If your pizzeria is in a neighborhood that sees a lot of foot traffic, some of your best business may come from those who were just passing by. The exterior of your building, after all, is a 24/7 billboard that can either attract or detract from your business. If the outside makes people want to run away instead of walk in, take note of the following tips for updating your pizzeria’s curb appeal.
Hanging planters lend a homey feel to the exterior at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria & Arcade in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. And there’s no missing its larger-than-life signage!
1) Clean up your act. Consumers want to believe the pizzeria they’re entering is clean. If the outside area has dirty windows or litter on the ground or appears to be in general disrepair, many potential guests will think twice about walking through that door. Approach your pizzeria as an outsider would and take notes about what stands out, for better or worse. Make sure your staff’s daily cleaning schedule includes the building’s exterior and consider a professional pressure-washing once every few months.
2) Try new paint. If you’ve been in business for more than 10 years, it’s probably been at least that long since your building and its parking lot has seen a fresh coat of paint. There’s no reason to change the color of your building if it complements your branding, but an inexpensive coat of paint will do wonders for the exterior appearance of your restaurant.
Whitewater, Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza just launched a new prototype store in Milwaukee, which allows guests to see into the store and behind the counter, where the pizza is made.
3) Add some greenery. Just because you don’t have a patio doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up your outside area with plants. Fresh trees and colorful flowers are a natural way to attract attention, but only if you have the means to keep them watered and alive. Look for easy-to-care-for plants, and dispose of any that start to brown or detract from your curb appeal. Trees and bushes can also help to hide any unsightly AC units or trash receptacles.
4) Install better lighting. Whether you choose sidewalk solar lights, overhead awning lights, directional lights that highlight signage, or twinkling white lights strung in the trees, lighting has the ability to attract attention, illuminate walkways and provide a greater sense of security than a dimly lit entrance.
A large mural attracts the attention of passersby at Philadelphia’s Earth Bread + Brewery.
5) Update your signage. Is your signage clearly visible from all angles during the day and night? Not everyone will approach your pizzeria from the same direction. It’s also important to make it clear on your sign that your restaurant is a pizzeria; posting your menu and hours of operation on or near the door can help. If you offer daily food or drink specials, try utilizing a sidewalk sign to grab the attention of those walking by.
6) Show off the pizza. Open a window, if possible, and allow those in the street to smell and see the pizza inside. If you can’t open a window, find a way for them to see the pizza. Old-school New York pizzerias are famous for stationing the pizza maker in a window so everyone can see them tossing pizzas. Modern-day pizzerias have taken note and often try to place windows where there’s a clear view through to the kitchen.