of the on-premise sign

This is perhaps the most interesting fact of all. One out of every two people that come to your restaurant did so because of your sign. Essentially, half of your success comes from the sign you probably took the whole of two minutes to design. If you average 100 new customers coming in every month, 50 of them are because of your sign. Imagine how much better your business would be doing if you put a little more effort on the design of your sign, and paid more for its execution.  It might convince you more if you know that 35% of new customers did not know your were there without your sign.

Monument signs and pole signs can increase profit

Would you believe that simply adding one monument sign onsite can increase your profits by 9.3%? Better yet, a large pole sign will increase it by 15.6%.  The cost of putting these additional signs for your restaurant will pay for itself quickly, so if your restaurant has the space for these, do not hesitate to go for it!

Types of signage

You should have a better appreciation of how important your restaurant signage is for success. However, you should not limit yourself to just a great storefront signage.  There are other signs you can use to benefit your business by keeping your potential customers informed, even entertained. You can use traditional signs and LED signs in tandem to maximize the effect of your efforts.

Tim ho wan | restaurant signage | acrylic signage

Menu boards

Menu boards can be simply a lighted acrylic standalone structure where you can simply change the inserts to update the contents. These are affordable and easy to maintain. You may also want to invest in a LED sign board where you can project videos of your promos and specials. You can also intersperse broadcast news and announcements, or coverage  of exciting events such as an ongoing basketball game.   That should catch anyone’s attention. A digital LED sign can set you back some big bucks, but it is easy to operate and customize, and should be worth it in the end.

Directional signs

You can post a series of signs to guide people to your location. This is a good way to raise awareness and incite curiosity if you do it right. A simple static sign will do if you design it well, but you can also opt for digital signs with flashing lights. You can also use directional signs inside your restaurant to guide people to each section

Contact information for delivery

If you offer delivery, definitely invest in many signs that inform people about it. You can do the same on your social media pages or your website, but you stand a better chance of being seen when you have physical signs in the areas that you service.

Wall and floor signs

You can also consider putting up wall and floor signs inside your restaurant, as well as outside whenever permitted. These are indelible and constant prompts for customers to come into your restaurant, and to help them get around once they are inside.

Sandwich boards

Believe it or not, sandwich boards are actually very effective in getting people to come into your restaurant. Aside from the information about your promos and specials, having a person encouraging and inviting them to come in is quite compelling, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic. Use funny quips and one liners to make them laugh, and you have just won half the battle. Even if they do not come in at that point, they are sure to remember your restaurant.

Vintage signs

You can find old signs and ask your sign maker to restore it for use in your restaurant. Many people love the vintage look, and many will remember when those signs were not vintage at all! If you can’t find any old signs, have your sign maker reconstruct them for you.


You may think that billboard signs are  too rich for your blood, but it can improve your exposure and reach to an incredible degree, so it will be worth it in the end. True, traditional billboard signs are expensive, especially since you also have to pay for the rental of the billboard itself and you have to buy a minimum number of spots. However, you can opt for digital billboards, which are more affordable as the operator can put in several advertisements in one location.

Another option for outdoor advertising is to rent the side of a  building, or to go into contract with the local bus operators, and  place your signs there. They are more likely to be more affordable than a commercial billboard.


Restaurant signage is perhaps the most crucial part of your marketing and promotional campaign. Unlike other businesses, you need to reach people in your immediate vicinity. While social media and other digital forms of marketing may be useful for increasing your brand awareness for more people, you want to focus more on people on the ground, so to speak. Studies prove that exterior and interior signage has a great impact on customer awareness and satisfaction. If you want to achieve more success with your restaurant, perhaps the first consultant you should approach is your sign maker.



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