What should my new car signs say?

We’re in a controlled growth stage of our new store. Deliveries have been huge and low stress, so I’d like to focus on that a little more. We haven’t put car toppers on our delivery drivers yet, but I want to start doing that.

We’re a fantastic Italian restaurant now that still serves the best pizzas in town. But, the response on deliveries for pasta and steaks has been mind blowing. I’m thinking my signs should really scream "Pastas! Steaks! Pizzas!"and the phone number/website and the restaurant name smaller.

My thoughts are, if we’re having such a huge response to our Italian food delivered with minimal marketing, the car signs should drag them in with the product that is obviously being delivered, rather than the name.


[size=5]Steaks![/size] Delivered... [http://www.yourwebsite.com](http://www.yourwebsite.com) (or) phone #

Make anther sign focused on pasta in the same format. Then another focused on pizza. Maybe put the URL on one side and the phone # on the other. You’ve got a “glance” worth of time to catch attention and convey your message, focus each one… too much stuff on a single sign becomes background noise.

You should consider a “full wrap”…There is not many marketing things that have such a big impact at such a low cost over the life of the product…

We don’t have a company car (yet) so that’s not an option. This business is being run entirely without debt, so it’ll be awhile before we can do that.

I am not a big fan of the “no debt” way of doing business…While it is a nice ideal it often ends up costing you more money in the long run…

One example is owning your own building…Some folks lease their buildings for decades and then when they go to sell their profitable business they get offered a little more than the used value of their equipment…Sadly after paying 10s of thousands of dollars they have no equity in a building…Some debt is “good debt”…

Now getting back to the company car…Do you have a private vehicle you can wrap?..In a small market a highly visible vehicle will have a huge impact…

Here are some links to sites with nice work:

You should keep it as simple as possible. My recommendation would be to have your logo and possibly your telephone number. You need your logo on the signs as you need the brand recognition. Your phone number will help slightly for a few customers but it will also take away space for your logo and hurt the branding.

As far as a full wrap on your car the prices are dropping like a rock. A couple of our stores just got larger SUV’s wrapped for $2000. The impact is amazing.

Thanks, I’ve been having a hard time finding out what a wrap actually costs, there are so many variables.

I’d like to have a small company vehicle in the next 18 months that we wrap. I’ve also been thinking about another problem. How nice should the car be? If it’s too nice, people will think “they’re really over charging me”, if it’s not nice enough “this place is sketchy”.

Indie a couple of things. First, dont be afraid to get into a little debt with this venture. Its great to run debt free but if you are losing business or not to your full potential then you are not saving anything at all. This full menu restaurant has taken off…so go with it. Second, dont worry about the impressions that people get from you buying a new car. It is not like you are talking about a new fleet of Mercedes for all the managers and owners. You are talking about a low priced high mpg delivery vehicle. Get a diesel Golf or Prius. You want this wrap to look good and be marketing tool… Not a conversation starter that begins with “have you seen that pos car that indie has running around town?” I know that was the extreme and not what you are looking at… but yeah you might have the couple that resent your success with a nice shiney car but all the others that see a clean offering that continues into your dine-in experience. It is true that you have to spend money to make money.

As far as what to say. If you only have a topper or sign to start…then big font on the “PIZZA, STEAKS, & PASTA” Your name and number. Most people see signage and remember the concept of what is being offered and not the phone or website details…they look them up. You hit a nitch with people wanting steak & pasta at their doors and not just pizza. Run with it!

[size=5]WE DELIVER!!![/size]
[size=7]PIZZA, STEAKS, & PASTA[/size]

I really believe that for a car topper, just a logo is best. Try putting the steak, pasta and pizza on there and the logo gets minimized and not seen. Use the rest of your marketing to tie the steaks, pasta and other menu offerings to your logo. The toppers have potential to be seen multiple times per day by the same person and their best use in my mind is to keep your restaurants name at the forefront of someones thought when they are hungry.

The store I recently purchased has a few toppers that have our logo taking up half and “$5.99 Lunch Special” on the other half of each side. In the 2.5 months I have owned the store, I do not think one person has called about the $5.99 lunch special. We have a few carryout each day who see it on the cars in our parking lot who will ask for it but thats it. When approaching one of these signs on the road, it is MUCH more difficult to recognize our logo until you are practically on top of the approaching car. from this point on, every car sign I purchase will have only the logo. Not even a phone number to take away from the logo will be included.

I agree with Paul. Name/logo only. “Delivers”.

Telephone number has never made any sense to me. It only makes sense for people with photographic memories. Who has pen and paper ready to go, and who can read and write the number as the car top passes by?

Website address doesn’t make sense to me either - if people know your name, surely they can find the website. If they can’t - that’s another issue anyway.

Same goes for car wrap. It’s all about branding - not advertising.

Promote the food or promote the brand? I see value to both sides of the argument. If we were just pizza, don’t think there would be much of a question here. But, stumbling onto this niche that isn’t very conventional, it’s a tough call. Right now, based on the interest in the food, not the brand, I’m thinking I should be promoting the food to get people to look closer for the name…or look closer when they see one of our cars again.

Maybe 6 months from now, I’ll switch all or some of the toppers to be more about branding.

I would suggest that very often “either or” decison making in marketing leaves value on the table. I think that seeing a cartopper as a one-off tool is short sighted. It needs to fit into the bigger marketing plan. Then, it becomes easier to see how it is useful. Where does your marketing plan need additional support? Are you using print marketing pieces in concert with the toppers? What’s the message on the print, and how can the topper reinforce the impressions and baseline recognizability of your store? These are hypothetical questions . . . . all of these tools are ultimately about driving new customers to call and existing customers to call more often . . . … or is it about driving higher ticket averages?

Consider that the car topper could have one larger image message . . . and one or two smaller window units/socks could have a complementary message. Logo, name and contact info on car topper with a car sock showing the Pizza, Steaks, Pasta message.

Just adding to the ongoing visioning.