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Choosing a Name for Your Restaurant


The company name that you choose for your restaurant is terribly important. The restaurant industry is very competitive, especially in larger towns and cities, so the branding that you adopt needs to be crisp, informative and inviting.

Your restaurant branding will include your name, your décor, your staff uniforms and the music you choose to play just as much as the type of food you serve. All too many potential restaurant owners think that the food will speak for itself – especially if they also happen to be the chef! However, this is simply not the case – you need to have the whole package designed with brand positioning in mind, or your restaurant will get lost in a sea of other indefinable catering establishments.

The task of naming your restaurant need not be a stressful one as there are a number of different approaches to adopt. Let’s have a look at a few ways to help you choose the name of your restaurant without having to invest a great deal in expensive branding consultants. Sit down with your business partner or a trusted friend and ideally someone who is a bit of a food lover and understands what is going on in the modern restaurant world. Do not pick someone who thinks that steak Diane is still trendy, unless they mean it in a retro sense!

What Type of Restaurant?

You should already be clear about the type of restaurant you are going to run. Make sure you can quickly and easily define it, for the benefit of you and your customers, not to mention your marketing literature. Definitions may include the type of food – modern European, tapas, fast food, bistro, traditional or from a particular country. Also think about the type of price range you are aiming for – cheap and cheerful, exclusive and expensive or good quality and good value.

By being clear about the type of restaurant, you can at least rule out certain words or phrases. There is no point having an Italian deli sandwich bar and calling it The Ice Cream Shack.

Should You Use Your Own Name?

Using your surname is a popular choice for restaurant names as it lends a certain air of quality and responsibility. However, you are going to need to be rather brutally honest with yourself here, because your name needs to be the right sort of name for your restaurant.

If, for example, you have a surname that is suited to the type of cuisine you are serving – i.e. an authentic sounding name like Raffelli for an Italian restaurant, then you have a ready made answer that ticks all the right boxes. However, if your restaurant is going to be a posh place and your surname is something like Scraggs, then perhaps think again.

Trends in Restaurant Branding

Depending on the type of restaurant you are planning to launch, it is important to be aware of restaurant trends. Even if you do not aim to be at the very cutting edge of dining fashion, you may not want to be opening a new Thai fusion restaurant in the middle of Soho just as Vietnamese is all the rage.

A good way to keep ahead of the game is to regularly read the industry publications. Magazines such as The Grocer and The Caterer are good for trade information. It is also worth reading the fashion and gossip magazines to see where your target celebrities are dining. Look at restaurant booking sites, such as Top Table and Last Minute, too, to see what places are in their favourites list. See what types of names are on their lists and you will see emerging trends that, even if you do not wish to emulate, you really ought to know about.

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