Beginners Manual to Ideas for Restaurant Names

Reading time 6 min

So, you want to open a restaurant and are looking for a suitable name? Then you are exactly right here.

In this article, you will get numerous ideas for restaurant names. I hope to be able to support you in finding a great restaurant name that your customers love, and that won’t cause a conflict with a registered trademark.

Create a business plan!

These are the points we are looking at:

  • Make the name short and simple
  • Think out of the box
  • Create a connection
  • Try synonyms and additions
  • Relate to your concept
  • Check the trademark register
  • Example for a trademark research
  • Find a free domain
  • Get inspired by 175 names of U.S. restaurant chains
  • Give the restaurant name generator a chance

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice. The name of a business or a brand can concern several legal aspects.: e.g., copyright, trademark law, competition law, or civil law. If you have any legal questions, consult your lawyer.

Rest-O-Sim is a free app to create a restaurant budget in five minutes.
Make a budget in 5 min!

Let’s find some great restaurant name ideas!

The criteria below can help you find the ideal name for your restaurant. You will probably soon find out that it is very difficult to bring all the points together. Chances are you need to focus on and ignore certain points in the name.

Make the name short and simple

A short and simple name is easy to remember and pronounce. This encourages word of mouth and the build-up of regulars—examples: Five Guys, McDonald’s, Dominos, Pizza Hut.

Think out of the box

You don’t have to sound like all the other restaurants. You can combine words in new ways. For example, „Party Fowl“ or „A Salt & Battery“.

Or think about businesses outside the restaurant industry. Names like Amazon, Google, or Yahoo are phantasy names, and you can do this too.

Create a connection

You can connect the name with something else. For example:

  • Your first name – Peter’s Pizza
  • Your last name – Café Graf
  • Your main product – Peter & Pizza
  • One ingredient – Green Tomato
  • An attitude to life – The Eazy Café
  • A lifestyle – Bikers Inn
  • The town – Café Salzburg, NYC Burger
  • The district – Brooklyn’s Pub
  • The street – Joe´s on Bondstreet
  • A sight or place – Yosemite’s Diner, The Maui Bar
  • A famous historical person – Lincoln’s Coffee House
  • An industry – Broker’s Joint, Miner’s House, Timber Steak
  • A story or a historical event.
Get more customers!

Try synonyms and additions

Try a combination with one of these terms:

Restaurant, diner, house, society, inn, bar, cafeteria, coffee shop, dining room, joint, outlet, saloon, chophouse, drive-in, eatery, grill, hideaway, lunchroom, pizzeria, café, doughnut shop, eating house, eating place, fast-food place, stand, luncheonette, club, night club, coffee bar, coffeehouse, coffee room, java shop, tea shop, tearoom, lounge, snack, tavern.

Examples: Tomato Club, Peter’s Grill, Eastern Lounge, Chicken Club

Relate to your concept

The name of a restaurant could give a hint of the concept or an essential characteristic. E.g., Tony’s Bistro, Burger Point, Crazy Pizza, French Club, Russian Tearoom.

Check the Trademark Register

You certainly don’t want to start your business with an expensive lawsuit. So, take enough time to legally review the new name. In any case, the name must not be registered as a trademark. Therefore, checking the trademark registry is a good start.

TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) allows you to search for registered trademarks for free.

Example for a Trademark Research

Simply enter the planned name of your restaurant in the Search Term field and then click on „Submit Query“. In the example, we check the name McDonald’s.

Trademark Electronic Search System - TESS, Example of a trademark check with the name McDonald´s
Search Mask for a TESS Trademark Check – Picture 1 of 6

As a result, we get 437 entries, and we have a look at two of them, the records 12 and 26.

Trademark Electronic Search System - TESS, Example of a trademark check with the name McDonald´s; Resultspage
TESS Results from the Search Query „McDonald´s“ – Picture 2 of 6

Record No 12 refers to the word mark „MCDONALD’S“ and it’s a brand of the fast-food chain McDonald’s. But this trademark concerns IC30. The protection of trademarks always relates to certain classes of protection. This registration for IC (International Class) 30 includes powders for the preparation of coffee-based, tea-based, and cocoa-based beverages and processed tea leaves, but obviously no restaurants.

TESS research result 12 – picture 3 of 6

Since you want to open a restaurant, class 43 is relevant for you, which protects services for providing food and drink and temporary accommodation.

International Class 43 includes mainly services provided by persons or establishments whose aim is to prepare food and drink for consumption and services provided to obtain bed and board in hotels, boarding houses, or other establishments providing temporary accommodation.

Record No 26 is also a trademark owned by the McDonald’s Corporation, and it refers to IC 43. So, we know that the name McDonalds is protected by a trademark.

TESS research result 26 – picture 4 of 6

Let’s try another name.

Let’s say I want to name my restaurant „Peter’s Burger Joint“.

We put the search term into TESS, and that’s the result:

This is good news, as TESS didn’t find any listings for „Peters Burger Joint“! And I finally found my perfect restaurant name.

In addition, I would also recommend you to search on Google to find out whether there are restaurants with the same or similar names.

Resources: TESS search mask, Nice Agreement on International trademark classification

Find a free domain

To operate a website for your restaurant, you need a domain. I would primarily try to register the exact name as a .com domain, as it is the most popular one worldwide – e.g., petersburgerjoint.com.

However, quite often domains are registered for reasons of speculation. Since so many domain dealers follow this strategy, it has become increasingly difficult to find a free .com domain.

If your desired name is no longer free as a .com domain, you have the following options:

  1. You buy the domain of your choice from the owner, provided it is available for sale – e.g., petersburger.com.
  2. You try additions to the name, and you continue your hunt for the perfect .com domain. E.g., petersburgerjoint.com
  3. You choose a different domain. e.g., petersburger.net or petersburger.biz.

