How business profitability is enhanced by effective quality signage.

The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed.

Frenchy’s Bistro


Frenchy’s Bistro is a small restaurant in southern California specializing in authentic French cuisine.

Frenchy’s fronts a busy local business street, with only a sidewalk between the building facade and street curb. The location had a small, tri-colored canopy, barely projecting from the building. Only the front of the canopy contained the name so it was scarcely visible and not legible (see photo at left). The lack of optimally visible signage to the street essentially meant that only local residents familiar with local businesses patronized the restaurant. Yearly gross income had stabilized at $279,000.


Poor visibility and legibility of the sign.
Steps Taken / Results Achieved:
  1. Frenchy’s owner installed a V-shaped, internally illuminated sign with colorful graphics. The total cost of the old sign removal, prep work, the two single face signs with designer art and the installation was reported at $10,045. The lettering was designed to provide excellent contrast with the surrounding background, just over the restaurant door (see image at left). The sign was both visible and legible to passing motorists. Furthermore, the attractive sign reflects the owner’s pride in his establishment, thus facilitating a stop by increasing customer confidence in the dining experience offered.

Results: During the 12 months following installation, the restaurant realized a sales increase of 16%, which brought annual gross revenues to $323,640. In the second year of installation, revenues increased another 32%, resulting in an annual gross income of $427,204.

  2. Frenchy’s expanded into the location next door, adding a larger V-sign, and refinished the store front (see photo at left).

Results: Frenchy’s owner projects gross income to exceed $600,000 in the year immediately following the signage enhancement and business expansion.


Featured image by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry and the former Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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