What’s in a name?

February 27, 2024
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Choosing the perfect name for your hospitality business is a crucial step in establishing your identity. Not only is it the first contact with potential guests, but it also sets the tone for the experience they can expect to receive with you.

So, it begs the question: What's in a name? We've explored the complexities and offered up some important insights to help overcome common hurdles...

Where to start?

Naming can be a tough task, but more often than not the very best solutions are sitting right in front of you. The best starting point is to think about what your business is offering, what your personal story is and the history of the building. Ask yourself if there's something interesting in the local area or the local culture, and see if there's a common thread that runs through them.

If that doesn't throw up any decent candidates, then it's time to contact a creative studio (hello!) to get the thinking hats on. When an obvious name doesn't come to the surface from an existing story, then it's our job to dive deep and come up with a creative concept that can form the foundations of the branding. From this, a name for your hospitality business is born.

Situated in an old car garage, Doppietta is a technical term for a type of gear box used in old racing cars, (and also means 'double-barrelled' in Italian, hence the italicised tt's). The name lent itself neatly to the storytelling of the restaurant.
Consider cultural sensitivities

Have you ever gone on holiday and seen a business named something that you wouldn't dare repeat back at home?

It might be tricky to know that your name is totally fail-safe in all languages, but you should always take measures to consider the markets that you're most popular with. And if your planning to take your business abroad it's always worth checking with people who have local knowledge to avoid a faux pas.

A naming faux pas...
Digital Availability

In today's age, the digital world needs to be considered as much as the 'real' one. Securing a matching domain name is essential for online visibility and branding consistency. Sometimes a little creativity is required to get a .com or Instagram name that's available. Often it can simply be a case of adding 'hotel', 'restaurant', or your location. But if that still doesn't do the trick, then it's time to go back to the drawing board.

UCO is named after the UCO Valley in Argentina, where the founders Gus & Caterina first started the business.
Navigating legal and trademark issues

Beyond creativity, naming a hospitality business also involves legal and trademark considerations. It's important to conduct thorough research to ensure that the chosen name is not already in use by someone else, especially if it's another restaurant or hotel in the same city or country. Additionally, trademark registration may be necessary to protect the name from infringement and safeguard the brand's intellectual property rights.

We recommend locking down a name early on in the branding process, to allow plenty of time for a registration check before even thinking about design.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides a quick search tool that is useful to check brands that are already registered.
Tell your story

More important than anything else, the name of a hospitality business should encapsulate its essence, evoke emotion, and resonate with its target audience. Whether it's a hotel, restaurant, bar, or cafe, the name should convey the unique personality, values, and offering.

It's all about finding the right balance between creativity, relevance, and memorability.

Chandigarh Café is named after the city in India that inspired the concept of the restaurant.

In conclusion, naming a hospitality business is a process that requires careful consideration, creativity, and strategic thinking. From capturing the essence of the business to navigating legal complexities and standing out in a crowded market, hospitality entrepreneurs face numerous challenges. However, by embracing these challenges as opportunities for innovation and differentiation, businesses can create names that not only attract guests but also act as enduring symbols of their identity and values.

Let's cook together!

Want to work with a branding & design studio that's really passionate about hospitality? Then what are you waiting for? Get in touch, we'd love to discuss your next project!

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