Tips for Take-Out and Curbside Delivery SignageMAY 22, 2020| SpeedPro
As many restaurants have had to change their ways in the wake of COVID-19, take-out and curbside delivery have become commonplace in these establishments. Local governments may have banned dine-in seating, or maybe you’ve chosen not to open the dining area out of an abundance of caution. In either case, carry-out and curbside pickup options may be your only choice to retain customers.
If your business is providing take-out or curbside delivery, signage is essential to convey to your customers what you’re offering and how they can partake. Different signs will help you accomplish different goals, and here’s how they break down.
Choosing the Right Restaurant Sign Type
You might already have some COVID-19 restaurant signage that tells people about the restrictions in place, such as not being allowed to dine-in. But do they know that you have other options available? If take-out is new to you, you’ll especially need to advertise this fact, as people might not know about it otherwise. The same applies to curbside delivery. If this method is new, you can tell people about your safe method of pick-up and how they can place their orders.
Below are some of the signs you might see offering information about take-out and curbside delivery.
- Banners: Banners are great for covering a significant area of blank space with your message. This large-format print can cover the side of your building with a sign telling people that you offer take-out and curbside delivery. If your business is new to those services, you may need extra help in getting the word out. Banners are excellent for that. You can also use them to convey information about the pickup process, such as who customers should call when they arrive or where they should go. Standing banners work well for this purpose.
- Window graphics: Window graphics can also be stunning, wide-format prints, though they tend to appeal more to the people pulling up to your parking lot than the people driving by, depending on your store layout. Still, they are an excellent way to tell your customers that you’re offering these safer purchase options. Maybe someone who’s used to picking up their order would see a curbside option when they go to pick up their food and feel more comfortable with it in the future.
- Flags: Flags are another excellent way to advertise to the people driving by. Flags are a dynamic graphic, meaning if you place them outside, they’ll wave in the breeze, attracting attention and spreading your message. They look great on the side of the road or at the entrance to your parking lot. You can tell people that you’re still open and are offering new options. Flags are similar to banners in that their stand-out design can be particularly effective if these purchasing choices are new for you.
- A-frames: These triangular signs work well as curbside pickup signs, telling people where they should park and how to alert the employees that they are there. They work as custom markers, and you can place them pretty much anywhere. A-frames are also good for shops that only have a sidewalk as their storefront. They offer room for all of the necessary information in a compact sign that stands out without being in the way.
- Floor signs and decals: Floor signs are perfect for designating where people should go. Whether we’re talking about where they should place their feet when lining up at your counter or where to park their cars in curbside pickup, decals can help. We have indoor and outdoor decal options, so you can expect them to work well in either situation.
Remember that some types of information will work better on specific types of signs, and placement will play a significant role in visibility as well. The signage is heavily dependent on the layout of your restaurant. Do you have a pickup counter in a far corner that you should draw attention to, or is there a large exterior wall facing the highway just begging for a banner? Consider what your layout can offer for sign placement and how you can use it to get your message across.
When deciding on your sign type, you may also want to think about how long your restaurant signs will be up. Some areas may have longer periods of social distancing than others. Whether you expect your sign to be up for a few months or a few years, we offer signs at varying levels of durability. Some can be expected to last less than a year, while others will stay vibrant for years to come.
Many sign messages will still work when social distancing requirements subside, too. Something as simple as “Carry-Out Available” can apply to your business at any time. You get more bang for your buck with signs like this, though more specific, semipermanent signs are also a valuable option during social distancing.
What to Include on Carry-Out Signs
Carry-out signs are important in ensuring that your customers know that you can still fulfill their orders without dine-in seating. They should be big and bold, so people see what you have to offer from far away. You may also want to include a smaller take-out-only sign on your door, so people understand what’s going on when they enter the business.
Signs informing people about carry-out options can also benefit from telling people how to place an order. Should they call you, visit the drive-through window or go to a website? This directive works as a call to action and also clears up any ambiguity as to how you take orders.
Another place to put carry-out signs could be above your pickup area. Depending on the layout of your restaurant, you might not have a designated pickup area or even a clear checkout location. You may have to tell people where to go with directional signs or a clear label for your pickup counter.
What to Include on Curbside Delivery Signs
For a leg-up on carry-out options, curbside delivery is an excellent addition that many people prefer. It eliminates most forms of contact that make traditional carry-out a little anxiety-inducing. Customers won’t need to be in close quarters with other people and won’t need to touch a doorknob or point-of-sale (POS) terminal. They can pay online or over the phone and receive their order from the comfort of their car. Some restaurants allow cash payments as well, but of course, many find it more convenient to use cards, and it also reduces contact.
Curbside pickup is similar to the way that regular carry-out works except an employee brings the order out to the customer’s car. They might need to know the car’s make, model and color at checkout to keep things moving smoothly. With all of these factors in mind, curbside pickup signage can vary widely and may need to include specific information.
