Thinking about opening a restaurant but still figuring out a business name?
Coming up with a name for a restaurant can be fun, but it can also be frustrating if you can’t think of anything creative that’s memorable yet appropriate.

In this article, we go over how to come up with a name for your restaurant and what you need to get your restaurant started.

Read on to learn everything from choosing a name to promoting your business in the service industry.

Importance of a Great Restaurant Name

You may be reading this because you know how a good business name could potentially make or break your business. And you would be right — let’s go over why it’s important. 

A good name for a restaurant is important to attract customers, create a strong brand identity, and compete in a competitive market. 

The name can also reflect the cuisine or atmosphere of the restaurant, making it easier for potential customers to see if the restaurant matches their preferences.

In addition, a good restaurant name can set a business apart from its competitors and help build a loyal customer base.

How to Choose the Best Name for Your Restaurant

Now that you know the importance of a good business name, let’s delve into the details of how to choose the best name for your restaurant. 

The following section will discuss some key factors when it comes to choosing the best name.

Determine the Food You’re Going to Offer

A good starting point for choosing the best restaurant name is to determine the type of food you will be serving. Many successful businesses have a clever yet clear business name that showcases what they serve. 

This can include deciding on a type of cuisine, such as American, Asian, Italian, or Mexican, and selecting specific dishes to feature on the menu.

The dishes offered should also be consistent with the restaurant’s brand identity and target audience — and should also be feasible in terms of sourcing ingredients, preparing/serving the dishes, and pricing.

Know Your Target Market and Competitors 

It’s not always about coming up with the most clever name possible. Keeping the target market and your competitors in mind is just as important when coming up with a name. 

This involves researching the demographics, preferences, and behavior patterns of your target audience, such as age, income, lifestyle, and dining habits. 

This information can help to tailor the restaurant’s foundation for what it will serve and the type of ambiance/vibes it will portray. 

Understanding competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can also help to differentiate your restaurant and offer a unique value proposition to customers. 

You don’t want to necessarily copy your successful competitors but is viable to take notes on what works for them and how you can put your own unique spin on it. 

Ask Your Family and Friends

Sometimes, you simply need an honest opinion from a family member or friend to bounce ideas off of. It’s a valuable way to gain insight and perspective from people who you know and trust. 

They can provide feedback on what they like or dislike about the concept, the menu, the pricing, and the overall experience. 

Additionally, involving family and friends in the development of the business can create a sense of community and support that can be beneficial in the long term.

Check the Domain Name Availability

Let’s say you have worked day and night to find the perfect business name, only to find that you have to pay for the domain or that it’s already in use by someone else.

We recommend checking out digital platforms such as social media or website hosting sites. This way you can see if the name you came up with is readily available or if you have to pay for the domain name.

If you want to host your own unique domain name on your website, you usually have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to keep the name for your business. However, in some cases, you can claim the name for free.

That said, let’s look at some restaurant name ideas you can vamp off of. 

200 Restaurant Name Ideas to Inspire You

Here’s a list of potential restaurant names to spark your interest and get you started. 

For more ideas on how to come up with a business name, check out this article here.

Remember your business name must be 100% unique to your state. You can find out if a restaurant name is available in your state by searching through your state’s LLC database.

How to Start Your Restaurant Business

Once you decide on a business name, let’s go over how to start your restaurant business. 

Below you will find 10 actionable steps you can take to get your restaurant up and running. 

1. Develop a Business Plan

Your first step in starting your restaurant business is to develop a business plan. Developing a business plan is a valuable step in starting a successful restaurant because it serves as a roadmap that outlines the business’s goals, strategies, and action plans for achieving success. 

It also helps to identify potential challenges and risks and provides a framework for managing resources effectively. 

The process of creating a business plan typically involves several key steps, including: 

  • Defining the business concept and target market
  • Conducting market research 
  • Developing a marketing strategy 
  • Creating financial projections
  • Securing funding 
  • Promoting and advertising strategy

It’s recommended that you take your time in writing your business plan to clearly define your goals. This can help ensure that your restaurant business is well-planned, organized, and set off on the right foot with a solid foundation. 

