It might be difficult to come up with a restaurant name that is unique, memorable, and conveys to your consumers what kind of cuisine and service they can anticipate.
This restaurant name generator will provide you with a plethora of options; the procedures below will assist you in narrowing them down. To get started, provide your name, kind of food, and location.
Finding the ideal name for your restaurant is an important step toward fulfilling your ambition of operating one. The name of your restaurant should be as distinct and informative as the food. Here are some suggestions to help you come up with the perfect name for your restaurant:
1. Think about your service style.
Before your guests come through your doors, the finest restaurant names inform them what to anticipate. The Starry Night Brasserie’s name indicates a relatively posh French supper establishment. However, if your establishment is a morning diner that specialized in extra-large Belgian waffles, that moniker isn’t ideal.
There are three main types of service to consider:
- This is a quick-service restaurant, thus there is no waitstaff. Customers place their orders, pay, and pick up their meals at a counter. Quick service restaurants include pizzerias, barbecue places, burger shacks, and sandwich shops. Typically, food is provided in disposable containers.
- Restaurants with a complete staff to take orders, clear tables, and present checks tableside are known as casual full-service restaurants. From pho to seafood to trend-driven farm-to-table dishes, casual full-service restaurants provide a wide range of cuisine. Food is served on plate ware, however, tablecloths are not always present.
- Fine Dining: Fine dining businesses, like casual service restaurants, may provide any kind of cuisine. They usually feature huge service teams in the dining room, including bussers, food runners, expediters, and hosts, as well as a complete kitchen brigade of prep cooks, line cooks, sous chefs, and chefs de cuisine. Tablecloths, linen napkins, and a complete set of silver and glasses are usually included in each setting.
Quick Service Restaurant Names
Service that is quick Chains like Shake Shack and Chipotle, as well as local eateries like your favorite barbecue joint or Indian takeout, are examples of restaurants. The names in this category are usually enticing and offer a good indication of the kind of cuisine they serve. Customers will be able to discover them on delivery apps like UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash if they are simple to spell on a smartphone keyboard.
The following are some common terms that quickly conjure up images of prompt service:
- Cafeteria: This phrase has two meanings. It’s a moniker for a dining hall where customers serve themselves, but it’s also a name for certain high-end comfort food restaurants.
- Canteen: Canteen is a lighthearted phrase that refers to short eateries that don’t take themselves too seriously. It originally referred to a snack bar on a military post. Cantine and cantina, respectively, are popular French and Spanish alternatives.
- Garden: An casual Pan-Asian restaurant with names like Hong Kong Garden, Ginger Garden, and Thai Garden is known as a garden. It suggests a family-friendly environment, such as the ever-popular Olive Garden.
- The joint is laid-back and entertaining, with a jukebox in the corner. To convey what visitors may anticipate when they visit your restaurant, you’ll probably want to incorporate the sort of cuisine you’re providing in the name.
- Lab: A lab is often a low-cost, somewhat experimental choice. The Noodle Lab in Boston delivers low-cost broth bowls that combine the culinary traditions of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
- Noodle: Direct and to-the-point. Noodle bowls will be available. This might be at the end of a restaurant name, as in Pa Ord Noodle in North Hollywood, or it can be followed by another restaurant term, such as stop, shop, wok, or other, as in Noodle Wok in Canada.
- Palace: Although this term has a high-end connotation, it is most often used in the titles of quick-service restaurants such as Pizza Palace, India Palace, and China Palace.
- Shack: A shack is a casual, laid-back restaurant with a beachy ambiance. If you want your restaurant to be more upscale, avoid using this word.
- A stand is a place where you can get meals fast with little to no seats. Typically, there is no waitstaff at a stand, simply counter staff.
- Stop: This conjures up images of a little business, and it’s frequently associated with a certain meal, such as Burrito Stop, Ramen Stop, or Kebab Stop.
- Wok: The word “wok” conjures up images of quick-cooking foods from diverse Asian cultures.
“Don’t give it too much thought. Find something you like and trust your instincts! Location, environment, cuisine, drinks, service culture, and other factors will play a larger role in your success or failure. So, don’t lose your concentration!”
—HULA’s Modern Tiki owner M. Dana Mule
Restaurant Names for a Relaxed Atmosphere
You’ve entered casual restaurant territory if your restaurant idea includes a waitstaff but no tablecloths. Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and your neighborhood pasta joint are all part of this universe. Cafes, bistros, and chop houses are examples of this kind of eatery. Casual restaurants, like fast service restaurants, need a unique and descriptive name; Legal Seafoods is an excellent example. However, if creativity strikes, a casual bistro may use a little more poetic license.
These are some of the most prevalent terms seen in casual restaurant names:
- If your restaurant’s name includes the term “bar,” you should stay open late and provide a wide range of alcoholic beverages. Bars are usually laid-back establishments that provide popular sharing dishes such as loaded fries or nachos.