Curbside delivery can work in a few different ways, or with a combination of methods that can vary based on the layout of the storefront.
- Arrangement: Cars could line up along the actual curb as orders are fulfilled, or they might pull into designated parking spots where employees will come to greet the customer. Depending on how busy you are, traffic control can become difficult, so arranging cars in a straightforward, clearly communicated way can help significantly.
- Notification: Should the customer call when they arrive, text a number, hit a button on an app or expect to be met by an employee?
- Payment: To maximize the contactless nature of curbside delivery, many customers prefer to pay online with a card. You could also run their card via mobile checkout stations or take cash payments.
With all of these varying approaches, it’s important to convey your process to your customers. Make sure your signage tells them what to do. When telling them about curbside pickup, tell them whether they should call or go online. When they arrive at the store, make sure they know where to go and how to notify you. A-frames and ground decals are excellent for marking off designated parking spots, and banners can display instructions in a large format that people can read from their cars.
Don’t neglect advertising for this specific method of delivery. While it might seem similar to regular carry-out, curbside is a bit safer, and many customers will only go to places that offer this service out of fear of entering a public space. By posting curbside pickup signs and banners displaying that you offer this option, you can improve your chances of getting more customers and making the experience as enjoyable as possible for them.
Where to Place COVID-19 Restaurant Signage
The types of signs you use and the goal you’re trying to accomplish will influence where the best place to put your signs is.
Here are a few effective locations:
Placing signs in the window of your restaurant is great for offering information and advertising, especially to people who will be pulling up to the parking lot rather than driving by. Posters, banners and window graphics all look at-home in a window display. They can be used to promote new purchase options, display instructions for order pickups or inform customers about new hours or requirements as they enter your building.
Doorway window signs are especially important for general information or changes to the overall restaurant, like a ban on dining in or mask requirements. It ensures that customers don’t walk in with the wrong expectations and keeps everyone else safer.
2. In Front of Parking Spots and the Storefront
For curbside delivery programs, you may want to mark parking spots as a place to wait for your order. It can improve the flow of traffic and clarify things for your customers for a straightforward transaction.
A-frames, flags and standing banners are all excellent markers for your parking spots. Place them at the front of each space or on the curb for maximum visibility and include instructions, such as calling a number, if applicable. Floor decals can also identify specific parking spots.
3. The Side of the Building
If bold, in-your-face advertising is your goal, consider banners on the side of your building. That big empty wall could be a valuable marketing space for you to tell people about your new offerings. Use banners to promote new business practices and your commitment to safety.
4. On Your Property
If you have space on your property to place graphics, flags are an excellent option to grab attention. They flutter in the breeze and you can give them eye-catching colors. They extend your reach outside the confines of your building and work especially well if you’re located next to a busy road. Flags work well for short messages like, “We’re Open,” and, “Now Offering Curbside Pickup.” People typically won’t have time to read a long sign if they’re driving by.
Using Signage to Advertise
With these strange times, many consumers don’t know what businesses are doing. One restaurant might be closed entirely, another one filled with carry-out orders and yet another fulfilling curbside orders and deliveries. In another area, they might find people dining in like normal. The best way to ensure that people see what’s happening at your particular restaurant is to advertise it.
Big, bold graphics can grab peoples’ eyes as they drive to work or the grocery store, and they’ll see that you are still open for business. If you’re offering a new service, bold signage may be necessary to let the whole community know. Otherwise, they may assume that you’re closed, especially if your restaurant doesn’t normally provide carry-out or curbside service.
Don’t be afraid to play up the fact that the options you’re providing can improve safety. You’re decreasing person-to-person contact as much as you can, and people usually appreciate that. They want to go to restaurants that follow safe practices for employees and customers and prioritize cleanliness. If you offer transparency about your virus response plan, you may find yourself with more customers who value your efforts and will take you up on your safe pickup methods.
Leveraging the Internet
In times of social distancing, many consumers turn to the internet to find all the information they need about a business. To make things easier for your customers, ensure that they can learn about your operational changes through your website or social media channels.
Put updated hours on your website or profile page and provide detailed information about how to order, as discussed previously. If you offer online ordering, you may want to add a field for customers to enter their identifying information, like their car make, model and color. If, on the other hand, you don’t offer online ordering, you’ll still want to make sure your phone number and menu are available online, since people can’t walk in and browse your selection anymore.
How SpeedPro Can Help
Businesses of all types are learning how to adapt and keep people safe. Restaurants must learn how to meet their customers’ needs for purchases with as little contact as possible. Communication is key in these instances, and signage can help you convey your message.
We are dedicated to making this stressful time easier for businesses of all sizes. We can create signage that lets everyone know your doors are open and safe business practices continue. Vibrant imagery and color-matching that supports your brand help us create professional results. To learn more about working with SpeedPro, find your local studio today.Back to Blog