Choosing Unique Restaurant Names – Ten Ideas for Naming a Restaurant Business


One of the most important aspects of coming up with a successful restaurant concept is naming it appropriately. A restaurant name, along with another branding will come to represent everything that you offer in the way of food, service, and atmosphere. It will allow you to reinforce your reputation in the market and to develop a valuable brand over time that customers immediately recognized for its great food and high standard of service.

A great name will help to get people in the door and once they have left it should leave enough of an impression on them so that they remember it and tell friends about it.

Once you have decided on a name and are ready to get serious about your restaurant be sure to check out our top-rated startup guide. This is the one thing that I suggest you pick up that will clarify some of the mystery that surrounds successful restaurants and give you the edge that you need to succeed. 

You must know how to name a restaurant if you want to improve your chances of success in the foodservice industry. Here are some tips on choosing suitable restaurant names.

Keep you Target Market in Mind

Think of a name that will appeal to the market that you are trying to target. It could be sophisticated, chic, exotic, ethnic, humorous or simple and practical depending on the crowd that you are trying to attract.

Restaurant Concept and Location

When deciding on a name you should consider something that suits your restaurant concept in terms of your theme or style of cuisine. It can also be a good idea to consider including geographic place names suitable to your location such as the name of your suburb or a local landmark. Keep in mind though that if you want to expand into more than one restaurant under the same brand then incorporating the location into the name may not be the best idea. The name should immediately let customers know the kind of food and the experience that they can expect if they choose to dine in your establishment.


While it is good if you can be creative and come up with your own unique restaurant name, it doesn’t hurt to look elsewhere for inspiration. Jump online and check out with restaurant owners in other countries have named their establishments. Seek inspiration from other industries in the US but try not to let the names of restaurants in your area influence your decision too much.

The Owners Name

Incorporating the name of the owner into the restaurant name can offer a nice personal touch and hint at personalized service or old family recipes. However, while you will still be able to sell the restaurant at some point in the future it may be harder to find potential buyers if you do this though. Prospective owners may feel that the name won’t work so well anymore if the original owner who the restaurant was named after is no longer there.

On the other hand, if you are a local celebrity or a well-known chef then you can really cash in on the reputation and name recognition that you already have.


Try to come up with a list of restaurant names that are unique and original. Make sure that they are clearly distinguished from competitors in your area and that they have the potential to stand out in the local market. If you have an original name then it is more likely that customers will be able to find you when they search for you online or in The Yellow Pages.

Naming Rights

Make sure that you will have full rights to the name and that it is not already a trademark of another company. You can easily search the business names database at your local city or county clerks office to find out if a name is already in use by another restaurant or not.

Website Considerations

You will at some point require a website for your restaurant and will need an appropriate domain name. Do a quick check to make sure that a suitable one is available before deciding on restaurant names.


Great business names are memorable and easy to pronounce. It is sensible to go with shorter names rather than longer ones. Do a test-run with your family and friends by reading them a list of options that you are considering and then see if they can remember them a few days later, and pronounce them correctly. Practice answering the phone using some of the names on your short list to see if they can be clearly communicated over a telephone.

Expert Advice

Consider hiring a naming specialist. This will require additional expense but may not be as silly as it sounds. A great name will be one of the major factors contributing to your business’s success and if you are entering a competitive environment then professional help may be justified. At the very least you should consult with a local marketing consultant, a restaurant consultant or some other restaurant owners.

A Name to Be Proud Of

Whatever name you decide on for your restaurant it must be something that you, as the owner, are personally happy with. A restaurant name should make the owner feel proud to be associated with the business and inspire him or her to drive the business to greatness. It should be something that will stand the test of time and that you won’t get sick of a few years down the line.

Changing a restaurant name can be a nightmare when you consider the printing costs and the loss of goodwill that has been built up with customers under the original name. Making sure that you get the naming decision right the first time around can save you a lot of hassles further down the road.

Whatever you do, recognize the importance of your restaurant’s name and the importance it will play in your marketing efforts. Get your restaurant off to the best possible start by giving this decision the attention that it deserves.

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