The Most Common Restaurant Sign Mistakes You Could Be Making in 2024

February 27, 2024

Did you know that 60% of restaurants face closure within their first year of operation? It might seem a disheartening statistic, but understanding the potential pitfalls in restaurant branding can be a game-changer.

As a national sign company, we’ve witnessed our share of restaurant sign mistakes throughout the decades. These, unfortunately, can be part of what leads to the downfall of even the most promising business models. We wanted to share our experience so others don’t make the same errors with their indoor and outdoor restaurant signs. Keep reading to ensure your restaurant steers clear of any of these costly blunders!

Exterior restaurant signs and awnings for Pie Five Pizza Co.


When it comes to restaurant branding, one of the most overlooked aspects is a restaurant’s signs. Here are the most common restaurant sign mistakes we see regularly:


Whether you’re a nationwide chain or expanding to new states, maintaining a consistent look across all your restaurants is vital. Ensure that your colors, fonts, and sign designs remain uniform. This will make it easier for customers to recognize your restaurant no matter where they are.

Too Many Details

Because opening a chain of restaurants comes with many different things to organize, it can be easy to forget about your signage. Let a company like Egan Sign help you select the type of signs your restaurant needs in addition to working with local townships to get permit approval for those signs.


Waiting until the last minute to purchase your restaurant signs can cause delays. Exterior signs, in particular, need time for city or township approvals. We recommend contacting your sign team a minimum of 4 months before opening to ensure your signage is complete by your opening date.


Signs can often be more expensive than anticipated, catching customers off guard. When it comes to budgeting for your new restaurant, make sure to budget for the cost of exterior and interior signs from the beginning. If you are someone who has not budgeted for your signs, Egan Sign is happy to offer value-engineered options to help reduce costs.


Design Problems

Many try to create their logos or designs with free tools like Canva, or hiring someone on Fiverr, which can be very economical. The problem is that most people don’t know what kind of files they will need and only request a .jpg or a .png. These file formats are not scalable and, depending on what you’re trying to do, some software cannot read them at all. We’re not just talking about signs. This affects promotional merchandise, embroidering uniforms, or creating large ads. This is why we advise all our clients to request vector files from their designers. Learn more about vector files here. This not only helps our clients with their signage, but it’s also essential to their branding overall.

Addressing any of these issues early on with your restaurant’s signs will set your business up for success!


When you think of restaurants, it’s easy to recall well-known logos, designs, and signs that instantly grab your attention. For instance, the golden arches are undoubtedly McDonald’s, or the girl with the red hair and pigtails means Wendy’s. They are iconic symbols that leave a lasting impression. Our team is committed to helping your restaurant achieve brand recognition which requires ensuring you stay consistent across various states and regions. To get a better understanding of what restaurant sign ideas we can recommend for your project, take a look at the below variety of sign types and services we offer:

  •  Vinyl Graphics
  •  Interior Identity Signs
  •  Wayfinding Signs
  •  Digital Signage
  •  Freestanding Signs
  •  Building Signs
  •  Awnings & Canopies
  •  ADA Signs
  •  Informational Signs

When it comes to choosing the right restaurant sign ideas for your business, we recommend putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. How do we want them to feel when they walk through the door? What information will they need to have an enjoyable experience? What kind of signs can we use to create that experience? Don’t worry, you don’t have to get it all right the first time. You can add, remove, or replace signs as you learn.


In conclusion, understanding the most common restaurant sign mistakes can save you from a lot of future problems. Partnering with an agency like Egan Sign can help you mediate those potential issues and create a simplified path to restaurant sign success.

Get restaurant sign ideas now by checking out our project gallery. If you have any questions, call or fill out a contact form today to get in touch with Egan Sign!

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