You might negate by stating that doing proper business is more important than the name. After all, if you cannot impress your customers on their first visit, you are not going to see them again.

But, how can you make the first impression if you cannot reach out to as many people as you want? For this, planning your marketing strategy and designing a brand identity accordingly are crucial. The first step to building your brand is finding out a name for your business.

In today’s competitive economy, making your business stand out is important. The good thing about the digital era is that you also have a lot of opportunities to prove yourself and reach out to potential customers easily. To that end, having the right name can take you a long way.                                                  

How to name a restaurant?

The below-mentioned techniques can serve as a guideline to choose the most suitable name for your restaurant.

1. Name by Desire

Naming your restaurant as per your favorite food or activity makes for a catchy name. Such names are usually attractive and people flock to restaurants with unique names. Example: 100 Calorie Snackbar. It would give a touch to your restaurant which shows every food is less than 100 calories.

2. Name by Problem

How about addressing the problems of your target customers and giving them a solution? Here, I am talking about showing people your expertise and your speciality. For instance, Italians look for restaurants that offer their kind of food. If you call your business by an Italian food name, say, Bottarga, your target customers will know what you offer and what you specialize in.

3. Alliteration

Keeping an attractive name for your business is the first and foremost thing. Alliteration is an age-old way to lure attention. Whether you are reading a poem, enjoying a novel or penning a song, the consecutive use of words starting with the same letter has always won hearts. When it comes to your restaurant, the same idea can work wonders. Tasty Tangerine is quite a name if you ask me.

4. Own A Word

Becoming a pioneer in any field takes a lot of time. If you wish to own a name, you have to invest years into it. For example, Accor Hotels. You simply cannot hire the name, it’s theirs.

5. Invent a word

Who owns the restaurant? Mr. John? You may have heard about small cafes and eateries named after the owner. But owning a popular restaurant named after you? Well, that is going to take some time. You can start gathering fame from your locality, begin marketing of your brand and eventually, reach out to more and people. As outsiders to your city learn about you and give positive reviews after eating your food, you can think about improving the eatery’s looks or even expand it to a nearby city. In this way, though, this too will take years and several thousand dollars, you can be in the hearts and mouth of food lovers all over the world. Not everyone can become Pop Tate of Riverdale in just a few years after all.

6. Word Mash

Combining two or more words to come up with a restaurant name is not a bad idea. Several businesses have tried this strategy and succeeded in the past. Even parents name their children by mashing their own names in some Asian countries. As an example, I can mention Microsoft, Wiki + Encyclopedia = Wikipedia, and Group + Coupon = Groupon

Think about the benefits or special traits of your business and bang on!

7. Wordtwist

Using well known and common words to name your restaurant can come with a twist if you change, add or remove a letter from it. Fiverr? Baggel or Aiollie are interesting namesakes to their original counterparts.

Check for the domain name and social media presence on Namecheckr and find out if the name already exists.

What to Avoid When Naming Your Restaurant?

Three Words – A short name with a maximum of 2 words is ideal for your business. The reason – your potential customers will not remember you when they want to eat out or recommend a restaurant to friends. You may argue that some popular hotel chains indeed come with large names, comprising 4 to 5 words, but as I said earlier, it takes time bro.

Acronyms – Keeping a catchy name is way different from using acronyms. John’s or Pop Tate’s is much more attractive and easy to remember than P.T.’s Cafe.

When you use your name as the name of your restaurant, make sure that you stay away from abbreviations. Instead of J.H. Restaurant, call it John’s Restaurant.
Using difficult to express words – Uttering a complicated restaurant name is as difficult for you as it is tough for Alexa. Artificial Intelligence is not so developed and advanced yet that they can pronounce twisted words. If you use a Spanish or French name, you may have tough luck if people are searching for local restaurants on Alexa or Siri. Also, don’t use spanish name for french restaurant vice-versa. In case the two pronounce the names properly, will most people be able to fathom it?

Assignment Question:

AB is planning to open a restaurant with name ‘’MY FUCKING RESTAURANT’’ ? What comes to your mind after reading it?

About Author

Abhi Chauhan

The Restaurant Academy Professor. My studies in hospitality and experience of working in locations such as the USA, Switzerland, India and Iceland has equipped me with extensive knowledge concerning the restaurant industry and provision of the very best customer service. I have over 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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