"No Food Or Drink" and other signs?

Meghan MacMillan

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
In a way I think this falls under the marketing umbrella because it relates to the image of one's shop.

In a thread on the "Warped" forum somone mentioned having such a sign posted. I have gone back and forth on the issue. Several other businesses near here have signs saying, "No Food or Drink",and it makes sense to me. I can also certainly understand what prompts people to post the ones that say "Children left unattended will be sold into slavery." I'm wondering how the rest of you feel about such signs. I have resisted posting such because I want the shop to be welcoming but I'm starting to wonder (as I wait for the spot cleaner on the carpet to dry)if that need is outwieghed by the need to keep the shop clean and safe for artwork. I'm not sure the first image I want to present to be of what you're not allowed to do here. Also, I'm located across the street from a Starbuck's and next door to a place that calls itself a "Sandwich and Coffee Bar" people have to walk right past my shop to get to the parking lots. Many of them take the opportunity to stroll through. If I forbid drinks I'll lose foot traffic.

What are your thoughts?
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Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
No signs in my store. (People who lack common since can't read, either) ***JOKE--KIDDING***
(Well, sorta kidding)

Seriously, I don't like signs. I prefer to greet the customer quickly, and offer to place their drinks on a counter (Obviously not the design counter) while they browse. They usually get the hint.

I HAVE been tempted to put up a sign to deter the carpet cleaner salespeople, as well as those people selling knock off perfumes. Lately that's been a bigger problem.

Jack Cee

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I suggest that you draw a "Dead Line" on the floor with an admonition that only those without drinks in their hands and children with clean hands and noses may pass that point without being shot with a stun gun. Having had display art damaged by drinks and small hands with snotty fingers I will not allow drinks or messy children in the shop. I recognize your problem and identify with it but serious damage can happen.

Jack Cee (Grumpy Jack, the crankiest guy on the block)


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I'm of two or three minds about this, for several reasons. Drinks, food, sticky hands, etc. and the real enemy of artwork, and I surely don't want them in my shop. On the other hand, I hate to see the signs at the front door of a shop, as I always carry a bottled drink with me wherever I go, as I cannot always find something that I can drink while I'm out, and I have to keep up a very high fluid intake at all times. I don't drink this while I'm in stores, but it stays in the basket of my scooter. Does this sign mean that I can't come in with my drink and the lid firmly screwed on? I don't know. On the third hand, when I worked for the big box store, I one time watched a parent go through the children's book section, very carefully select a book for about 2 year old child in shopping cart, and give book to child to read while she was shopping. As it turned out, I had occasion to see parent and child several times prior to them leaving the store. After the child had coughed, sneezed, slobbered, etc. all over the book, parent very calmly put it back on the rack and checked out with the rest of her stuff. I put on gloves, picked up the book, at a distance, took it to the dumpster, and we wrote it off as damaged. I wish I had the answers to this questions. I might could make some money with this answer, alone.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
We allow people to drink the gourmet coffee from a couple stores down from us, while they look at the Virtual Gallery or at print books. If they need to set it down while placing an order, we set it out of the way or throw it out for them. Kids with grungy hands and the gourmet coffee people and others visit our bathroom

Like I said on another post, we have a toy box and sometimes our owner plays with the kids.

We don't have any negative signs.

Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Now that I'm home and in a little better mood, I will say that negative signs send a very strong message. I would only resort to that IF it was a real, ongoing and frequent problem. The subliminal message that is sent with that kind of signage is akin to "sure, we want your business as long as you play by our rules and don't get too messy". You are likely to lose more business with the negative signage than you will have in destroyed merchandise. There are hazards to being in business, unfortunately. You just never know what kind of person will walk through the doors. I try to make people feel as welcome as I can so that they will feel comfortable enough to ask questions, and therefore to do business with us. Hard to keep in perspective, I know, when you are inhaling Resolve. That customer was the exception, hopefully.


We have one sign in our shop. It hangs above the sales counter and reads as follows:"SORRY-We do not offer discounts. Personal, professional or otherwise. Please don't ask."
We only get positive comments.

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
About food and drink - there's an article in the latest Art World News about a lady that owns a gallery/frameshop with a restaurant right next door. Interesting concept and article.

About signs in general - when I worked in the (independant) craft store in the 70s, the owner and his wife let the sign thing get totally out of hand. It got to the point where there were signs everywhere, mostly negative. I think that attitude played a big role in the store's demise.
As the song says "do this, don't do that, can'tcha read the sign..."



Forum Support Team Angry_Badger
Team member
Thanks Betty,
Now I'll be hearing that @#^$ song all day.

Lance E

The perception that you want to create for a custom framing business would be along the lines of "we can do anything, even things that you havn't thought of", to make an abrupt start to this by telling the consumer "NO" about anything as soon as they walk in can not possibly be constructive to making sales. If your store is so exceptionally busy that the floor manager is not able to approach customers and make them aware of the fact that food and drink may not be suitable items to have in a showroom such as yours then you may need to dedicate more time to the training of staff or increase staff numbers. Why be negative to everyone when only a few are being a problem? It sounds like the saying "the minority decide for the majority", far too political and not business like at all.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The only sign I have on my door, other than the hours and PPFA membership, of course, is "No Soliciters", which gets ignored weekly.
I am two doors down from Dunkin' Donuts, and if I had a "no food or drink" sign on my door, it would keep lookers and question askers out. I have always been near a food place, they are a great draw, and in 18+ years, no one has ever spilled anything.

Mike Labbe

Forum Support Team Administrator
Team member
We just took our NO SOLICITING sign down recently (vinyl letters on doors), because it was totally ignored. Since it was so ignored, I took it down figuring it conveyed a negative image.

We DO have a small sign on counter that says something along the lines of "50% or greater deposit requested for custom framing orders. Gift Certificates Available Here. ..and in small print at the bottom: $25 fee for returned checks Not responsible for orders left more than 60 days. Custom framing sales are final" Under all that, we have PPFA and FramerSelect membership logos.

Maybe we should re-think whether or not this sign conveys a negative image?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think the gift-certificate sign is okay, but I'm not sure about the others. You probably do have to post the $25.00 fee sign in order to collect the $25.00. We rarely get a returned checks, less than one per year, so I don't feel a sign is necessary. Our bank only charges $5.00 for a returned check. That is all we ask for if a check is returned.
As far as deposits, why do you need a sign? They place the order and told them it's 50% or pay in full. I don't think that is a policy that needs to be posted.
We have a POS computer. Our policies are: the due date being approx. and we will call when order is ready; by placing a deposit, the customer has agreed to the price and materials and we may proceed with the order; and orders cannot be cancelled after materials are ordered are on the receipt and on our order copy. We explain these policies to the customer when an order is placed and have them sign the store copy.
My family was in business for 25 years before I was. There were signs posted as to store policies. One thing I learned was, people didn't read them, or claimed "they didn't see the sign".
As you have already learned, signs are mostly useless or promote negativity.
I have been thinking about changing my "no soliciters" sign to "salespeople must have an appointment. Call ###-#### for appointment".