A new Burger King has opened in Muncie, IN, but this one looks a little different than most other fast-food restaurants.
According to the Star Press, the new burger chain restaurant’s property now features a sidewalk, bicycle racks, and rain gardens. What the property doesn’t have is a pole sign, an advertising staple for fast food restaurants and many other businesses located on major motorways.
A ban on pole signs was put into place in Muncie in February of this year, after unanimous support from the Muncie-Delaware city-county plan commission. According to Indiana Economic Digest, the ban covers McGalliard Road (which is where the new Burger King is located) and over two dozen other commercial motorways.
Other development standards that were adopted include improved landscaping and parking located mostly on the side or behind the buildings, resulting in more restaurants being situated close to the road.
This Burger King location did apply for a variance to be allowed to keep the 24-foot pole sign that had been on the property for 34 years, but it was denied. The new sign is five feet in diameter and is perched in a stone wall. Underneath, there is a scrolling LED sign which displays the time, the temperature, and advertisements for certain meals. The sign is only eight feet tall altogether.
“It will take a while, but it has to start somewhere,” Marta Moody, director of the city-county plan commission, told the Star Press. “I think the sign looks great, the site looks great and once the landscaping grows in, it will obviously be the best-looking Burger King in town. It’s a very attractive addition.”
When this particular Burger King franchise’s owner applied for the variance, he cited that his business would be at a disadvantage to other fast food restaurants that still have pole signs. He has a point, since a business can typically attract about half of its customer base just from signage alone.
The addition of the LED scrolling sign is certainly an effective method of advertising in the absence of a pole sign, regardless of its height. One inch of letter height on a sign is about equal to 10 feet of viewing distance, and LED bulbs are an energy-efficient method of illuminating a sign.