- Bar & Grill: A bar and grill are decidedly more extensive in service and menu than a plain, old bar. It is still a place where customers can expect a relaxed atmosphere and maybe a television above the bar.
- When people hear the word “café” in a restaurant name, they generally think of coffee and light meals. It’s possible to dress up or down this term, although it usually connotes a relaxed mood. Like Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, you may make a simple and memorable name for your business by putting a simple word in front of “cafe.”
- Chophouse: A chophouse is a restaurant that specializes in steaks, chops, and similar dishes, and mainly focuses on traditionally cooked meats accompanied by fine wines and good ales. This word is good in combination with a location—like the Hanover Street Chophouse. Area codes and people’s names are also great fits here, like 801 Chophouse or Bob’s Steak & Chophouse.
- Diner: Diners are often laid-back establishments that provide a variety of breakfast items as well as other traditional American cuisines.
- Eatery: Eatery may range from casual to fancy. The term is often used to describe American cuisine, although it may also be used to describe other cuisines. The Thompson House Eatery or the Laconia Hill Eatery are examples of names having eatery in them that depend on geography to deliver the remainder of the title.
- Grill is a generic term for a casual dining establishment. Grill names sometimes contain the food type, such as Moe’s Southwest Grill or Tzatziki Greek Grill.
- Kitchen: The term “kitchen” conjures up images of a warm, welcoming environment where diners may enjoy delicacies inspired by home cooking. They may also see the preparation of meals. Popular Spanish, Italian, and German variants are Cocina, Cucina, and Küche.
- Pubs often provide greasy or cheesy bar cuisine as well as a diverse selection of craft beers. If you specialize in a different form of alcohol or don’t offer beer at all, you should choose a different path. The Gastro Pub is a more upscale version of the pub trend, yet restaurants prefer to avoid using the term “Gastro Pub” in their names, instead of opting for “pub.”
- Tavern: A tavern is a more upscale bar. Taverns provide more personalized service and a larger menu than bars.
“Don’t push it if you’re having trouble coming up with a name for your business. Instead, do some research on prominent restaurants, learn about the history of your food, its culture, and undiscovered truths about its origins, and then divert your attention away from it. Your finest ideas will strike when you’re least expecting them.”
—Jason Acoca, COBE Media Co-Founder
Restaurants with “Fancy” Names
Fine dining establishments have their own name conventions. Four main naming themes emerge from a review of presently functioning fine dining restaurants, as well as high-end restaurants throughout history: nouns, proper names, personal tales, and figures of speech. Unlike casual and fast service restaurants, fine dining establishments do not specify their cuisine or use a term to describe their service style.
Here are a few typical ways for making a name for yourself in the fine-dining world:
- Use just one noun: Simple nouns are preferred at high-end restaurants, whether in English or any other language. Trois Mec, a ticket-only restaurant in Los Angeles, is French for “three friends.” Knife is the name of John Tesar’s Dallas steakhouse.
- Choose a formal name: Proper nouns, such as a unique family name, work well here as well—think of Delmonico’s or Curtis Stone’s Gwen and Maude restaurants.
- Tell a story: Personal tales are an important component of establishing a real relationship with prospective clients. If you can include a bit of your personal narrative into the name of your restaurant, as The Lost Kitchen in Maine did, it might pique guests’ attention. Chapeau! (exclamation point added) is a French restaurant in San Francisco named after the owner’s love of hats.
- Use a figure of speech like this: According to legend, chef Thomas Keller came up with the name for his Per Se restaurant in New York City while answering a query about his first restaurant, The French Laundry. “The new restaurant won’t be like the French Laundry in the traditional sense…” he remarked. And so was created the name of a restaurant. The Chicago restaurant Avec is named after that amusing paragraph sign that denotes “the beginning of a new thinking,” while its Chicago neighbor Alinea is named after that amusing paragraph symbol that means “the beginning of a new thought.”
The names of high-end restaurants are more perplexing than those of informal and quick-service eateries. Because their restaurant’s experience starts with the name, names that are more experimental than those that imply the sort of cuisine on the menu are more relevant at this level.
2. Think about your restaurant’s cuisine.
If your restaurant will provide French, Italian, or Japanese cuisine, your forefathers have put forth a lot of effort. The degree of service at different sorts of restaurants is defined by established name hierarchies in these culinary traditions. You are a cafe if you want to provide French cuisine with early hours and plenty of coffee. You’ve just established an Osteria if you’re an Italian restaurant with fine dining aspirations. An izakaya is just a casual Japanese barbecue.
From most casual to most upscale, below is the fundamental range of each:
- Cafe, Bistro, Brasserie, Restaurant, and Chez.
- Pizzeria, Trattoria, Vinoteca, Ristorante, Osteria are all Italian terms.
- Izakaya, Shokudo (Teppanyaki/ Sushi-ya), Teiishoku-ya, Kaiseki are all Japanese terms for restaurants.
