Must-have signage for restaurants

Owning a restaurant is challenging...perhaps now more than ever. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, eateries all over the world have been forced to pivot their offerings and operations. We saw all kinds of culinary professionals get creative, from wedding caterers offering family-style meal kits to pizzerias selling DIY pies. We watched eateries quickly comply to new safety rules and regulations, whether enforcing limited-capacity seating or implementing touch-free transactions.

And now that you've made so many of these changes at your restaurant, it's time to communicate them to your customers. Classic signage (like a vinyl banner or window decal) is perhaps the most tried-and-true way to share new information in a way that still reflects your brand identity.

Whether you're setting up a new outdoor dining space or want to attract new customers with an enticing offer, let a new sign do the work.

Signage for restaurants can be used to:

  1. Spread the word about your new offerings.
  2. Display QR codes for touch-free menus.
  3. Attract new customers.
  4. Inform customers of safety protocols.
  5. Reinforce your brand identity.
  6. Tell passersby more about your eatery.

1Spread the word about your new offerings.

Beyond posting about your new services and offerings on social media, use an old-fashioned sign to get the word out. Hang a vinyl banner in your restaurant's front window to market expanded delivery options, promotional meal deals, or new menu items. Whether you're implementing increased safety measures or debuting a fresh flavor of coffee, announcing a new offering is a great way to excite existing customers and attract new ones.


Is one of your new offerings a designated curbside pickup zone, or a few takeout-only parking spaces? Mark these zones with corresponding A-frame signs so customers know where to pull in.

2Display QR codes for touch-free menus.

QR codes have made a comeback, especially at restaurants - they're an easy, affordable way for customers to safely access your menu. Create a QR code that links to your menu, and print it somewhere that's easy for customers to scan. Use one on an exterior window decal so customers can check out your menu before they sit down, and others on table tents so diners can scan from their seats.


You can also use QR codes for touch-free transactions. Vistaprint is partnering with PayPal so you can create and print a PayPal-activated QR code on your favorite marketing materials (like tabletop banners and decals). Display one by your cash register so customers can scan to pay!

Take things touch-free


Attract new customers.

Everyone that walks or drives by your restaurant is a potential customer. Make sure you're grabbing their attention with a vinyl banner, poster or signicade in addition to your permanent restaurant signage. If you plan to use a sidewalk sign, check with your town on local rules and regulations for exterior signage.

As you design this signage for cafes, consider including an enticing offer to get people in the door. Whether it's half-priced pizzas on Wednesday or free delivery for new customers, offering a discount is a great way to create excitement around your business.


Ghost kitchens (or delivery-only restaurants) are growing in popularity. Since this type of business doesn't have a storefront or dining room, getting passersby attention isn't really an option - instead, market your eatery by distributing flyers, printed menus and postcards throughout your delivery zone.

4Inform customers of safety protocols.

Safety is top of mind for small business owners everywhere - and protocols have changed greatly for dine-in restaurants. So, use a sign to make sure your customers know about new rules and regulations before they sit down to eat. Place a signicade outside your front door reminding customers to wear a mask and sanitize their hands before coming in, or add a QR-coded window decal so customers can review the rules before entering. Once they're inside, use floor decals to promote safe social distancing.

5Reinforce your brand identity.

Use signage as a branding tool to reinforce your eatery's identity or set a vibe in your restaurant. From the typography on your table tents to the colors on your signicade, design your signage in a way that reflects your brand identity.

To reinforce your branding and ensure your sign is easy to read, make sure you follow our expert sign design tips. From color choice to font size, there's a lot to keep in mind when you're creating signage for restaurants.

Brand your business


Tell passersby more about your eatery.

Don't count on your name alone to tell customers everything they should know about your restaurant. Instead, use visual tools or additional language on your exterior signage to give potential customers more information. Does your eatery specialize in smoothies and juices? Add window decals with icons that reflect these offerings. Do you run an organic pizzeria? Create an outdoor poster that showcases your artisanal ingredients and specialty pies.

Beyond visual cues, a tagline or slogan can tell passersby more about your restaurant. If your marquee sign simply says 'Brklyn,' create a vinyl banner to hang below with more information - like, 'Brklyn All-Day Cafe: Hand-crafted coffee, made-to-order sandwiches & tasty treats.'

Vistaprint picks:
Must-have signage for restaurants

Related articles

Signage design tips that help you grab attention

You don’t need a design background to create professional, can’t-miss signs. Learn how to get started today.

Read more

How to optimize signage inside & outside your storefront

Get expert tips on where to use storefront signs - both inside and outside your store.

Read more

Start Shopping