Naming their new restaurant business is something most owners spend a lot of time thinking about, dreaming about and testing on friends, family and strangers. In reality, the name of the restaurant isn’t really that critical to its success, but because that is the identifier in the new owner’s mind, they give it undue importance and significance.
There aren’t really any hard and fast rules about picking a good name in terms of what name will do better than others, but there are some things to keep in mind generally about selecting a name that will be more user friendly. Don’t pick a name that is hard to spell or hard to say. Even if you are using a name for a restaurant business that may serve French food, try to not to pick a difficult to spell or pronounce French name for the restaurant. Don’t pick a name that will be easily confused with another restaurant. Aside from potential trademark issues, you just don’t want to accidentally send business to the wrong restaurant.
Don’t pick a name that might have a second meaning or that could be misconstrued as negative, or worse as bigoted or insensitive. Don’t pick a name that is too “adult” or risqué, as just the insinuation may turn off a lot of people even if the inside may be more family friendly. Don’t pick a name that doesn’t fit with what you are selling. If you call it a diner, some people are going to expect meatloaf on the menu. If you don’t plan to serve meatloaf, make sure the name fits. Café and bistro are two more examples of restaurant names that will imply a certain kind of menu.
Don’t worry about picking a name that starts with an early letter of the alphabet. Although people used to suggest that as a way to get into the front section of the yellow pages listings, the yellow pages are on the way out, and this isn’t the way most people choose a restaurant anyway. Do try and pick a name for which you can register the accompanying domain name (www.restaurantname.com) that ends in .com. If you can’t get the exact name, check the website for the name you have picked to make sure it doesn’t link to something unsavory, or worse, to local competition. You can check domain name availability at register.com.
Overall, just pick something you like that is easy to spell and say and has a domain name you can get, or something close. But don’t spend too much time worrying about the name, as it is one of the least important factor in your restaurant’s overall success.