What’s in a name? For a restaurant, it may just be everything. When it comes to how to name a restaurant, you’re not just thinking about what would look good on your menus or storefront. It is about perfectly encapsulating your concept and services in a name that will evoke or resonate with customers.
You know what suggestive power the words have. Very often what you say or write has a powerful effect. Are you sure you are sending the right message to people with your restaurant name? Good food is not the only factor in a high-end restaurant, it is necessary to combine many things into one compact whole for guests to be satisfied.
Picking your restaurant’s name is like shopping for a commercial ice maker at Ckitchen.com or a refrigerator in that you have to get it right. The name should be easy to market, useful, and it should offer a primer to the experience you are about to offer.
Choosing a name for a restaurant is as important as deciding what type of food you will serve. It can reflect the theme of your restaurant, its location, or simply be a word game. An important thing to consider when choosing a restaurant’s name is the impression it will make on customers. Will it be memorable?
While it sounds daunting, it is a fun and exciting step you will find yourself enjoying.
Get Creative and be Punny
People are more likely to remember a restaurant name that just rolls off the tongue. It is easy and fun to say, and also gives off a cool vibe, telling customers what experience they are in for. For example, if you are a vegan restaurant (for which you will also need a proper commercial steamer), embrace your theme like No Udder Desserts, a 100% vegan bakery in Arizona, did.
Customers will appreciate, and not to mention remember a good pun. Nacho Problem, Lettuce Eat, and Dairy Godmother are some of them.
Use alliterations and rhymes. Take advantage of the fun, lyrical quality produced by repeating the sound of the beginning (alliterations) or the end (rhymes) of a cluster of words to make your restaurant memorable.
Other examples: Secret Sandwich Society, Turnip the Beet, The Garden of Eat’n, Baguetteaboutit, Wish You Were Beer, Pies n’ Thighs
Adding Personal Meaning to a Restaurant Name
Opening a restaurant is like having another kid in many ways. Sometimes the name of the restaurant is a reflection of the name of the owner or someone dear to them. Maybe your grandmother influenced your joy of cooking so you could name your restaurant after her. What is the meaning behind the name of your restaurant, be prepared to share it with the public, who loves a good story?
Let your Passion Shine
If your concept is based or inspired by a book, movie, or other product of pop culture, it only makes sense to name your restaurant after it. This is a great way to tap into the existing following of a particular property and opens a litany of fun marketing and advertising opportunities.
Example: Thai Tanic, The Hogwarts Cafe, Life of Pie
Leverage your Location
This, by default, helps customers know where you are, thus making it much easier to pay you another visit or tell their friends where they can find you. You can incorporate your street or neighborhood or even the name of a historic landmark.
Example: The French Laundry
Reflection of a Theme on Behalf of the Restaurant
Choosing a restaurant name can also come from a theme or menu. Chinese restaurants do it perfectly, with names like Jade Palace, Fortune Fountain, and the New Great Wall.
Each of these restaurant names lets customers know they are serving Chinese food. Avoid calling your restaurant an ethnic name if they serve different types of menus. For example, if you serve authentic Mexican food, the invitation from Giovanni Restaurant will confuse your patrons, who may think you are served Italian food.
Avoid Famous Chain Restaurant Names
If your last name is McDonald’s, don’t call your restaurant. Just looking for trouble (if your last name is Taco Bell, Burger King or Jack In The Box.) It may seem like a harmless gesture to name a restaurant something similar to an existing chain, but you will ask it for potential legal issues.
The restaurant name should be unique, memorable and reflective for the customers.
Stumped? Use a Restaurant Name Generator
If you struggling to come up with a restaurant name that you like, you can consult restaurant name generators online to get you out of that hole.
Trademarking your Restaurant Name
When you’ve developed a list of potential restaurants names, you’re happy with, the question now becomes how to trademark one. Start by checking the United States Patents and Trademarks Office database to make sure that your chosen name isn’t trademarked yet.
When you’ve confirmed it is available, visit the Trademark Electronic Application System online to file an application and pay the fee, which should be at least $300. Unless you are a franchise or a large restaurant business, you can simply register for a common law trademark to enjoy protection and ownership of the name at the city or town level.
Keep in mind that it might take as long as six months to get approved, so try to get this done early but make sure you are 100% sure about the name you’re going with. Thirty (30) days will also be allotted for other businesses to contest your application.
Now you’re ready to get moving
With the perfect name, you can now start shopping for the proper equipment for your restaurant. You will need a line of cooking equipment including ranges and fryers as well as the ideal walk-in refrigerator to preserve your inventory.