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5 Signage Ideas for Reopening Restaurants

FEBRUARY 1, 2021| SpeedPro East Bay

It’s no news that restaurants have been hit hard during the COVID-10 pandemic. With the re-opening guidelines continuously changing and the Winter months threatening the dine-in crowd, restaurants just can’t seem to catch a break. However, many have found new ways to ensure that they’re creating a safe environment for customers as well as keeping the business coming. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve just experienced our second stay-at-home order and things have finally opened back up again. So, if you need signs to help with your social distancing reminders as well as display other information, SpeedPro East Bay can help. Here are 5 signage ideas for restaurants that are ready to open back up and promote a healthy environment.

BUSINESS UPDATES

Because things are rapidly changing with the state, county, and city restrictions, letting people know that your restaurant is open will be important. Whether you’re open for outdoor dining, indoor dining, or takeout, passing potential customers will need to know this. Posting a “now open” banner on your facade will get people around town talking about how you’re not closed anymore. Also, if you have any new specials that you want to welcome your customers back with, displaying these on an a-frame sign or with window wraps will really help to capture attention.

If you’ve changed your restaurant’s hours to cater to the busy times, let your loyal customers know this. Using digital signage to do this is a great way to get this message across. This way, when your hours go back to regular, you won’t need to print a new sign. Instead, you can just program the digital sign to say so. You can also edit your menu here if you’ve condensed your menu during this time.

Line your parking lot with yard signs or outdoor flags to advertise that you’re open again. If you want to communicate to your customers that you’re doing everything to comply with local ordinances in order to make them feel safer, post these on your windows and doors. The more information you communicate to your customers, the more trust that they can build in you and your services.

CLOSED SEATING

Because the CDC recommends that we keep 6 ft apart from others, changing the layout in your restaurant may be necessary. Whether outdoor or indoor dining, you’ll have to reconfigure your space a bit. You could either remove extra tables and chairs that don’t fit in the appropriate space while maintaining distance. However, this will cause a cluttered look in the corner with stacked chairs and tables. Or, you could mark every other table that will be closed with a sign to let customers know that they are not able to sit there. This option allows for you to not have to move any furniture.

When marking the tables, you can either use decals or tabletop displays. If you’re looking for a more subtle approach, decals are a great option. These are placed directly on the table so diners can’t see them until they’re close to the table. This helps prevent any eyesores of excess signage. If you do choose to use decals, we’ll be sure to use a temporary adhesive so that it won’t leave any residue behind when those tables can open back up again.

The tabletop displays can either be a table tent or using an acrylic sign holder. Table tents are folded cardstock that stand up n their own and display the message on both sides. This option can easily blow over with wind though so it works for indoors or outdoors if you adhere it to the table. You can also purchase acrylic sign holders and place the printed message inside of them. These are often used at tables to display happy hour specials but can also be a great way to show that the table is closed.

SOCIAL DISTANCING REMINDERS

We’ve all heard by now that we need to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart in efforts to promote social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, even though we’ve heard about it and read about it, it’s still something that is so new. In our past, we’ve never had these types of restrictions which can make it easy to forget. You may have caught yourself walking out your door and realize that you forgot your mask and need to run back inside. These are new cues that we have to remember although it’s been almost a year now. Because of this, restaurants and other businesses have posted signs to remind their customers of these distancing protocols.

In an effort to make your distancing signage visible and creative, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Window Decals: Post reminders before customers even enter your door this way they won’t have an excuse for not following. Think of it as their last reminder before stepping inside to mask up before entering. Also, it will let them know that you are practicing social distancing and being safe in every way that you can. A simple window decal that asks for them to properly social distance as well as wear their mask can be effective.
  • Floor Decals: These have become a very common spacing cue for people. It’s hard for people to recognize on their own how much distance 6′ is without reminders on the floor to show it. Using these floor decals can help to create organization in areas where people tend to not stand far apart. For example in lines and waiting areas.
  • Wall Graphics: Wall decals are perfect for placing in the bathroom or on dining room walls. These can be reminders to keep hands clean as well as just remind diners once again that social distancing is important to your business and that they should continue this practice.

window social distance decal

DIRECTIONAL SIGNS

Directional signs are super important during the time especially when things feel so uncertain. When you pull up to a restaurant nowadays, there is often chaos. People don’t know where to go to start an order, pick up an order, or wait to be seated. Try to help eliminate some of these questions with visible directional signs.

Posting these signs to clearly indicate where people should wait in line to pick up their food vs whether they should wait to be seated will help with the overall flow of your business. You can use a-frame signs for this or floor decals to mark on the ground where people should stand to wait.

If your restaurant has a drive-through, install directional signs outdoors to guide the car traffic. This will help to keep the drive-through traffic separate from the dine-in and carry out orders. This is also a great opportunity to display new menu items or specials while people are waiting in their cars for curbside pick up or in the drive-through.

TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY SIGNS

Since many restaurants have had to close their indoor dining rooms, take-out and delivery have become increasingly popular. Also, because people are trying to stay inside as much as possible, they’re limiting their outdoor activities even if it’s just to grab food. Because of this, many restaurants have transitioned to offering these options for customers but letting them know is where it counts. Here are some signage suggestions to spread awareness:

  • Flags: People can’t possibly miss a large flag blowing in the wind. Placing an outdoor flag in front of your restaurant or throughout the parking lot will help to capture people’s attention. Keeping these simple will have the most impact. For example, use minimal text like “drive-through open” or “we deliver” with vibrant colors that are consistent with your branding. Don’t opt-in for those cheap-looking flags that have a general message on them. Customize yours to flow with your branding.
  • Window Graphics: Take advantage of your restaurant windows and advertise take-out and delivery services with large scale window wraps. You can also display any menu specials that they may be interested in ordering while considering a take-out option.
  • Vehicle Graphics: If your restaurant offers delivery services directly through you and not a third-party app, make it count. Utilize your delivery vehicles to advertise your business while looking professional with a vehicle wrap. Consider everyone who is passing by your vehicle while it’s on the road delivering. Let people know who you are with images of your delicious food along with your logo and website or phone number. When you’re delivering to a person, you will also have neighbor’s eyes on you that may be curious and take down your information.

CUSTOM RESTAURANT REOPENING SIGNS WITH SPEEDPRO EAST BAY

SpeedPro East Bay understands that you’re going through a difficult time. We’re here to help you with all of your signage needs to help with social distancing and beyond. When you’re back on your feet and ready to spruce things up, we’re here for you. From design to print and installation, we’ll help you share your messages with the local community that has supported you during this difficult time. To get started with your signage project today, give us a call at 510.974.7369 or click here.

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SpeedPro East Bay

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Ed Owens

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