Changes brought on by COVID-19 have forced restaurants to stay in near-constant communication with their customers. With the lockdown situation changing by the day, customers need to stay informed of new hours, new policies, where to stand, how to enter your store, if you offer takeout, and whether or not you’re even open.
More and more, restaurants have leaned upon sandwich boards, or sidewalk signage, to communicate this information from a distance. Sandwich boards can be set up outside your storefront or in large-traffic areas, keeping customers up-to-date and attracting passerby without them having to enter your restaurant or stand too close to the sign.
“Sandwich boards have been huge for us,” says Eric Peterson, owner of the North Country Restaurant Group. “We use them for a huge variety of messaging, from directing customers to outdoor seating and proper entrances, to letting them know that we’re open and require masks.”
But how do design a sandwich board? What works, and what doesn’t on sidewalk signage?
Lyra Juinio, senior designer at MustHaveMenus, a menu template service for restaurants, shared her thoughts on the topic. She has designed hundreds of sandwich board templates for restaurants to customize and use. She shared the top four lessons she’s learned, along with examples.
Large type. Simple messaging.
The No. 1 mistake restaurants make with their sandwich boards is writing out long messages with small text. If a customer needs to walk up to your sign and then spend time reading through it, you’ve missed the point of having a sandwich board.
“Here’s a simple test to determine whether your sandwich board design works,” Juinio says. “If you can’t read and understand it as you drive by in a car at 10 mph, you need to go back to the drawing board. Then simplify and enlarge.”