Any good restaurant owner knows that part of the success of a restaurant is tied to its public image. Good, effective signage is a significant component of a restaurant’s public image because it entices new customers to come in and try the food. Once you draw in new customers, you have the opportunity to wow them with your service, atmosphere, and food. However, you won’t get that opportunity without a spot on and effective public image. One way that you can pull new customers in is by having a well designed menu board. Read on to find out more about effective menu board designs.
First Impressions Matter
Anyone in the business world will tell you that first impressions count. While socially it’s better to NOT judge a book by its cover, in the business world that is exactly what happens. If you have a restaurant in a food court, you are in direct competition with tons of other restaurants that are right next door. Potential customers enter a food court and are instantly overwhelmed by the amount of choices they have. One of the best ways to make a potential customer become YOUR customer is to have excellent and impressive menu boards.
Types of Menu Boards
There are many different types of menu board designs that you can choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In order to choose the right one for your restaurant, you need to take into consideration your own unique and specific needs that have to be met.
Chalkboards are a type of menu board that have been around forever, but have recently started becoming popular again. You can use chalkboards in the following formats:
- Outdoor A-Frame Sign
- Framed and hung on the wall
- Chalk Paint
- Peel and stick chalkboard wall stickers
Chalkboards give you the opportunity to express creativity and give your restaurant a cozy, rustic/vintage feel. One of the great things about them is that you can change them every day or as needed. The corresponding disadvantage to this is that it takes time to write up new messages daily, especially if you want it to look visually appealing. If you and your employees aren’t creative or artistic, a chalk board can easily fall flat in the eyes of potential customers. Chalkboards are also not particularly eye catching, so in the food court scenario mentioned previously, it wouldn’t stand out very well.
Digital Menu Boards
Digital Menu Boards are excellent options for restaurants that want to be able to easily change their signage but want a more professional, sleek appearance. They are also excellent options if you want to update promotions, sales, and add new menu items but don’t want to wait for new hard copy signage to come in. Most digital menu boards can be updated from any computer, placing you in control of what your menu says! These types of menu boards look great in a food court, and show you take your restaurant seriously because they stand out in a sleek and professional way. One of the main draw backs of digital menu boards is that they can be much more expensive than your average signage and they are more likely to suffer from technological glitches.
Indoor Non-Digital Menu Boards
Indoor menu boards are the standard type of signage that most restaurants use. They can be custom made in any shape or colour, they can be illuminated or non-illuminated, and designed in any way that suits your restaurant best. This type of menu board is standard for a reason: they look great, they are reliable, and they aren’t budget breakers. However, since these types of menu boards can’t be changed after they are made, they are best used for displaying information that is unlikely to change.
The Bottom Line
According to David Pavesic, Ph.D, of Restaurantinformer.com a good menu board will:
- Be an effective communication, marketing, and cost control tool,
- Emphasize what the customer wants and what the restaurant prepares and serves best,
- Obtain the necessary check average need to realize sales goals and bottom line return,
- Utilize staff and equipment in an efficient manner,
- Lead to more accurate forecasting of the menu sales mix.
Clearly a menu board does more than just show potential customers the type of food you offer. When you design your menu board, you need to consider the perspective of the target audience you want to attract while still trying to appeal to the masses. In order to design an effective menu board, you need to understand the design process. If you need help understanding this process, be sure to contact Westmount Signs today to get expert help and advice.
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