The restaurant industry is one of the more intense sectors in the world. Consumers have tons of options to choose from, and half of the battle is getting on their radar screen so that they know where to go to find great food, service and prices.

Word of mouth is one of the more effective ways to spread the message, but updating signage inside and out is every bit as important. Consider these statistics from analysis conducted by the University of Cincinnati's Economics Center for further illustration:

  • The overarching aim of restaurant signage is to help would-be customers understand how to get there.
  • 60 percent of establishments that implement sign improvements experience a sales uptick of 10 percent.
  • 25 percent of businesses that institute updates to their signage experience more hiring activity.
  • When it comes to the content of signage, customers value legibility more than any other factor.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, readability is important to signage regardless of industry. Fifty-four percent of Americans are unable to track down businesses when signs are hard to read, misleading or lack clarity, according to the Sign Research Foundation.

In short, there's really no such thing as overestimating the indispensability of high-quality signage. The question becomes, then, how do you get the most bang for your signage buck? Here are a few suggestions from people who know:

1. Location, location, location
If you want people to notice signage, you have to put it in places where it's easy for them to see. Put yourself in the shoes of the average passerby, whether on foot or by car. Ask yourself questions such as, "Would I be able to see the sign from this distance?" "At what time of the day is traffic the busiest?" Is the lettering big and bold enough for people to read without squinting their eyes?" "How fast and far away will the person be traveling as they pass the sign?" How you answer these questions should serve as your guide.

2. Keep it concise
People by their very nature have short attention spans and don't have time to read a sign. This is especially true when they're driving or have places to go. Ideally, try to keep the words on your signs on the short side.

Electronic open signVivid colors that light up serve as effective ways for customers to notice. Using appetizing images of menu items on posters, banners, yard signs, billboards or window graphics can reign supreme for hungry patrons who are undecided on where to eat.

3. Make use of window clings
Signage isn't just about helping customer find you; it's also about ensuring that they buy and come back for more when they do. As referenced by the National Restaurant Association, creating high-quality graphics that promote certain specials or customer appreciation events are a great way to improve your point of sale. Displaying them in can't-miss locations, such as on windows facing the street or within menus or table mats, helps customers know about them and what they can look forward to.

4. Appeal to their need for speed
Fast casual is one of the more successful subsectors of dining: People like to get what they want to eat in a laid-back setting – and quickly. Cater to this desire by referencing "fast" elements at your facility, with signage such as "On the Go" or "We Deliver."

NGS Printing is your one-stop headquarters for high-quality signage. From decal printing and screen printing to outdoor signage, we go above and beyond the ink to capture your company's essence in a eye-catching way. Check out our product offerings to learn more.