Practical tips to choosing good and unique restaurant names

What’s in a name? Quite a bit, it turns out. Sure, your food is the most important factor. And, along with excellent service, it’s what keeps customers coming back. But the name matters – no one takes note of dull or drab names. You want people to remember you, even if they’re only walking past the restaurant and making a mental note. 

Plus, you’ve planned every little detail, from the menu to the restaurant’s ambience. It’s only fitting that you spend time thinking up a name that represents the best of your new spot. With that in mind, we’ve put together some handy tips for good restaurant names and how to land on one that pleases everyone.

Take your time

You might be eager to open your restaurant and start serving diners as soon as possible. But avoid any temptation to open the doors if you’re not entirely sure about the name. Running a restaurant means you’ll need to focus on marketing, which will involve using the name across different platforms, both digital and print. Not to mention, it will sit above your restaurant.

The last thing you need is a change of heart shortly after opening. It could mean all those marketing materials are no longer usable as you go through rebranding and are potentially left out of pocket. Good restaurant names last the test of time. Pick the right one, and it’ll be a while before you find yourself rebranding. 

Keep it short, simple and catchy

Simplicity always wins when thinking of names for restaurants. Overcomplicating things or trying to be too smart will usually result in missing the target. You might understand the meaning behind a clever name, but your diners probably won’t. 

Choosing names for restaurants that is easy to pronounce and remember means people won’t have issues saying it, no matter where they come from. Plus, it’s helpful for word-of-mouth marketing, as previous guests will instantly remember the name when describing it to friends and family. 

Write down important info about your restaurant

From the mission statement to its vision and purpose, write down all the key attributes that make your restaurant unique. Summarising this information will give you a clearer indication and might just offer some insight into how to name your spot. 

Consider aspects like the type of cuisine you’ll offer, the restaurant’s core values, specific goals, and its location. Then jot down some adjectives that best describe the restaurant, from its look and feel to the culture you want to set. From here, you’ll likely find some words and phrases that put you on your way to some exciting restaurant name ideas. 

Think about your guests

What emotions do you want to invoke from guests in your restaurant? Should they feel like they’re in an edgy, cool spot all about the style? Or do you want them to feel cosy while enjoying some home cooking? 

Your restaurant’s name should match its style, which is reflected in the dining experience you’d like guests to have while dining. You want to build positive relationships with guests, and having a name that evokes the emotions they feel while dining can go a long way to creating regular diners at your restaurant.

Be authentic

It’s easy to look at other restaurants for inspiration and perhaps lean too heavily on them. There’s nothing wrong with exploring what others do, but you should aim to be authentic with your restaurant’s name. The goal is to create something unique that sets itself apart. 

Diners will be able to tell if your spot has its own personality. Ultimately, a good restaurant name should be eye-catching yet unique while conveying what the restaurant is all about. Being descriptive can help, too, as guests don’t need to overthink the cuisine you offer.

Talk to the community

Restaurants are often beacons of their community, a place where neighbourhood residents can go to enjoy local dining. Even if the aim is to go big, there will always be that community spirit led by local diners, no matter how popular your restaurant becomes. 

Therefore, look for inspiration from the people who are about to become your guests. Tap into your community and ask them to vote on a selection of names you’ve listed. Their input might just help you settle on a final name for the restaurant.

The naming game

Naming a restaurant is arguably one of the most important parts of getting started. For some, it comes straight away, while others go right up until opening before landing on a name. With the tips in our guide, you can start to think about ways to find the right name for your restaurant and begin a legacy that sees your spot become the must-visit destination in town.