Ideas to Promote a Restaurant


JULY 1, 2019| SpeedPro Chicago Loop


Branding, Printing

If you’re a restaurant owner looking for ways to grab people’s attention and draw in hungry crowds, it’s time to think about your signage. A captivating restaurant sign will make your restaurant stand out and entice people to come inside and make a purchase. Great outdoor signage also provides an opportunity to spread your brand and enhance your marketing efforts. Whether you want to advertise a grand opening or a new menu item, a bright, bold sign will stop people in their tracks and relay the message.

A promotional sign should be designed to turn heads and generate excitement about your restaurant. A common problem for many of our clients in the Chicago Loop is that they are crowded by other similar businesses and need help standing out. We came up with the concept of Surface Impact™ to describe our unique strategy for creating the most effective visual communications in the space you have available. While most printers focus on size and costs, we get to know our clients so we can help them determine the best signage for their entire business, from the building to the branding.

So, how do you choose the most effective sign to advertise your restaurant outside? To design a sign that impresses onlookers, evokes curiosity and sticks in people’s minds, you need to know a few design basics. In this post, we’ll show you how to advertise your restaurant outside with tips and ideas for creating signs that sparkle and pop.



Before you transform your restaurant sign idea into an eye-catching display, consider the following tips to ensure your message makes a great first impression and leaves a lasting impact.


Imagine you want to promote the opening day of your unique hamburger joint, but you have one problem — your building is shaped like an ice cream cone. How do you make sure everyone sees your advertisement for the big event? You’ll have to get creative with sign placement to make sure you cover every angle. This may mean using different banner shapes or the window space for signage.

If you want drivers to see your sign, avoid placing the sign parallel to the road. Parallel signs are difficult for drivers to read. Instead, place the sign in a position that faces traffic.


Even though you might be sleeping at 3 a.m., that doesn’t mean your potential customers are. Nighttime provides an excellent opportunity to dazzle onlookers with bright lights and attractive digital signage. You can use digital, neon or light-emitting diode (LED) signs to advertise your restaurant night or day. For example, hang a digital sign in the window to showcase new menu items as they change, or to spread the word about sales or events.


Consider your audience and what they may find funny, then use humor to build a feel-good atmosphere and a warm welcome. For instance, a casual pizza shop might ask customers to “Get a pizza the action” on the grand opening day. Did you just open a bakery? Make sure customers “crumb” again.


Nostalgia never goes out of style. You can draw customers to your restaurant in a competitive area through the power of nostalgia. For example, imagine you are a customer craving fish and chips. In this case, having a sign that reads “Serving world-famous fish and chips since 1930” will speak to that craving for quality food from the get-go.


If you want to spread news of a sale to as many people as possible, let customers know your restaurant has an online presence where they can follow you for news, menu updates and events. You can place simple window decals of social media icons on the front door under your restaurant hours, for example. That’s enough to do the trick and invite customers to follow you.


Use restaurant signage as an opportunity to promote your brand and make it memorable. For example, you might design a sign featuring your restaurant’s logo. Your logo should communicate your restaurant’s purpose in one glance. You can use your restaurant style for inspiration or include food-related elements in the design. Research other restaurants to see what works.

Regarding logo shape, simplicity is key. Simplicity is easier to remember than complicated designs or shapes. Make sure your logo is displayed both inside and outside of the restaurant. Lastly, use a trademark color scheme and be consistent with all of your logo prints. A great logo is critical for brand recognition, promoting happy feelings about your brand and securing customer loyalty.


Every single word on a sign must count. Unlike a menu, there’s not enough room to include extravagant descriptions on a sign. An outdoor restaurant sign is meant to capture attention and deliver a message as quickly as possible. Therefore, choose every word wisely to make sure it expresses your message perfectly and encourages customers to take action.



You have many options when it comes to choosing the type of sign to use for advertising your restaurant. It can be as simple as a chalkboard advertising daily specials or as creative as a window covered in jaw-dropping graphics. If you want to grab people’s attention from afar, think big and bold. Here are a few sign types to consider.


Banners are ideal for promoting a restaurant because they offer high-visibility, are made of durable materials and can be customized to include text, logos and more. Cast vinyl is a premium material that can last for years, calendar vinyl is the traditional material used for banners, and mesh vinyl produces translucency. You can choose the size, shape, colors and graphics to design banners that meet your needs and goals.


One way to make a great first impression or attract customers is to use the window for advertising space. If you have limited building space, windows can come in handy. Window clings and decals can inform customers of your basic business information such as the name, logo, contact information and hours of operation. A window decal also provides a chance to display your logo where customers can’t miss it – on the front door. That way, the moment a customer swings the door open and catches a whiff of something delicious, they’ll think of your logo next time they feel a hunger pang.

You can choose any size window decal you want, whether you want something small to fit nicely in the space, or a complete window covering. A full covering might be the touch you need to give customers a satisfying sense of privacy while they dine. Static clings and decals offer short-term solutions while stickers with adhesive backings are meant to last.


A digital sign can make your business sparkle day or night, open or closed for continuous promotion. You can quickly tailor messages to change with the daily special if you wish, or to inform restaurant goers of your monthly live music events. Why not display the menu in the window to show customers what they can expect before they enter? A digital sign is hard not to look at.



Are you feeling stuck about your sign options? Let us help at SpeedPro Chicago Loop. We’re experts at large-format printing, and we take pride in partnering with our clients to create striking signs that are easy to remember. Our consultants will help you choose the best sign to promote your restaurant based on your unique needs and goals. We will work with you to bring your vision to life and create a sign that generates excitement. No matter what you dream up, we can create it for the world to see. To make your restaurant stand out and shine, visit SpeedPro Chicago Loop today.

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