2. Choose Your Business Structure

Next, you will need to choose a business structure that is most applicable to your business operations. This is crucial because the business structure you choose will determine how your business will operate and determine your legal obligations. 

Here are some of the most common types of business structures along with their pros and cons. 

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship refers to a business structure owned and managed by a single person. This model presents various benefits, including a straightforward and affordable setup, complete authority over the enterprise, and direct access to earnings. 

On the other hand, it comes with drawbacks, including unlimited personal accountability for business debts and responsibilities, challenges in securing capital, and a restricted life span. 

Furthermore, since a sole proprietorship isn’t a distinct legal entity, the proprietor is liable for paying personal income tax on all business earnings.

General Partnership

A general partnership is a business owned by two or more individuals who share profits, losses, and management responsibilities. 

This form of partnership offers advantages, such as ease of formation, joint management and decision-making, and access to capital and resources by multiple partners. 

However, it also has disadvantages, such as unlimited personal liability of all partners, the possibility of disagreements between partners, and the inability to raise capital as a corporate structure. 

In addition, general partnerships are not taxed separately from the partners, and each partner is responsible for paying taxes on their share of the profits.

Limited Partnership

A limited partnership is owned by one or more general partners who manage the business and are personally liable for its debts. 

Limited partners who contribute capital but have limited control over the business and are not personally liable for its debts beyond their capital contribution. 

The advantages are; limited personal liability for the limited partners, access to capital from multiple partners, and flexibility in the management structure. 

However, it also has disadvantages, such as complex formation and ongoing legal requirements, potential conflicts between the general and limited partners, and limited involvement in the business for the limited partners. 

Additionally, the limited partnership is not taxed separately from the partners, and each partner is responsible for paying taxes on their share of profits.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and operational flexibility of a partnership. 

LLCs can have one or more members and are formed by filing articles of organization with the state. 

The advantages of an LLC include limited liability protection for all members, flexibility in management structure and taxation, and pass-through taxation, which means the LLC is not taxed separately from the members. 

The disadvantages include potential difficulty in raising capital, varying state laws and regulations, and the possibility of disputes among members. 

LLCs also require ongoing maintenance and annual fees, which can be more expensive than a sole proprietorship or general partnership.

Corporation

A corporation is owned by shareholders and managed by a board of directors. It is a legal entity separate from its owners, providing limited liability protection for the shareholders. 

The advantages of a corporation include limited personal liability for shareholders, perpetual existence, easier access to capital through the sale of stocks and bonds, and potential tax benefits. 

The disadvantages include complexity in formation and management, extensive legal requirements and regulations, double taxation, and potential conflicts between shareholders and management. 

Corporations also have ongoing maintenance requirements and are subject to extensive reporting and record-keeping requirements.

3. Register Your Business

Registering a business typically involves several steps, including selecting a business name, choosing a legal structure, obtaining any necessary licenses and permits, and registering with the appropriate state or local authorities. 

To register a business, you may also need to file an operating agreement, articles of organization, or a business license application with the state government. 

Additionally, you may need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you plan to hire employees. 

4. Obtain Licenses and Permits 

The specific licenses and permits required depend on a number of factors such as state and local laws, the type of restaurant service, and the location of the business.

Generally, restaurants need a business license, a food service permit, and a health department inspection permit.

Other permits may include a liquor license, outdoor seating permit, zoning permit, and music license.

The process for obtaining licenses and permits typically involves submitting an application, paying a fee, and an inspection by the appropriate regulatory agency.

5. Open a Business Bank Account

Organizing your finances is an essential element for the operation of your business. That’s why opening a business account is a viable option to separate your personal assets from your business expenses.

By clearly separating your business accounts, you can mitigate any legal liabilities should they arise.

To open an account, some banks require you to submit legal documents, such as your business plan, articles of organization, and any licenses and permits, to show that you are serious about opening a business account.

6. Avail of Business Insurance

Taking out business insurance is another way to maintain the legitimacy of your business — and to protect it from potential litigation in the event of an accident or lawsuit.

