With warmer weather upon us, vaccination rates increasing, and restrictions lifting, people have been venturing out to visit their favorite restaurants in person. The pandemic hit the restaurant industry very hard — and while it’ll take time for the industry to recover from its 2020 losses, owners can take heart based on the results of a recent June survey conducted by Morning Consult:
- 70% feel safe eating at a restaurant, a 3% increase from the end of May
- 67% feel safe dining indoors
- 76% feel safe dining outside
- 59% indicated they’ll feel comfortable dining out by July
Consumer excitement about eating out continues to grow and friends and family who’ve not seen each other in person for months look forward to connecting once again in person. restaurants have the perfect opportunity to use signage to celebrate their brand, welcome patrons back, enhance the dining experience, and increase revenue and profits.
Connecting with Customers
Well-designed signage enables restaurant brands to connect with customers. Signage elevates and defines your brand while still communicating important information — stylishly. If your restaurant’s one of several within a particular niche market, your signage choices help you distinguish your restaurant from the competition.
Communicate important information. While the standards governing how we interact in public spaces have relaxed, many people remain cautious when venturing out — especially if they’ve spent much of the past 18 months fairly sequestered. Use signage to indicate policies you’ve enacted to ensure your customers’ and employees’ safety. As menus become less common in certain restaurants, signage — whether digital or not — plays a critical part in the branding once conveyed by those menus. And don’t forget to keep your parking lot clean!
Match your signage to your customers’ dining experiences. Want to really set the tone for your customers? Highlight your restaurant’s unique features starting with its sign! If it’s been a while since you’ve updated, maybe it’s time for a whole new look. Some restaurant signs offer a pretty obvious idea about the type of food customers can expect: Bob’s Burger Joint or Sam’s Seafood Shack. But if your restaurant name doesn’t immediately evoke the foods you serve, your sign can still offer subtle hints about the category into which your restaurant falls. Signage offers the perfect opportunity to set or enhance your brand and image.
Capitalize on enclosures. When the pandemic required restaurants to stop serving customers inside, many pivoted to set up tents and other temporary enclosures enabling patrons to dine outside. Even as indoor dining has resumed, restaurant owners have seen the benefit of keeping this outdoor space. Enclosures increase floor space and tables, generating additional revenue. They offer the perfect alternative to people who’d like to visit their favorite restaurant but remain leery of eating inside.
Freshen up existing signage. When’s the last time you painted or cleaned your signs or replaced burnt-out bulbs? A well-maintained front-of-house speaks to high-quality professional standards — and increases your customers’ confidence that you’ve got everything well under control.
Through good typography, well-chosen colors and images, and an innovative style, your signage becomes a critical marketing asset enhancing your brand and acting as an ambassador for your restaurant.
The Nautilus Restaurant owners had planned to expand from its original Nantucket location when they reached out to Metro for an assist on their new signage design. While planning for its original March 2020 opening (bumped to April 2021 because of the pandemic), the owners of this New England seafood restaurant needed signage created to complement the subtle nautical decor that gives nods to Jules Verne and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Metro collaborated with the team to design a color-changing illuminated cube made from bonded acrylic. This unique creation features a continuous graphic covering five sides to create interest no matter how you look at it.
We also designed an exterior illuminated vertical sign with acrylic letters with LED lights matching the indoor cube light. When lit at night, these colors slowly change, transitioning smoothly from one color to the next. You have to sea it to believe it!