Most people who start a restaurant havn’t a clue about what it takes to create a cool name for their business.
Although you can do it intuitively and choose a name according to your gut feel, it’s a good idea to read up a bit on the basics of branding, and the art (and science) of naming a restaurant effectively.
Among all the countless qualities that a name can and should have, it needs to be memorable.
This is the key objective, as it enables people to tell others about your place (good and bad) and basically gets your name ‘out there’.
The cheapest and one of the most powerful forms of promotion is through word of mouth marketing, and a name that’s easy to remember is an essential part of this process.
In addition, a truly memorable name may put your restaurant at the top of your potential customers’ minds, and on the tips of their tongues. When people think about where they should go for a meal, you want your place to be easily recollected, as they will often go somewhere that they can remember (rather than a place they’ve forgotten!).
This allows you to stand out above your competition and gives you the best chance of attracting patrons to your establishment.
A really awesome name is normally very relevant and meaningful. It uses a deeper angle to connect with its audience so that the resulting memorability is anchored by real substance.
When you’re trying to come up with a good name, always remember that many people will ask you why you named your restaurant with the name you chose.
While it’s possible to reply with, “Oh, I just liked the name”, or “Because it sounds cool, don’t you think?”, it is much better if you have an interesting story and background to your name, concept or reason for opening up.
You should treat such questions (regarding your restaurant’s name, food or anything else) as an opportunity to share an entertaining and passionate reason for the choices you’ve made. It’s a chance to carry on the dialogue. By saying something like “I just liked the name”, it effectively kills the conversation with someone who has expressed an interest in your business.
By having a meaningful story to share, you will make your place easier to remember, and give people sharable facts and information to spread the word. Remember, to take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing properly, you need to define ‘what’s the word’ that you want people to market.
Memorable & Meaningful
Whenever possible, your restaurant’s name should be both memorable and meaningful.
There are lots of names that are easy to remember, but they don’t have much relevance or meaning. This will limit their ability to connect with as many potential customers as possible, as it may not communicate that the name is for a restaurant and what’s so special about it.
Conversely, there are names that are loaded with a deep and intricate meaning, but they are overly complicated and difficult to remember, which makes it hard to spread the word about them, or even to recall it in the first place.
So, strike a balance between the two goals to achieve your objective. When in doubt, keep it simple. Simple to understand, simple to remember and simple to share.