Making dough with Diane: 8 ways to enhance signage

Diane Chiasson
February 15, 2011
By
If done right, proper signage and point-of-sale (POS) materials can help increase sales and impulse buys dramatically. Signage is one of the least expensive ways to market your business. Good signage outside your operation will help draw in passing customers.

Customers waiting in your restaurant for their pizza or a table provide a captive audience. Take this opportunity to tell them about your new promotions and products, fill out forms to build your database, or buy additional products such as chips, cookies or even gift cards at the cash register. Check out these eight easy tips for on improving your signage and POS materials to boost sales.

Send the right message
A big, beautiful sign alone may not necessarily sell your product. Hire a good marketer who will know what to put on your signs to sell your products. Use alluring adjectives to describe your food. Sell the benefits and reveal the savings. For example, let your customers know how much they would save if they bought your pizza deal instead of buying all the components separately. Or if you have put together a more health-conscious pizza combo, spell out the health benefits.

Size and place matters
The size of your signage and POS materials can have a big impact on the overall message you want to send. Signs that are too big can be overwhelming for customers. Signs that are too small may be hard to read. Your signs should be placed at eye level so customers do not have to crane their necks to read your offer. For smaller POS materials, make sure your signs are placed next to the products you are selling so there is no confusion as to which products the signs are promoting.

Signs need visibility. If the name of your restaurant is placed above a window or awning, it may not be visible to potential customers walking by. Consider putting your logo on the front door as well, or hanging a banner perpendicular to the front of the store. Banners will also move around in the wind, which helps attract attention to your establishment. Try placing signs in unexpected locations such as on the ceiling, restrooms, parking lot, stairwell or any other place in your operation where customers are bound to look. However, don’t get overzealous with your signs. Don’t plaster signs all over your store. Be strategic.

Font size and colours
Your signs and POS materials should all be cohesive and visually coordinated. They should be the same size and colour, use matching fonts and reflect the same images. If you use too many different sizes, colours and fonts, you will confuse your customers as to what message you want to send them. Use high-contrast colours to attract attention, but keep it simple and easy to read. Avoid handwriting your signs or using fonts that are written in italics, slants or all caps.

Photos sell
Use professionally taken photos. Tantalize your customers with images of your food that will make their mouths water, or show how much food they will be getting for that price. Since pizza operators usually offer several choices for toppings and side dishes with their pizzas, photos are also a good tool to ensure customers know exactly what they are getting with each order.

Make a clear offer with a clear price
Many pizza operators offer several different combinations of pizza, drinks and side dishes, but it can be confusing for the customer to figure out exactly which deal would be most suitable for them. Make sure that your signs offer clear cut information on exactly what they get with each promotion, and how much each deal costs.

Try digital
Digital signage offers many benefits, mainly because it can be updated instantaneously. It is also more environmentally friendly as it eliminates the use of paper, which can also tear and rip easily. Digital can also provide more entertainment value to your customers; you can create slideshows or even short commercials of your promotions. You can also create short cartoons or animation to attract the attention of kids.

Keep signs clean and current
The sign outside your store is the first impression customers get of your operation. Make sure that your sign is clean, fresh and positive. If your sign is dirty, has missing letters or lights that are burned out, it gives the impression that your pizza operation does not care about itself, and therefore, will not care about its customers.
Make sure that your signs are always updated and accurate.

Reinforce your brand
Your logo should appear somewhere on all of your signs and POS materials (ideally, in the same place, such as always in the lower right-hand corner). The most successful companies use memorable images that help keep their brands dominant in the minds of consumers.

Review these easy-to-implement tips to evaluate how effective your current signs and POS materials are. A few tweaks may be all your operation needs to bring in extra sales.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .

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