If you can´t find a .com domain, you can identify other domains, like .net, .org, .info, .online, .pizza, .biz, .co, .site, .club or .life.

Domain Resource: Domain Check at GoDaddy

Calculate prices, fast!

Get inspired by 175 names of U.S. restaurant chains

Check out this list to get an idea for your restaurant name:

  1. A&W Restaurants
  2. America’s Incredible Pizza Company
  3. Applebee’s
  4. Arby’s
  5. Arctic Circle Restaurants
  6. Argo Tea
  7. Auntie Anne’s
  8. Bahama Breeze
  9. Baja Fresh
  10. Bakers Square
  11. Bar Louie
  12. Beef O’Brady’s
  13. Benihana
  14. Bennigan’s
  15. Bertucci’s
  16. Big Boy
  17. Biggby Coffee
  18. BJ’s Restaurant
  19. Black Angus Steakhouse
  20. Black Bear Diner
  21. Blaze Pizza
  22. Blimpie
  23. Bojangles‘ Famous Chicken‘ n Biscuits
  24. Boston Market
  25. Brown’s Chicken & Pasta
  26. Bruegger’s Bagels
  27. Burger King
  28. Burger Street
  29. BurgerFi
  30. Burgerville
  31. Bush’s Chicken
  32. Café Rio
  33. California Tortilla
  34. Captain D’s
  35. Caribou Coffee
  36. Checkers Rally’s
  37. Chick-fil-A
  38. Chicken Express
  39. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  40. Church’s Chicken
  41. Cinnabon
  42. Claim Jumper
  43. Coffee Beanery
  44. Cook Out
  45. Corner Bakery Café
  46. Cosi
  47. Culver’s
  48. Daylight Donuts
  49. Del Taco
  50. Denny’s
  51. DiBella’s
  52. Domino’s
  53. Duck Donuts
  54. Dunkin’Donuts
  55. Dunn Brothers Coffee
  56. Dutch Bros. Coffee
  57. Earl of Sandwich
  58. Eegee’s
  59. Einstein Bros. Bagels
  60. El Pollo Loco
  61. El Taco Tote
  62. Farmer Boys
  63. Fatburger
  64. First Watch
  65. Five Guys
  66. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
  67. Frisch’s Big Boy
  68. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
  69. Gattißs Pizza
  70. Great American Cookies
  71. Gino´s Pizza and Spaghetti
  72. Godfather’s Pizza
  73. Gold Star Chili
  74. Golden Chick
  75. Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard
  76. Great Harvest Bread Company
  77. Great Wraps
  78. Happy Joe’s
  79. Happy’s Pizza
  80. Hard Rock Café
  81. Hooters
  82. HopCat
  83. Houston’s Restaurant
  84. In-N-Out Burger
  85. Jack in the Box
  86. Jack’s
  87. Jamba Juice
  88. James Coney Island
  89. Jason’s Deli
  90. Jerry’s Subs & Pizza
  91. Jet’s Pizza
  92. Johnny Rockets
  93. Jollibee
  94. Juice It Up!
  95. KFC
  96. Kona Grill
  97. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
  98. La Salsa
  99. Lion’s Choice
  100. Little Caesars
  101. Long John Silver’s
  102. LongHorn Steakhouse
  103. Luby’s
  104. Manchu Wok
  105. McDonald’s
  106. Miami Grill
  107. Milo’s Hamburgers
  108. Montana Mike’s
  109. Mooyah
  110. Noodles & Company
  111. O’Charley’s
  112. Orange Julius
  113. Original Tommy’s
  114. Outback Steakhouse
  115. Panda Express
  116. Panera Bread
  117. Papa Gino’s
  118. Papa John’s Pizza
  119. Penguin Point
  120. Pick Up Stix
  121. Pita Pit
  122. Pizza Hut
  123. Pizza Inn
  124. Pollo Campero
  125. Popeyes
  126. Port of Subs
  127. Portillo´s Restaurant
  128. Pret a Manger
  129. Primo Hoagies
  130. Qdoba
  131. Quiznos
  132. Rainforest Café
  133. Robeks
  134. Roy’s
  135. Ruby’s Diner
  136. Saladworks
  137. Seasons 52
  138. Shake Shack
  139. Shakey’s Pizza
  140. Skyline Chili
  141. Slim Chickens
  142. Smashburger
  143. Smithfield’s Chicken ‚N Bar-B-Q
  144. Sonic Drive-In
  145. Cousins Subs
  146. Starbucks
  147. Steak ’n Shake
  148. Steak Escape
  149. Subway
  150. Swensons
  151. Taco Bell
  152. Taco Bueno
  153. Taco John’s
  154. Texas de Brazil
  155. Texas Roadhouse
  156. The Capital Grille
  157. The Halal Guys
  158. Tim Hortons
  159. Togo’s
  160. Tony Roma’s
  161. Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  162. Tubby’s
  163. Uno Pizzeria & Grill
  164. Veggie Grill
  165. Villa Italian Kitchen
  166. Waffle House
  167. Whataburger
  168. Wayback Burgers
  169. Wendy’s
  170. Which Wich?
  171. White Castle
  172. Wienerschnitzel
  173. Yard House
  174. Zaxby’s
  175. Zip’s Drive-in
Create a business plan!

Give the restaurant name generator a chance

Put in one or more keywords and get a ton of computer-generated ideas for restaurant names. Put a space between the keywords – e.g., „peter burger“. By clicking on a result you can check the availability of the domain.

Please don’t expect too much from the computer, but it’s worth a try.

Powered by DesignBro