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Restaurant Name Ideas with Examples

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The name of a restaurant is the first impression customers have of the establishment and the brand. Customers do not judge a restaurant by the quality of the equipment in the kitchen but may judge the name. Choosing catchy, memorable restaurant name ideas is of importance. Here is a list to consider when naming a restaurant.

Incorporate Puns in the Name

Some people feel puns are a low form of humor. That is debatable. Punny restaurant names are trendy. Using puns gives the impression of wit and intelligence. They attract attention, and you can remember them easily. Here are some examples.

  • Wish You Were Beer – Madison, Alabama
  • Red, White, and Brew – Union, Missouri
  • Baked Alaska Alehouse – Anchorage, Alaska
  • Basic Kneads Pizza – Denver, Colorado
  • Mustard’s Last Stand – Melbourne, Florida

Use Symbols or Unique Spellings

Trendy, modern coffee shops, restaurants, and bars use symbols and abbreviations to set their establishment apart from their competition. Alternative spellings help brand an establishment and are visually intriguing. Examples of restaurants using symbols in their name include

  • McDonald’s Golden Arches
  • The two-tailed mermaid in the Starbucks logo
  • The red and blue domino for Domino’s Pizza
  • The words ‘Burger King’ sandwiched in a bun
  • The bell for Taco Bell

Use Rhymes and Alliteration

Using rhymes and repetitive sounds is an excellent means of adding a lighthearted, fun element. Krispy Kreme and Red Robin are national chains using repetitive sounds. They make the name more fun to say and catchier, which encourages people to talk about them. Here are some other examples. 

  • The Angry Avocado – The Dalles, Oregon
  • Pork on the Fork – Phoenix, Arizona
  • Leaping Lizard Café – Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 2 Dudes Brew & Que – Monroe, Louisiana
  • Buck & Bull – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

One Word Names

If the name is too complicated, guests cannot remember it, which can cause a loss of free word-of-mouth advertising. Many restaurants choose a single word because it comes across as modern and is easy to remember. Restaurants that chose one word for the brand and business include

  • McDonald’s
  • Subway
  • Spago
  • Burgrill
  • Indulge

Location-Based Names

A restaurant name based on the address makes it easy for customers to remember. They know where you are and will tell their friends and return for a visit. The name can be a portion or the entire address. These restaurants used the location in coming up with restaurant name ideas. 

  • Main Street Lounge 
  • California Shack 
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Hog Island Oyster Co.
  • Manhattan Restaurant

Refer to a Movie or Book

When a restaurant name references something, it starts a conversation between customers and staff. Referring to a movie, TV show, song, or book draws fans of the source material and people curious about the name. Examples are

  • Planet of the Crepes
  • Custard’s Last Stand
  • Life of Pie
  • Earth, Wind, and Flour
  • 16 Handles

Use a Different Language

If you run out of English language restaurant menu ideas, try another language. The use of another language lets customers know the kind of cuisine you serve. A French name if crepes are served, or a Spanish name for a restaurant specializing in tapas are examples. Choose a phrase or word that means something to you. Some examples include

  • Aromas del Peru – Miami, Florida
  • Estadio – Washington D. C.
  • Novare Res Bier Café – Portland, Maine
  • Olio e Piu –New York, New York
  • Petit Trois – Los Angeles, California

A Little More Advice

Avoid using inappropriate or stereotypical language. Choosing a name prospective customers find rude limits how far and how well you market yourself. Consider the length of the name and how it translates to marketing materials. A name that is too long does not work for a company’s website URL.

Be sure the name is not already in use or trademarked before hanging signs and printing menus. The Trademark Electronic Search System is an excellent place to check if a name or similar name is trademarked.