Here are some types of insurance that are commonly obtained by restaurant businesses:

  • General Liability Insurance – Provides coverage for accidents, injuries, and damages to third parties caused by business operations
  • Property Insurance – Covers damage to the restaurant building, equipment, and inventory caused by events such as fire, theft, or natural disasters
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job
  • Product Liability Insurance – Covers damage or injury caused by food or beverages sold by the restaurant
  • Business Interruption Insurance – Provides coverage for loss of income due to unexpected events such as fire or natural disasters that interrupt business operations
  • Liquor Liability Insurance – Provides coverage for damage or injury caused by patrons who have consumed alcohol on the premises
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance – Covers the cost of employment-related litigation, such as discrimination or harassment
  • Cyber Liability Insurance – Provides coverage for data breaches and cyber attacks that compromise customer data and sensitive information

7. Look for Funding

Securing funding can provide the necessary capital to cover startup costs and ongoing expenses. 

There are several options for funding a restaurant, including; personal savings, loans from friends or family, traditional bank loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and crowdfunding. 

Seeking funds usually involves developing a detailed business plan, including financial projections, and presenting the plan to potential investors or lenders.

It’s important to compare the various financing options and choose the one that offers favorable terms and meets the specific needs of the restaurant business.

It’s also important to have an accurate understanding of the costs and revenue potential of the business to ensure that the financing will be sufficient to cover all expenses.

8. Finalize Location and Buy Necessary Equipment

It goes without saying that location plays a big role in the success of a restaurant. 

So when selecting a location, consider factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, parking, competition, and local zoning laws. 

Once a location has been secured, it’s important to purchase the necessary equipment, such as cooking appliances, refrigeration units, utensils, dishware, and furniture. 

The process of purchasing equipment involves identifying the specific needs of the restaurant, selecting reliable suppliers, and negotiating prices and delivery schedules. 

Balance the cost and quality of equipment and ensure that the equipment meets all necessary safety and health standards. 

You will also want to have a detailed plan for installation, maintenance, and repairs of the equipment to ensure smooth operations and minimize downtime.

9. Hire and Train Your Staff

Great hospitality is comprised of a team who loves to serve and elevate a guest experience. Therefore, hiring a team of dedicated and happy people is crucial for the growth of your restaurant. 

These days, you can post your job listings on places like Craigslist or Indeed and get a rush of applicants. After hiring personnel, it’s essential to offer training that equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles. 

This training can encompass food preparation, customer service, health and safety protocols, and collaboration. 

10. Promote and Advertise Your Restaurant

Finally, you will need to promote and advertise your restaurant to gain maximum exposure and get people from the screen to the table. 

Here are some of the key ways you can optimize your marketing efforts:

  • Create and optimize a website
  • Implement SEO or PPC advertising
  • Establish social media accounts
  • Attend local and industry events
  • Join professional organizations
  • Engage in partnerships and collaborations
  • Offer special promotions and discounts
  • Utilize email marketing and newsletters
  • Encourage customer reviews and testimonials

To truly help bolster the growth of your business, you should consider hiring a team of marketing professionals to assist you in building your brand awareness to drive more sales for your business. 

Setting the table

Starting a restaurant business venture can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
The reality is though, many restaurants don’t succeed after the first 3 years due to various reasons. 

One of them comes from poor financial management. With doola, you can depend on a team of bookkeeping professionals to help organize your finances so that you can focus on growing and managing the restaurant. 

Contact us today for a 15-minute consultation with one of our leading professionals. 

FAQs

What is a good name to name a restaurant?

A good name for a restaurant clarifies the type of cuisine offered and the general atmosphere of the establishment. It should also be easy to remember, clear, and simple.

How do I pick a name for my restaurant?

You can get ideas for your restaurant by researching the different types of names related to your niche. From there, you can see what names are available and play around with different ideas.

Is a restaurant’s name considered a brand?

A business is generally considered to have its own unique footprint in its chosen industry. Therefore, a restaurant name can inherently be considered a brand because it is a form of business.

Genki Hirano
Genki Hirano
Content Specialist
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