Restaurant Brand Naming

Developing brand names that change the game

Brand names that spark curiosity and define a brand's core purpose

Naming a restaurant is more than throwing things on a wall and waiting for something to stick. A restaurant’s name is a portal into the deeper story; a chance to pique interest in the brand’s reason for being. It’s the only element of a restaurant that can be experienced completely out of visual context (e.g. when someone hears the name.)

When named properly, a restaurant has a unique advantage. It sparks curiosity for knowing more, learning, and engaging with the brand. It instills a sense of belonging among those who “get it” and understand the reason behind the name. It helps give weight to the brand’s purpose.

Naming is a nuanced discipline that spans cultural, linguistic, and strategic thinking. It’s not something that one simply jumps into. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

At Vigor, we’ve named countless restaurants, menu items, and even the more ethereal elements that ladder up to a brand’s tone of voice. We approach naming with a principled focus. We don’t produce run of the mill, or forgettable. We create names that standout from direct competitors. Because if you spend your time trying to fit in, you’ll waste your budget trying to stand out.

Restaurant branding naming playbook download

Download the restaurant naming playbook

What makes a “good” restaurant name? This question is one that’s asked many times, but the answers seem to vary depending on the source. We took the liberty to make the rules crystal clear, so you can have fun breaking them. After all, are there really any rules to brand naming? Find out in this ebook.

Brand Naming Examples

A small sample of restaurant brand names

Over the course of our agency’s life, we have developed over 100 names and naming systems for restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites from the list accompanied by their passionate purpose.

Brand Name Narrative/Description Format
My Neighbor Felix A modern take on pan-Mexican cuisine and culture. The name celebrates good friends and community while "felix" implies good luck. Full Service Restaurant / Mexican
Jackson's Bluff A view from the rooftop with a natural atmosphere. Jackson was the founder of North Augusta, and "bluff" implies the lookout perch the rooftop provides. Full Service Restaurant & Bar / American
Badaro A taste of today's artful, vibrant Beirut. Badaro is the arts and culinary epicenter of Beirut. Fast Casual Restaurant / Mediterranean
Safina Paying homage to the Mediterranean sea the cultures that thrive from her shores. Safina is Arabic for "little boat." Full Service Restaurant / Mediterranean
PanaNova Exploring the flavors of cultures from around the globe. "Pan" means "all-inclusive" and "nova" means "new." Fast Casual Restaurant / Fusion
Shisabachi Protecting the hibachi/teppanyaki tradition. "Shisa" from the mytical protectors of shrines. "Bachi" from the Hibachi cuisine name. Fast Casual Restaurant / Japanese
Brick River Cider Co. Connecting urban areas back to their agricultural roots. Brick River is a metaphor for a path, while simultaneously nodding to the Mississippi River. Craft Cider
New Realm Brewing Exploring new realms in the craft beer world. Craft Beer / Brewery

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