Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Restaurant’s Name & Brand Identity

Selecting a name for your restaurant is a small decision, but it will have a very big impact. Once you choose the Restaurant Brand Identity and name it is very difficult to change it and the name will affect how your customers perceive your restaurant. An unappealing or confusing name can be bad for business and a clever, catchy and evocative name can attract customers.

So what should you be considering as you are choosing your restaurant’s name? Here are some important questions you should be asking yourself:

How Formal is Your Restaurant?

Consider the overall atmosphere of your restaurant – is it where you would take your sweetheart for a special romantic meal on your anniversary or is it where you would take the kids for a quick and cheap meal on the way home from football practice? The name you choose will be different depending on whether your restaurant is a casual or formal dining establishment. You don’t want to call your restaurant Pierre’s when it has the atmosphere of a Jimmy’s Diner and vice versa.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name formatl 

What Kind of Food Do You Serve?

Think about the type of cuisine you serve and how you can reflect that in your restaurant name. For example, Jade Pagoda probably serves Asian cuisine, while Olympus Tavern is likely a Greek restaurant. Your name will give people an idea of what you serve, even if they just see the name on a sign while walking or driving by.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name foodl 

Can the Average Person Pronounce the Name?

You want to avoid choosing a restaurant name that many people will not know how to spell or pronounce. This includes made up words as well as foreign words that people are not familiar with. It will make it difficult for word to spread about your restaurant via word of mouth, as well as making it more challenging for customer to find you online.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name language 

Is it Different than Other Similar Restaurants in the Area?

Take a look at other similar restaurants in your town and make sure that your restaurant isn’t too similar to them. For example, perhaps you are considering naming your restaurant the Sunset Grill, but nearby you can already find the Sunshine Grill, the Southwest Grill and the Sunny Side Grill.  If the name is too close to your competitors, it will be more difficult for your customers to distinguish between the choices.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name Similar 

Is it Already Trademarked?

Also, it’s important to check that the brilliant name you came up with hasn’t already been trademarked by other restaurant in a different location. You can make a search online and see if anything with your restaurant’s name comes up.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name brnad 

Can The Name Grow With You?

You might only be a small restaurant now, but what if you want to expand in the future? Will your name be able to grow with you? For example, what if you are Freddy’s Chicken Wings right now, but you want to expand and offer more dishes other than chicken wings? Simply named your restaurant Freddy’s will leave the option open for adding more signature dishes.

Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-Your-Restaurants-Name growth 

Does it Have Another Meaning?

Think about what other meanings your restaurant name might have and whether or not they are rude or inappropriate. For example, there is a restaurant in San Francisco named Kaka Udon Kitchen. Kaka means “mother” in Japanese, but in English it is slang for “poop” so it is not a great restaurant name! There is also a juice bar called Sidewalk Juice, which unfortunately is a slang term for vomit.

Another example is that there are several restaurants named “Sophie’s Choice” including the Sophie’s Choice Pierogi Co. in Cleveland, OH and Sophie’s Choice Restaurant in Sidcup, Kent, England. These names seem incredibly inappropriate for a restaurant, as the film Sophie’s Choice starring Meryl Streep is a harrowing story about a Polish immigrant who was interred at Auschwitz and who was forced to choose which one of her two children would be gassed and which would be sent to a labour camp. I suspect that these restaurant owners wanted to convey that their restaurant was a “top choice” but weren’t aware of what the movie was about.


These are a few important tips that you should keep in mind when you are choosing a name for your restaurant, so that you can select a great name that will serve you well over the years.