Does your location have great "curb appeal"?

My wife and I took a drive yesterday…Among other things, we wanted to try a restaurant we had heard about…When we pulled up, my wife went silent…Now I have to admit that I will eat pretty much anywhere, however, she is lot fussier…Anyway, she got out to take a look inside and came back to the car and said lets find somewhere else…

So it got me wondering about 'curb appeal"…How does your location measure up?..Is your signage professionally done?..Are your employees neatly dressed in some kind of standard outfit?..Do you have messy condiment bottles on the tables?..Is the paint fresh?..Do you have dirty menus?..I am sure the list could go on forever and if you search the archives here, I you will find lots of ideas…

Many “curb appeal” items really affect the image of your place and whether new customers choose you…But many of these things can be improved for a very minor cost…So please take a look around and see what you can do to improve things…

Excellent post Royce. If you can’t get 'em in the door…you can’t get 'em in the drawer!

I really hate the dirty menus that some restaurants hand out. Curb appeal is important for the volume but I still think that the quality of food and service should weigh in alot. Don’t get me wrong… you do not want to walk into a total dump with the roaches seating you… but having traveled alot and growing up in Chicago… you do need to not judge the book by the cover. One of my favorite asian restaurants in China Town, Chicago… is a little place that is hiden in an alleyway and has a little 2X3 foot sign painted by hand. The place is clean and the food is top notch… but for the visitor or outsider… it is a lost gem. Now on the street side of this place are two flashy tourist traps that charge 5 times the price for food on fine china. Funny thing is I cannot for the life of me remember the name. I think, and this is funny, it was called JUNK. Go figure. Just a side note for anyone hitting Chicago… if you like greek… goto Rodity’s. Another smaller less flashy place right in a row with a couple of the cities largest and most costly greek places. You can get dinner for 4 with drinks and some flaming saginaki cheese and desert for around $100 with a nice bottle of wine. Not easy to find in the city and you will not go home hungry or disappointed. Throw in free valet parking across the street and hands down some of the best service anywhere. The Greeks have a very very high standard of service and though a bit outdated… only men serve… I wish other restaurants would take some tips from them. I know a little off but just sharing some good eating tips. To kind of touch the subject a little more… I think you have to draw a line between “dirty” and what alot of these places are… just not flashy. Word of mouth really comes into play as these places do not advertise. Just to keep rambling… a few years back my wife and I were down in Key Biscayne Florida for a college bowl game and the night of the game we had reservations at a highly recommended place… running a little late our driver said “you want a nice place or really great food?” Well I am so happy we went with great food. He pulled up next to an ice cream shack that had this little half shed on the side that was selling Cuban food. We ate off of paper plates with plastic forks in the back of a limo on the way too the stadium. Damn that was one of the best meals of life. I will forgo everywhere near Miami for a meal there each time I can make it back there.

I’m having a dilemna with this right now. Our storefront is very nice. We have a professional sign and some vinyl applied graphics out front. But the West sun was killing us all summer. We put up a reflective film which made all the difference in the world for glare and HVAC costs BUT, we look totally dead from the outside. I’m considering cutting the bottom 1/3rd or so of the film off but it was really expensive. Anyway, definitely not doing this to our new party room space. We’ll find another solution…

Patrick Cuezze
Next Door Pizza

Ok this might just be too tacky to do… but there are two restaurants in town here… one is a Chinese takeout and the other is a sub shop and they are both set back in their own and if you did not know what they were… you would be hard off to take a good and distant look while driving by…but they both have little colored strobe lights in their front windows. It gets your attention and I am sure pulls people to take a closer drive to see what is going on. The one thing is no matter night or day… you can still see that light flashing. Just a thought. :idea:

I had the same problem for years and always resisted putting anything on the windows because I thought it would look tacky. Last July when we had some 110 degree days I decided to try out some pull down heat resistant blinds. These things work great. They cut out the glare and reduced the store temp by about 10 degrees. And best of all the look totally professional, much more so than tint. When you don’t need them you just roll them up. They are easy to order, easy to install and are inexpensive. It was about $350 to cover 2 large front windows and it took me about 30 minutes to install them. Here’s the link. … hades.html

we are luckly to have an incredible corner spot downtown which attracts customers. Funny that we were 2 door down for 20+yrs and there were locals that came in thinking we were a franchise when we renovated and moved…location, location, location…we had the same problem with the windows and installed high-end roller blinds this summer for our glass storefront in the dining room. Overall it was a great move to block sun and keep cool, although we roll them back up as soon as the sun goes away because it loks like we are closed…neon beer signs work well to draw the eye but I am still trying to figure out how to get the light to show during the day because in the late-morning and afternoon our fluorescent lighting does not show through from the road

Anybody have any ideas? i do not like the look of tint

I think curb appeal is very important to newer places. With that said, places that have history(20-30+yrs) seem to be able to get away with the curb appeal a new business must have. I have a shop up the street from my house that has been there for 30+ years and has zero curb appeal but are busy,busy,busy. I’ve been eathing at that place since I was a kid.

Times have changed and curb appeal is vital in this new age.


Curb appeal is important, no doubt.

More important is the product.

If your serving mediocre product with good curb appeal, who cares?

Get a pizza and experiece that everyone raves about and comes back for more… curb appeal, coupons won’t be necessary.


Kevin Kuczek