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5 things to know when naming a restaurant

Naming a restaurant should not be done carelessly and should be well-thought out.



Of all of the struggles to bringing your vision of a small, functioning restaurant to life, you wouldn’t think that it would be so difficult to name a restaurant. Actually, this is one of the commonly overlooked aspects of new eateries, from entrepreneurs and chefs that do not fully appreciate the importance of having a memorable name.

Here I will help you to see the importance of having an effective restaurant name as well as providing some helpful tips to create and test one out before opening.

Why an effective name is important

It isn’t hard to think of some of your favorite restaurants that you have enjoyed throughout your life. While you have been swept away by the quality of their food and service, you also might never have thought to return without remembering the name of the place.

This is why selecting a name for your new restaurant isn’t a task that you should take lightly, nor should you put it all on your own shoulders alone.

Choosing a suitable name

Finding a name that works isn’t usually going to happen overnight. There has to be a lot of thought and planning into what you choose, much like you are planning the menu or any other critical task.

This is the first thing that people are going to see and recognize about your place, and if the name doesn’t appeal to them, it is very likely that they are going to choose to dine elsewhere.

When later you are introduced to the 5 important steps of naming your restaurant, you will gain an understanding of each part of the process to walk you through choosing the name and also designing the logo that will complement it.

Thinking of your customers

Ultimately this is the most important aspect of choosing a name for any restaurant. You have to think of the people that you are attempting to draw in.

If you exclusively choose a name based on what you like, forgetting entirely about the history of what has worked for similar establishments in the past or what your customers are actually looking for when choosing a place to eat, you are not doing yourself any favors.

Owning a new restaurant is difficult enough when you have all of the right pieces in place to succeed, so don’t make it more difficult for yourself by not properly considering all of your name options.

Aside from a restaurant name, it is also important to think of the customers and the food that you will serve them. (Source)

5 steps to follow when naming a restaurant:

#1. Understanding your customers and your market

This is number one on the list because it is arguably the most important part of coming up with a name for your restaurant. You have to envision the average customer down to what they will act like and how they will feel about your food, atmosphere, and name.

While ideally, you will end up with a wide range of diners, every restaurant has a core demographic that they are essentially looking to appeal to. This is the choice that you have to make, and once you have that vision and that prototype of your customer, you will better understand effective names to draw them into your place.

#2. Take time to brainstorm new ideas

Even if you think that you have a pretty good name that most people like, until you are concreted in with a business license, logos and even merchandise, brainstorming is a healthy thing to do.

There are all kinds of restaurants that you know and love that likely went through several potential names before choosing the one they felt defined their food and atmosphere the best.

Get some trusted people together and spend an evening coming up with as many names as you can. You will narrow them down to the next step.

#3. Choose ideas that are:

Now that you have a broad selection of potential names for your restaurant, you have to narrow them down into a streamlined list of the top contenders.

There are a few important considerations to make that will help you to omit many of your options from the brainstorming session.

• Easy to pronounce 

You need a name for your restaurant that people are going to be able to talk about. If no one can pronounce the name of the place, it won’t be a conversation piece.

• Easy to market 

Marketable names are memorable and roll off the tongue easily. They are easy to pair up with logos and make the later advertising process a lot simpler for those involved.

• Unique

This is a critical thing to remember. While you want a name that people can remember and that you can easily market, it has to be original.

• Easy to remember

Having an amazing name for your restaurant is one thing, but having a name that people can recall in their memories to bring them back in for another meal (or to tell others about your food) is critical to your success beyond basic advertisements.

• Relative to your food

So many times restaurants want to get weird with their names and people fail to see how its connected to the kind of food or service that they offer. Remember, there is unique and then, there is obscure. You have to stay on the right side of that line.

#4. Testing your names

A lot of restauranteurs never realized that there were services out there that can take a top few options for names and help them to determine which are the best according to polls. Getting the opinion of the public at large can give you a fresh perspective on your options, and just might surprise you with the results.

Check out to get some quality aid in helping narrow down your options into one official name.

#5. Seek out the vision of a graphic designer

Unless you are also a qualified and accredited graphic designer, don’t work out your logo on your own. Seek out the expertise and experience of a skilled graphic designer to help you to bring an image to life that represents the name you’ve selected.

Choosing a name for a restaurant is a really big deal. It can be the one thing that makes or breaks your establishment before people even get a chance to love the food you make inside of it. Take some time and follow these steps to choosing a name that is appealing and suits your vision.


DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Nicola Barcellona is a Marketing Consultant that specializes in digital strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Tourism and F&B fields. He helps entrepreneurs around Europe and UAE to increase sales and revenue through integrated online and offline marketing strategies. Nicola has written many restaurant marketing guides for the specialized web platform such as and many Italian newspapers.