Posted on: 27 January 2015
Sure, the lingering smells of your café's dishes wafting out to the sidewalk may be enough to draw in a few new customers, but if you really want to attract attention to your place of business, you need a couple of sidewalk signs on duty.
Signs can be on the job before you open and after you close, attracting new customers while you're busy planning new menus. They also happen to be a more cost-effective method of advertising than television, radio, and even newspaper ads. Here are six things you can do to make sure that your café's sidewalk signs are effective:
Use Some Color
Color has the uncanny ability to influence the way people think and feel, and it can effectively put more customers in your café. Use shades of blue to create a reliable and inviting atmosphere for passersby. Make people smile and want to get to know your business better with the help of yellow. Hues of green let customers know that you value using healthy, natural foods to create your menu.
Keep Things Simple
Avoid crowding your sidewalk signs with a long list of menu specials or introductions of your wait staff. Your signs should be simple and easy to read so that even those traveling quickly by (say, in a car or on a bus) can understand what you have to offer. Feature just one or two food specials that encompass the overall philosophy of your establishment. Display just your phone number, website, or hours – not all three. Leave a little bit of space along the edges of your signs to minimize the look of clutter.
Add One Good Photo
Because people tend to eat with their eyes first, adding a high quality photo of your most famous menu item to a sidewalk sign will entice people to head inside and indulge their taste buds. Food photos taken in natural lighting offers the most realistic look, but you can use artificial lighting techniques to get a similar look if necessary. If you are using more than one sign in front of your café, use a different photo for each one.
Create a Call-to-Action
Some people need to be told what to do, and that's even the case when it comes to where they should eat. Don't be afraid to literally ask people to come inside and order some food. A phrase like "Come on in and tickle your taste buds!" printed along the bottom of a sidewalk sign can have a positive effect on the amount of foot traffic that comes through your front doors.
Make a Small Offer or Two
You don't have to give away free food or offer steep discounts in order to attract new customers to your café. Instead, offer small incentives to dine in your establishment that don't much affect your bottom line, but will enhance your customers' experiences. A free cup of coffee with a purchase, free side salads with lunch and dinner orders, or even a small ten percent discount are all great offers that are sure to drive traffic through your door.
Don't Forget about Branding
Branding is important for your café because it helps to set you apart from the competition, and it provides potential customers with an idea of what they can expect when sitting down to dine under your roof. In short, proper branding tells your story.
For example if your café specializes in salads, your logo may be partially comprised of a toothpick with cherry tomatoes and lettuce wedges on it. Speaking of logos, yours should be the foundation of your brand, so don't forget to include it on your sidewalk signs!
Creating carefully designed sidewalk signs complete with the right colors, information, and branding on them is an advertising investment that will continue to pay for itself for many years to come.Share