Is a good name really necessary if you want open a restaurant? The simple answer is yes. Are you about starting a restaurant business? If YES, here are 50 catchy creative restaurant name ideas you can use for effective brand identity creation.
Starting a new restaurant can be an arduous task; from conception down to naming. In fact, choosing a name that suits your restaurant may be as daunting as choosing the type of food you intend to serve in your restaurant. While it may not break or make your business, it is very important and if you can get it right from day one, it is it much easier, better and convenient rather than having to change it down the line.
Why Invest Time in Choosing a Name for your Restaurant?
When you choose the wrong name for your restaurant business it can result to loss of customers and legal challenges which may be difficult to get out of.
The name you choose to give your restaurant will create the first impression in the mind of your patrons. They will judge your name even without seeing your kitchen and equipment’s and before tasting your food. Because of this, is it pertinent to choose a name that is easy to spell and pronounce, likable, memorable and of course catchy.
For example if you want to eat Thai food, would you rather eat at a restaurant that is called Thelonious tooth fish or a restaurant called Thai Tannic? See my point?
Catchy Restaurant Business Name ideas
- Finicky Restaurant
- Bella Kitchen
- Kings and Queens Restaurant
- Baggio Italian Restaurant
- Food Delight
- MunaChimso® Intercontinental Restaurant
- Lee’s Chinese Restaurant
- Chicken and Chips Fast Food Restaurant
List of Well – known Restaurant Brands in the United States of America to Help you Get More ideas for your Own Name
- French Laundry in Yountville, California
- Le Bernardin in New York
- Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas
- Saison in San Francisco
- The Willows Inn in Lummi Island, Washington
- Urasawa in Beverly Hills, California
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns
- Minibar in Washington, D.C.
- é by José Andrés in Las Vegas
- Manresa in Los Gatos, California
- Restaurant Nicholas
- Restaurant August
- Frasca Food and Wine
- Restaurant Guy Savoy
- La Belle Vie
- Yum! Brands
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
19 Tips to Help Inspire Creativity for Finding a Name for your Restaurant
1. Draw inspiration from your location: the location of your restaurant can be a source of inspiration when in search of a charming name that resounds well with your local community.
2. Geography: if your business is located in or near a natural spectacle such as a mountain, ocean, cave, lake or river etc., you can draw inspiration from this and incorporate it into your business name.
3. City: you can also lean on the tagline or nickname of your city to create a powerful and memorable restaurant name. For example, Sarasota is referred to as paradise; Springfield is nicknamed the flower city etc.
4. History of your locale: you can incorporate the history of your location into your business name. Is the building or the area your restaurant is located of any historical significance? For example, if your location is in a place that used to be a textile mill, you can incorporate the reference of the mill that used to exist before into your restaurant.
5. The concept of your restaurant
The concept that you should adopt for your restaurant should be its identity. It also includes the food your serve, the interior decoration, your service style, your preferred mode of marketing and your brand. Oftentimes, the concept you adopt for your restaurant evolves as time goes on. The concept you have in mind for your restaurant can either motivate you to choose a particular name or it can also inspire you to discard a particular name due to the fact that it is not in line with the concept you have in mind.
For example, if your vision for a restaurant is to provide Chinese food, a name like Taco King may not resonate too well with your target audience. A name like Panda Express or Pick up Stix may be a better fit. Also, the choice of your name can actually affect the price you fix for your food: for instance café sounds a lot more casual and as such may command a lesser price.
6. Be unique
Take a stock of all the restaurants around your area especially those that are offering the same type of food as you. For instance, if you want to open a Thai food restaurant, check out the names of all the Thai food restaurants in your local. If they are mostly using their real names as the restaurant name, try something else that is creative and unique so as to stand out. You should also use Google to check the name you are about to use as a restaurant name. If it is already in use, discard it and go for a new name.
You can also make use of alliterations to get a unique business name. It involves picking a word which will be a control word and then going through the dictionary to find another matching word that starts with the same alphabet. Names that are generated by this method have a certain rhythm to them and the sound unique. They are also easy to remember. Examples are Brunch Bar, Fast and Fresh and Burger Bistro.
7. Avoid difficult names: make it a point of duty to avoid choosing a name that is difficult to spell. Hard to spell names may pose a problem for customers who want to find you online. So keep it simple. Also, some names sound nice in your head or on paper but when you say them out loud, you will come to realize that they sound ridiculous, also make sure that when it is said aloud putting it down of paper won’t be difficult.
8. Don’t pick a name that limits your growth: picking a name that is narrow and does not provide room for expansion may pose a problem for you in the future. For example, choosing 07 Riverside Fried Fish as a restaurant name can limit your business to a particular line of food or a particular location. When your lease on the particular location expires, it will result in having to change your name.
