Naming your restaurant is a highly creative and sometimes personal affair! You either hit an idea in the first five minutes of thinking about it, or you end up going around in circles for hours and hours getting nowhere! So, without having to employ an expensive marketing agency to help with coming up with a restaurant name, we have written this article ‘Creative guide for Restaurant name ideas’ which could help you find the perfect idea for your business.

What’s in a good restaurant name?

The most important consideration of all is that ‘you’ have to wake up each day and love the name ‘you’ve’ chosen. It comes down to your choice at the end of the day. You may create lots of name ideas, some of them clever, witty, humorous, slick or contemporary, but the main thing is you’ve got to LOVE it. It’s also worth noting at this stage that family or friends may influence you. This is great whilst your brainstorming. But, if you don’t feel an idea is right, don’t worry about upsetting anyone by not going with their idea. As I say, it’s personal.

Coming up with the name, logo and branding is dependant on what type of restaurant it is. It could be British, Italian, Indian, French, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese or Japanese and each can have a similar creative thought process.

To help, I have compiled and listed out a creative guide for restaurant name ideas.

These are however examples, and you should do research before picking any one idea to make sure there is no conflict of interest – check that the identity and name are not trademarked under UK law. All significant considerations to get right from the start of course.

Therefore, without further ado let’s look at how you can create clever and catchy restaurant name ideas! The first thing to do is to delve into culture, history and geography (sounds boring – we know). Well, not as a starting point. You need to research the background of the cuisine. The ethnic origins. Are there any untold stories or exciting names associated with the culture and provenance? Once you have this list together, you can start to think outside the box.

restaurantnamesideas

Secrets to finding the perfect restaurant name

If you struggle with ideas, don’t just stare at a blank piece of paper. Keep jotting word associations down in every white space area on your pad. Write down all the negative and funny stuff too. It’s surprising how a contrary idea has its polar opposite – and it’s this positive idea which may be staring at you in the face all along.

Keep a pencil and pad close to you at all times throughout the process. Jot down the most random ideas, silly names and anything else that comes to mind. Go on the internet (like you are doing now) and search across the different social media platforms — Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr etc.  Looking for Social Media Tips too? Check out our article on Facebook tips for your restaurant here.

What other ways are there to come up with excellent restaurant name ideas?

There are many ways and formulas that the professionals use -, especially in design and marketing agencies. Therefore, they have brainstorming sessions, and these methods are used when the going gets tough.

Using a restaurant name generator

You could also look for help through a restaurant name generator. Because of course, there are many online name generator’s out there, and yes, they may be helpful if you are struggling with ideas. But try not to jump into these straight away as they can influence you and cloud your better judgement.

How to name a restaurant:

Let’s look at methods to create a unique restaurant name:

  • Try pairing words associated with modern times. Maybe recent films, shows, music or TV. Remember some words have copyright issues so do your homework first!
  • Let’s take for example the classic fish and chip shop.  What’s the product? Fish and Chips. Let’s think about a film perhaps ‘The Godfather’, a slight alteration and hey presto you have ‘The Cod Father’. Add a strap-line, and you can set the tone perfectly. The Codfather – ‘Battering since 1895’. Do you get the idea?
  • Try combining the name of your area (town or city) with an ingredient – I live by Chester, UK. So, for example, ‘Chilli Chesters’ has a cool ring to it?
  • Use a Fitness word with a kitchen term – ‘The Fit Cook’.
  • Use a well-known saying: For example, the term ‘Let’s talk about it’, perhaps it would be perfect for a Mexican Restaurant name ‘Taco Bout It!’. It helps to think of sayings and then what words within the saying can be modified.
  • Use an adjective with a noun ingredient. ‘The Hot Pickle’ as an example.
  • Use a combination of the above ideas. ‘The Red Hot Pickle’s’ as a close take on a famous band – you know the ones?
  • Then there’s a contemporary option. Maybe your restaurant tailors towards a demographic who have more disposable income. You need to create the vibe in your name so that your target audience knows what to expect. Using place names in a creative way can work. For example for a French Restaurant name idea look at places in France, French artists, sculptors, poets and create combinations as above. For instance ‘Uzès’ – a simple town in France which already sounds like an excellent name for a French restaurant.
  • Spanish Restaurant Name? Again the formula above is the best starting point but try it in Spanish. ‘Dali Dali’, repeating a Spanish name sounds super contemporary and cool.

Just for fun, we thought we’d share some funny restaurant names ideas we’ve seen:

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Good restaurant names that aren’t taken

Coming up with a name for a restaurant can be hard, especially when you think of a great one and realise during a quick google search that the name has already been taken. Most importantly, It’s good to check as you roll along with your ideas. Keep having a quick search to make sure there’s nothing similar.

Considerations when choosing a name for your restaurant business:

1. Make sure the name reflects the type of clientele you are targeting.
2. Is the name too difficult to pronounce? If it is, the chances are it won’t be memorable (see no.4)
3. Is it a tricky spelling?
4. Is it memorable? Very important for word of mouth, person to person marketing.
5. Stay away from Trademarks. Even if yours is different, you can still end up in trouble if there’s a hint of resemblance. Search and check for Trademarks in the UK by using the government website here.
6. Check for social accounts and website domains. Your chosen name isn’t already taken and it’s possibly showing content that you may not want to be associated with!
7. Ask the people around you. Ask people outside of your friends and family to comment. Sometimes close friends don’t want to hurt your feelings.
8. Sleep on it, don’t rush it.

Below is a list of the different types of restaurant names out there. I’ve broken these down into groups based on good restaurant names and ethnicity. Please note that these are current businesses some of which are famous. The list is intended to inspire you only.

Italian Restaurant Names:

Gusto Italian
Babbo-Restaurant
Carluccio’s
Dante Italian Kitchen
Zizzi
Tarantino’s
San Carlo
River Cafe
Pasta Loco
Gusta Pizza
La Madia
Da Vittorio
Alle Testiere
La Rosetta
Don Alfonso 1890

French Restaurant Names:

Le Gavroche
Cafe Des Amis
Cercle Rouge
L’Ecole
Les Nomades
La Folie
Provence Grill
Pur’
L’Arcane
Le Gabriel
Wine Therapy
Oka
Le Cinq
Restaurant Biscotte

Indian Restaurant Names:

Asha’s Manchester
Kutir
Tamarind Mayfair
Soho Wala
Kahani
Little Kolkata
Dishoom
Benares
Darjeeling Express
Jikoni
Kricket

Spanish Restaurant Names:

El Torero
Ibérica Restaurant
La Tasca
Bravas Tapas
Cambio de Tercio
Laxeiro
Lobos Meat & Tapas
BOQUERIA
Copita
Bar Tozino
Barrafina
DONOSTIA
JOSÉ
BRINDISA

For more great ideas and hacks to help you name your business – check out this article