How to name a new restaurant? Top 7 best restaurant names


You may think now that we are crazy to write an article about how to name a new restaurant when almost all the restaurants in Europe and U.S. are closed right now. But this is the exact reason why we do it. The restaurants have been seriously hit by the coronavirus crisis. They are in the front line of the economic crisis next to other businesses.

We have decided to write an article about restaurants in order to remind you, guys, who work in this field that we appreciate a lot your struggle to make our life more beautiful, we are next to you in these hard times and we hope to see you again very soon. You are not alone! 

In the next period of time we have decided to write similar articles for all the fields which have been badly hit right now and to encourage you, the people who have planned before this crisis to open a new restaurant, for example, to keep planning. It’s important after the quarantine period ends to start and restart our lives empowered by a strong boost. No one will crush your dream! 

We have studied the names of many restaurants in the world and we have decided to make a top based on our opinion as naming specialists.

Here we go:

7. Den (Japan)

It is one of the most popular restaurants from Tokyo. According to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Head Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa offers an elevated, deeply personal take on Japanese home cooking. He draws on diverse influences, both home-grown and gleaned on overseas trips, but always based around prime ingredients from ocean, pasture and forest.

The name? In Japanese language, “den” means “to teach”. It is a word typically used as a secret technique which is passed on only to a person who is supposed to be the only deserving student. It is a term very known in the martial arts. We love the name very much because besides having a deep, strong meaning, it is short, clear and easy to pronounce in any language. A good choice for a Japanese restaurant which has an international target audience.

6. Ultraviolet (Shanghai)

The name is not just a metaphor. The experience itself is special in this restaurant. What to expect according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants? Here, diners meet and enjoy cocktails A van with pre-roll video shuttles guests through Shanghai to a secret non-descript location on the outskirts of the city. From there, a large door opens leading into the main room – seemingly bare walls surround a single table with your name illuminated on your seat. What starts out as a stark room transforms in coordination with the meal as sight, sound, and smell merge as the dishes arrive, carried by well-choreographed waiters. 

The name in this case is inspiring the entire visual philosophy of the restaurant. We’ve been in a lot of places which have fancy names and the experience is disappointing compared with the expectations raised by the name. The name “Ultraviolet” is a very good choice: easy to pronounce in any language, language neutrality and most important: a name strong connected with the experience encountered in the restaurant.

5. Nerua Guggenheim Bilbao (Bilbao)

It is one of Spain’s most popular restaurants. Housed within Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, so you may guess why a part of its name is “Guggenheim Bilbao”. Why “Nerua”? It takes this name from the Nervión River, meaning the “backbone” of Bilbao’s city. It is said that it has a great vibe and that the plates are spectacular.

We’ve loved the name because it associates some of Bilbao’s most important local elements. The name itself represents a tribute for this wonderful city.

4. Cosme (New York)

It is known as one of New York’s best places which combines a buzzing vibe with exceptional, unique and original food. Besides from the fantastic menu which makes you come here over and over again, the restaurant prides itself on having a kitchen staff that is 50% female and 50% male, promoting balance and a mix of nationalities from US, Latin America and more.

Why Cosme? The name derives from the Ancient Greek “Kosmas” which means “global”, “universe” or “order, lawful”. We love this metaphor and the fact that the restaurant respects the equilibrium vision promoted to its short and clear name.

3. Twins Garden (Moscow)

The name story of this restaurant is pretty awsome. It was founded by two identical brothers, Ivan and Sergey Berezutskiy. The first of their restaurants is called “Twins”, and you can imagine why. With the new restaurant, they’ve had a bigger dream: to be able to supply the restaurant with their own organic products. So, they have now also a farm outside Moscow which supplies 70% of the ingredients used by the restaurant. And the leftovers are sent back to feed their animals from the farm. The restaurant is known also for having one of the biggest wine collections in Russia and their places are very well respected in Russia and by international travelers.

We love the name for its metaphorical connection with the chef founders and also for the inspired link with their wonderful initiative of having their own farm as main ingredients supplier.

2. Noma (Copenhagen)

Noma is a two-Michelin-star restaurant run by chef René Redzepi in Copenhagen, Denmark. The name is a syllabic abbreviation and synergy between two Danish words: “Nordisk” (Nordic) and “mad” (food). It was opened in 2003 and the restaurant is famous for its reinvention and interpretation of the Nordic Cuisine.

We love the name because is simple, clear, easy to pronounce in any language and, for sure, very easy to remember.

1. Mirazur (Menton, France)

Mirazur was named 2019’s Best Restaurant in the World. What has so special?

Unrivalled views of the French Riviera, three levels of cascading vegetable gardens churning and a fantastic team of talented chefs. Its unique cuisine is inspired by the sea, the mountains and the restaurant’s own gardens, including emblematic citrus fruits.

It is situated in the elegant seaside town of Menton in French Riviera and this is the clue behind its sophisticated name. “Mirazur” roughly translates as “look at the blue”, suggesting the main vantage point over the wonderful landscape of the water and French Riviera.

We love the name for its premium, sophisticated, original sound and for highlighting a marvelous advantage of the entire experience offered by the restaurant.

Of course, there are many more restaurants which have wonderful names. We’ve just wanted to share with you some examples. What makes a restaurant name to be perfect?

  • It is simple, clear and easy to pronounce. Mainly if you target also travelers, not only local people, it is very important to name your place in a way that it may be further shared to your customer’s friends and, of course, remembered
  • Language neutrality. This is a very sensitive topic. Many people affirm that a name inspired by the local language and traditions is better. But if you target also international travelers, it is very important to neutralize the name from the language point of view. Even if you get inspired by your local traditions, try to create a neutral name which makes people to quickly understand it.
  • Do not promise through your name what you can not accomplish with your entire restaurant’s experience. If you are planning to open a restaurant which serves, for example, fast food plates, don’t choose a fancy name which will make people to expect a three-star Michelin restaurant. The name is telling your target audience what to expect.
  • Try to get related to something unique, original and fantastic, part of your entire offered experience. It may be the food itself, but sometimes, as you have seen in these examples, something else truly defines the restaurant. It may be the view, the location, a specific show which will take place into the restaurant, a distinguished element of the design etc.

One of our latest projects is a renaming of a vegan restaurant. We are proud of this new project and we will share with you the case study soon! Until then, we hope that these hard times will soon be gone, and we will meet again our family, our friends and beloved ones to have a wonderful evening in our favorite restaurants.

For all the people who own a restaurant and for all the people who are working in this field:

Stay safe! Stay Strong! You will rise and shine again!

                                                                                                                With love,

                                                                                                                Namzya Girls

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