9. Secure a domain name: once you have settled for a particular name, you should secure the domain name. When choosing a domain name, go for .com instead of other alternative such as .biz, .org, .net, .USA etc. This is because people tend to assume that all domain names are .com and also they tend to associate .com to more established businesses.
If your domain name is already taken, you can buy it from the current owner for a price (that is if they are willing to sell). Also, you should secure your presence on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also head over to USPTO.gov to know if you can get a trade mark for the name you choose.
10. Choose a name with meaning: it will be nice and resonating to your customer if your name is meaningful and connotes the type of food your restaurant offers. It will be best if someone can get a feel of your restaurant just by hearing the name. A name like The Cheesecake Factory or Red Lobster creates a mental picture and thus, they will cost less to brand.
11. Get feedback: you can brainstorm and come up with about 5 to 10 names and then show it to family, friends and your colleagues at work. The feedback they give you will help you to choose a name that has public appeal.
12. Personal happiness: irrespective of the factors above that need to be considered to come up with a business name, make sure that the final name you arrive at is one you like and also gives you personally satisfaction. This is because you will be the one who will live with the restaurant’s name for a long time.
13. Name by desire: You can name your business based on the desires of the people. It involves getting the main benefit of your business and sticking it right into your name. This way people already have a good idea of what you do even before they know anything else about your business. If you do it right, you will be unique and also distance yourself from any of your other competitors. Examples of restaurant names that represent the desire of customers is Lunch Lounge, Hot and Fresh.
14. Own a word: here you pick one word that is common and is ideally linked to your restaurant and then you tag your name along with it. If you can nail this, it is a wonderful thing because; whenever someone thinks about that particular word they will be thinking about your business at the same time. If your restaurant is known as munch, whenever the word munch is mentioned, your name will pop up.
15. Invent a name: this time you are not going to use the dictionary or the thesaurus as an aid in naming your business because the word doesn’t even exist yet. You will have to pull something out of thin air; well, not quite because you will need to brainstorm and think strategically in order to come up with a totally new word that is catchy on its own.
The name can evolve out of the founders name or an acronym or the merging of two short words. Examples are Hash, Monocots and Shindig. You have to exercise caution when using this option as a source for your restaurants name. This is because you may need to spend money in other to promote the name for it to catch on.
16. Word mash: this is when you invent a word by mixing two already existing words. You can list all the things that make your restaurant cool and unique and, mix them up to see what words could be creatively paired together. You can enlist the help of family or friends to help you think outside the box. Examples of restaurants name that came about as a result of word mash include Bakafe, Bakearly and ThiaTanic.
17. Word twist: this method of generating a restaurant name is becoming increasingly popular. This is because with a word twist it is easier to get a .com domain name and it also shows originality. With a word twist, a restaurant owner picks a word or two and changes the spelling by adding an extra letter, removing some vowels, misspelling it or writing it phonetically.
Examples of restaurant name ideas that are gotten from twisting words are Kool Kafe and Orban Eatery. The disadvantage of using word twist is that people may misspell it when they want to search for the name on the internet.
18. Three words: when naming your restaurant, it is best to stay away from names that are made up of three or more word. Instead of having a long name, you should have a tag line which will explain your business some more. Restaurant names like Sophisticatedly Simple Café and Supreme Brunch Bakery and Cuisine are not a good idea.
19. Acronyms: acronyms should be avoided. Names like WST Cuisines and GPV Kitchen are difficult for customers to remember. They may be easy for you as the restaurant owner to remember because you say them 20 or 30 times in a day but for everyone else these random letters are easy to forget. Unless you are a company like KFC that spends billions of dollars every year on marketing and advertising.
Choosing a catchy business name for your restaurant is not enough, you also need to go the extra mile to protect your restaurant name and business from abuse and piracy using vehicles such as trademark, tradename, copyright. As you can see, there is a little more to naming your restaurant than slapping a random name on it. However if you do it right, and you capture the minds and imaginations of people, you will be on the verge of something truly great.
Intellectual Property Protection and Trademark for your Restaurant
If you are running a franchise restaurant business model, it is compulsory that you file for intellectual property protection. It will become handy and very useful as your restaurant brand begins to expand far beyond your reach. The truth is that even if you are starting your own restaurant from the scratch, you would still need to secure your brand name from an intellectual property clearinghouse.
It is a difficult to build your restaurant from the scratch, and watch the brand name slip off your hands. Even if you intend buying a restaurant franchise, you would still need to contract the trademarks and service marks from the franchising company.