Highway Exit Food Sign?

My shop is about a quarter mile off of I-75, a huge highway that runs north and south through the eastern US. I’m on the west coast of FL, so I’m on the southern end of it.

For a little over $1k/year I could advertise my pizza shop in one direction on the interstate.

Once concern I have is I should probably just advertise PIZZA and not my brand since I’m not a Dominos, Papa John, etc and don’t have a recognizable brand. Then I’d have to make sure I did an even better job promoting PIZZA curbside.

Anyway, just a thought I had for marketing. Anyone have any experience, good or bad with these?


Where is your location in relation to the sign and other pizza places in the vicinity?..Will potential clients drive by other stores 1st?..

I would put your name on it for sure!! The value lies in increasing name recognition more than the orders here and there the sign will generate. Remember, there are also customers LOOKING for non-chain alternatives.

I would do it in minute!

We are the first pizza place off the highway when heading westbound.

The sign is whatever the standard is, on the highway probably 1/2 mile from the exit. After the off ramp, we are 1/4th mile west of the interstate, right off the main road.

Potential clients will drive by other stores on the sign first such as Burger King and McDonalds, but no other pizza shops.

So far so good!..When they get to your plaza, strip mall, etc. do you have enough signage that they can not miss you?..Is it an easy right turn into your driveway?..

No & No, two downsides.

They either have to turn beforehand into the friendly’s parking lot, drive through their lot and then into my lot, or they can pass my shop, hit the next traffic light, make the U-Turn and the first right into my lot. I’d imagine if they’ve never been there before they’ll be passing by and making the U-Turn.

I have a big pizza flag outside my shop. I’d have to probably do something else to draw more attention to it so it’s more of a “can’t miss”. Certainly not there yet though.

Definitely review signage plan.

Also consider that in this day and age of smart phones. . . . make sure your web page and facebook pages have easy access to phone, directions and menu. They will call you when they turn off the interstate if that info is also readily available.

I am thinking this is a “no” because it will not work very well and if you invest the 1,000.00 elsewhere you can get a better RIO over the long run…If you invest 1,000.00 and attract even 20 new clients to your data base that will give you a much better return over the long run…Locals will re-order 2 or 3 times a month for a long time if they get what they like…You may only see travelers on the interstate once in a lifetime

ahh… but royster, how much is the value of the name impressions on locals on a sign they drive past hundreds of times per year…

I think the $1000 is worth it just for that. The walk in business of one time travelers is just gravy.

I am sure there is some value there…But if marketing funds are limited, is it the best use of resources?..That is always hard to assess when one is on the outside looking in…

The resources are there, but I’m skeptical of every marketing tactic around, so I tend to be extremely selective when choosing advertising methods. I’ve almost become complacent with my current sales and what I net, rather than spend money on advertising and potentially have a negative ROI.

In my limited marketing to date, I’ve taken advice of many other successful owners and have certainly not yielded the same results as them.

Because of the uniqueness of each pizzeria’s situation, it’s so hard to gauge whether or not someone’s success with one method will yield similar results for someone else. I guess that basically defeats the purpose of this post :?

My best guess is the return on investment on a sign like that will be very low…But at the end of the day maybe you should not care…If you only sell 2 or 3 pizzas a week as a result of the sign you are probably ahead of the game…They are sales you would not have got any other way…So as long as your revenue covers your food cost it will not hurt the bottom line…It may hurt some of your % numbers but the only number that ever counts is on the bottom line…

Another way to consider the decision is in your marketing priorities. There are some fundamental ideas that carry value across most markets. If you don’t have those in place, it may be better to invest in those first:

  1. Magnets: while not a touchdown for everyone, it is certainly a common tool
  2. Effective signage getting to your store . . . gotta have 'em.
  3. Well designed and printed menues. This includes the dine-in as well as the take-out versions you use for door-hanging and/or mailing programs.
  4. Point of Sale database marketing program targeting two groups . . . frequent customers . . . and lazy customers.

These aren’t all-inclusive, and certainly not either/or. Just ideas to toss out as broadening the conversation if you haven’t done some of the above. $1K is a tiny investment for all those impressions. You should be able to get a traffic count somewhere for number of cars going in each direction. The sign organization dealing with the interstate signs should have something. If you get even just 5000 impressions a day, every day for $1000 . . . it seems a worthy risk to me. then you can draw people’s attention to it in advertising, Facebook, email newsletters, all that stuff.