I Saw The Sign: Maximizing the Potential of your Sidewalk Sign

By Zesty Pear

A sidewalk sign with specials written in chalk

Sidewalk signs, sandwich boards, chalkboards, A-frames, and other signage right outside your door offer the opportunity to show off your businesses personality, related interests, and feature your best assets to potential patrons as they walk by.

Since sidewalk signs are often chalkboards, restaurant owners and managers have incredible flexibility in experimenting with their approaches for that first impression. As well, sharing your creative sidewalk signs on your social media can spread like crazy.

So what’s your move? Are you feeling funny? Will you play it cool and simply announce your specials? Do you use a cheesy pick-up line? Or maybe you’re feeling a little tongue-tied?

Don’t worry, if your sidewalk sign needs a little inspiration, we have 3 ways to attract patrons with your sidewalk sign.

1. Get Straight to the Point

Happy hour on a hot summer day, a limited-time offering of a seasonal dish, or a new specialty pizza on the menu can be enough to capture the attention of a passerby.

Featuring an oyster special? “Buck-a-shuck” is clear, to the point, and is effective for drawing seafood-lovers in for a few.

Just remember to be short and concise to be effective. If you know that your local clients want their information upfront, use this approach.

2. Share an Interest

When there’s local news, trending topics, or timely events happening in your neck of the woods, take advantage. People love clever, quirky signs that play off popular trends and current events.

If your team is in the playoffs, you can get in on the game and support them with your sidewalk sign. Yankees fans flock to local pubs that are cheering along with them. Or, perhaps a local politician is in hot water, poke a little fun (keep it PC) by cracking a creative joke on your sign. Topical comments that give people a chuckle are always a hit.

If there’s not much going on, you can pretty much always count on the weather. Chalk up your references to heat waves, rain, or grim forecasts with clever quips.

Creating a common bond with folks who walk by can create an effective first impression, even better if your message is unique and clever enough to stop people in their tracks to snap a pic. Make sure to add your social media to your sign so people can tag you for some free press!

3. Go for the Cheesy Pickup Line

Use humor to generate interest in your establishment.

On Broadway Avenue in Nashville, we found a sidewalk sign that read, “We have beer as cold as your ex’s heart.” We still remember the crew we were with laughing unanimously. And, of all the restaurants on the street, we ended up choosing that place for a drink, because they struck a chord with us by hitting our funny bone.

Another way to make an impression with potential patrons is to get deep. Inspirational quotes can be as cheesy as pickup lines, but just like pickup lines, there’s the possibility that they will connect with the person on the receiving end. Connection is the name of the game.

For more inspiration, search #sidewalksign on Instagram.

Remember, showing off the authentic personality of your establishment’s brand is key. Be clear, be funny, be cheesy. But whatever you do, be you!

Male silhouette icon representing an author
by Zesty Pear

Sarah and Scott (aka The Zesty Pear) are newly-weds who love exploring hot spots across North America and discovering the latest and greatest in food and drink. Their favourite moments occur when they are enjoying a new dish or sipping on drinks while laughing away with friends and family. In their eyes, the simple things are the special things.

Free social media templates for your restaurant

Get hot restaurant tips. Delivered.

Orange Takeout Box