These naming customs usually define both the sort of food served and the culinary style from which it originates. The meal that lends a pizzeria its name is known to most Americans. Similarly, a cafe’s superb coffee program defines it, while an Izakaya’s name comes from the variety of skewered meats and vegetables grilled over a tiny charcoal grill. Bistros and Trattorias are full-service French and Italian restaurants with a diverse menu.
The emphasis of Italian vinotecas is on wine. Sushi will be served, of course, by a Japanese Sushi-ya. If you’re offering cuisine that’s unique to your locality, naming a particular trademark dish or ingredient might be effective. La Paella, Chipotle, and Stargazy, a Philadelphia restaurant named after the famous British dish Stargazy pie, are all notable examples.
3. Experiment with several wildcard strategies
There are several tried and tested naming principles that might help to develop restaurant name ideas, regardless of your service or culinary type. To establish your entire, official restaurant name, combine them with the information from the previous two stages.
- Join words with an “&”: A holdover from British pub names like The Rose & Crown, and the Dog & Duck, joining two unrelated words together can make a great name, as in the Chicago restaurant Girl & The Goat, or Los Angeles’ Love & Salt. This works in other languages, too, as in the Italian restaurant Pane e Vino.
- Create a portmanteau: A portmanteau is a new term made by combining two or more words. A wonderful example is Bäco Mercat in Los Angeles, where Bäco—a mix of the terms global and taco—describes its genre-bending flatbread sandwiches. Cronut, Frappuccino, and spork are among successful portmanteaux that have become part of our culinary lexicon. It’s also conceivable that an original portmanteau will be accessible as a domain name and social media handle.
- Consider the following scenarios with hungry animals: The Hungry Cat was a long-running seafood restaurant in Los Angeles. The Hungry Diner in Walpole, New Hampshire, clears up any ambiguity about what they’re about. You’ll also come across names like Lazy Bear and Animal.
- Add your current location: Your closest named cross street, a nearby landmark, an area code, ZIP code, or neighborhood name are all examples of location terms. With his restaurants Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Eleven Madison Park in New York, restaurateur Danny Meyer demonstrated the adaptability of this method.
- Consider geography: a location name may be the name of a soil type, a geographical feature, or a native species. Sitka and Spruce, a Seattle restaurant, takes its name from neighboring evergreen trees. In the Arizona desert, the Painted Desert Grill makes sense.
- Choose a word from the categories above to describe your restaurant-style, then add a word from the language spoken in the nation where your cuisine originated. Like Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas; in Laotian, Khao means “rice,” which is the basis of Khao’s cuisine.
Experiment with a few different combinations. Change the order of the phrases; The Boulevard Bistro has a distinct ring to it than Bistro on the Boulevard. Make three to five restaurant name suggestions to test with friends and business partners. Then sit down with your top choices and double-check that they’re still available.
Make a Name for Yourself
If you’ve come up with a fantastic restaurant name, it’s conceivable that other company owners have as well. For example, a Google search for Pane e Vino returns a mountain of results from places all over the globe. Your restaurant’s name should be distinctive, especially in the era of social media and meal delivery apps, to make it easier for consumers to locate you.
“I advise all of my clients, whether they’re hiring for a restaurant or another company, to perform a search once they’ve narrowed down their options. Before employing an attorney to do a clearance check, we recommend that they run their own searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Open Table, Resy, and any other industry-specific search engines to help narrow down a suitable candidate. They should move on to their next choice if they uncover anything comparable.”
—Jason H. Rosenblum, Attorney at Law, Intellectual Property
Before deciding on a name for your business, look it up on popular meal delivery apps, social media, and Google. Check the website of your local Secretary of State to determine if any other firms in your area use the same name. To determine whether the website domain name is available, go to services like GoDaddy.
Smaller businesses may not need a totally unique name. If you own a small-town diner, it’s possible that sharing a name with a business in another state is acceptable. However, if you want to expand your business to numerous regions, trademarking your company name is an excellent idea.
If your company is being advised by an attorney, he or she may be able to help you register a trademark. Alternatively, for $199 plus the $275 Federal filing charge, a business like IncFile provides a trademark registration service. Its package includes a trademark attorney who will do a search to guarantee that the name you want to trademark is accessible. A comprehensive federal trademark application might take three to four months to complete.
Whether or whether you decide to trademark your restaurant name, you should make sure you secure your restaurant’s social media handles on all major sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even if you don’t intend to regularly maintain your restaurant’s social media presence, claiming the handles stops others from claiming them.
When opening a restaurant, you’ll need a name that is both distinctive and descriptive. The greatest restaurant names also give clients an idea of the kind of cuisine and service they may anticipate without being too similar to a competition. Once you’ve found a solid match, do a search to check that your restaurant’s name is available as a domain name and a social media handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you come up with a catchy restaurant name?
It is difficult to come up with a catchy name for a restaurant. This can be due to the fact that there are several factors involved in coming up with the perfect name such as choosing words that would appeal most to customers, having an understanding of naming conventions, and finding other potential names around it.
What is a good name for my restaurant?
A name that is easy to spell and pronounce, yet also sounds good.