Tuesday, April 21

Restaurant Name: Ideas and Suggestions

How to pick a name for a restaurant?

Ready to name your new restaurant? It would be a good idea to spend some time thinking about it before you commit thousands of dollars to naming your establishment, because once named a restaurant cannot be very easily renamed. It is costly and you might lose existing customers. There are several approaches to naming a restaurant. If you believe that you have an approach that is radically different, please share, in exchage for having your restaurant's name featured prominently on this webpage. And I am not just talking theme restaurants here!

Naming a restaurant after the location

The great advantage of naming your eatery after the specific location is that people can easily find it. Davis Sq. Pizza, anyone? Of course, if you ever plan to establish a franchise this may or may not work. A more generic name may be better in this case. In fact, you can choose a name that represents a remote location. Like a Texas Barbecue in Minnesota or Oregon. Location names are very easy to remember, and you can always throw in something that would better define your restaurant, the type of cousin, the theme etc.

Theme restaurant's name

Theme restaurants tend to have more colorful and exotic names. Often these are one of a kind establishments. You can certainly try to reflect the menu of a themed restaurant in its menu, but it would almost make it appealing to less people. The attraction of a themed restaurant is not its menu, but its design and atmosphere. People may come to your restaurant from 50 miles away just to see a dinosaur skeleton or what have you. Chances are if all they want is a good meal, they can find a restaurant nearby. It is sad, but I must admit that there are some themed restaurants with mediocre and overprices food. Still, they do pretty well. No names will be named here :)

Make your name your restaurant's name

You've seen them. Bob's pizza, Tom's pancakes, Jack and Gill's etc. Not extremely innovative, if you ask me. Names like these reflect the price range more than anything else. Probably something on the cheap side, don't you think? You can kick it up a notch by adding some foreign charm, though. Chez Henri? But this name has other problems.

Using your menu for inspiration

If you have one item that you feel is particularly strong, go ahead and feature it in the name. But seriously, is it all that easy to build a restaurant around a single recipe? What's worse, people may end up associating your restaurant with only one menu item. I have heard from numerous people that they never ate at The Cheesecake Factory because they don't like cheesecakes. This restaurant happens to have one of the most extensive (albeit eclectic) menus around!

Totally random names that "sound good"

Blue Moon? Silent Garden? Seven stars? I am not a big fan of names that tell you nothing about the place itself. Don't get too poetic with your restaurant's name. It will probably cost you.

Names to avoid

Always make sure that the name you are thinking of is not trademarked. Also, be careful when you use slang, local dialects, and especially foreign words. People must be able to pronounce your restaurant's name! Not everybody knows enough French to pronounce Chez Henri. Also, something that sounds totally benign in one language can be extremely offensive in another one. The use of foreign words in one case when you just may want to contact a professional to check things out for you,

A safe and meaningful way to name a restaurant

Unless you want to have a modern sounding name, there is a great way to research restaurant names. Get some old guide books or telephone books from the area that you want to use for inspiration. Look at the names of restaurants from the past. Like anything? Make sure nobody is using the name already, and you are all set. This is especially great if you want to name an Italian or French restaurant.

See also:

French Restaurant Names

Italian Restaurant names

Business name ideas: How to use Greek to build the image of your company