The decision to do this probably didn’t come over night, but regardless of how long it took for you to come to this realization, something great brought you here. Maybe it was because you’re constantly exploring restaurants. Or you’re always telling your friends to hold dishes for you so you can get the perfect shot. Or it could be you love telling people where to get great food. If we’re being honest—it’s probably a creative cocktail of all of that. Whatever the reason, if you’re ready to get your restaurant blog started then I’m more than excited for you!
So tell me, what’s the name of it?
If that question stumped you because you don’t have a name for your blog yet and don’t know how to create one, don’t worry! Coming up with a great name for your blog isn’t easy and I know firsthand. While I launched Follow My Gut in December 2014, I began to conceptualize and build it in its entirety five months earlier. Yes, you read that right: it took me five months to get my blog fully branded and going and it all started with the name.
Coming up with a blog name that you love and that is memorable doesn’t always happen overnight. However if you need a little help in picking a name of your own that doesn’t involve using a generic name generator, I have a few steps to get you there.
One of the first things you should do to come up with your restaurant blog name, is to take some time and figure out what type of restaurant blog you want to have. If you’re truly looking to do this as a business and to have it as long as possible, you shouldn’t create your blog name on a whim. Instead, figure out the specificity of your blog and what you want to write about. Understanding the type of blog you want to have will help you come up with a blog name and rule out those that won’t work. To do that, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Will you focus on a specific dish (burgers, tacos, street food, desserts)?
- Will your blog be location based (only featuring restaurants in Los Angeles, east coast, or is it open to anywhere)?
- Will you emphasize a price limit (only fast food or fine dining)?
- Will your blog review restaurants, write about food events, include recipes, interview chefs, announce restaurant openings and closings, or will it touch on all of that?
Understanding whether you plan to have a restaurant blog that is highly specific or open to everything edible (that name is taken if it caught your eye), will help you hone into your name. If your blog solely covers burgers in Miami you can bring the two together to highlight that. Knowing the answers to those questions will give you a greater sense of direction to your blog and ultimately help you get closer to coming up with the name.
Once you have the idea of what your blog will be about, you really need to research the industry. This is the part that may take the most time, but it will be effective in the long run. At this point, you need to Google and social media search the hell out of restaurant blogs and food blogs with emphasis on those in your city and state to see how you can fit in and stand out. If you live in New Orleans and want to write about restaurants within your city, then a simple web search of “restaurant blogs in New Orleans” will lead you to variety of results showing you names of popular websites and independent bloggers. Likewise, scrolling through hashtags on Instagram that pertain to food, restaurants, and your city (i.e. #foodblogger, #lafood, or #newyorkeats) will be extremely helpful. Look at blogs and social media pages that are currently active and get a better reference of the names that are being used. Most importantly, if you found a name that you like and someone else has it, get rid of it. I know it sucks to ditch a name that you like and worked hard to find, but if another person has been using it move on from it. Also, don’t merely change the spelling or reverse word it. Ditch the name completely and try harder to come up with a better name for your restaurant blog. The reason I emphasize this is because there’s nothing worse than sitting at an event and telling a person your blog name and they respond with, “Oh that’s just like her blog name!” I’ve seen this happen in person where three people had extremely similar names and it was painful to watch.
As you’re searching online and via mobile for potential names, there are a few things that you should avoid:
Dank. Swag. The Plug. Snatched. Fleek. Those are all words that have gone out of rotation or will soon be forgotten. Because they’re such short lived words, don’t incorporate them into your blog name. “SwagEats” may have been cool when “swag” was a popular word back in 2015, but now it’s not. When I hear the word swag, phat, or any once popular phrase that is no longer used today I think I’ve hopped into a time machine and went into the past. Don’t let your blog name sound outdated.
 Don’t base your blog name on a time in your life.
Picking a name based on a time in your life may sound like a good idea, but if you’re planning to run your site for years to come (and you want to avoid a full rebrand later), consider the fact that you won’t remain in that time period for years as well. If you started your blog while you were at Stanford and “Stanford Foodie” was catchy, that’s cool. But what happens when you graduate and move to Chicago for work? At that point, you will no longer show food at or around Standford and your whole blog has to change. Consider creating a name that can incorporate your life, yet still has longevity.
 Don’t use words everyone else already uses.
This is going to be harsh, but it has to be said. If you started your blog prior to 2017, this doesn’t apply to you because you’ve had your name, built your content, and you’re probably established. However if at any point this year you decide to start a food or restaurant blog and you incorporate any of the following words or phrases, you clearly didn’t put effort into your restaurant blog:
- (Your name) Eats or (Your name) Eats (Your city) – DanielleEats or DanielleEatsLA
- Hungry With (Your name) – HungryWithDanielle
- Food With (Your name) – FoodWithDanielle
- (Your city) Foodie –SeattleFoodie
When I see new restaurant blogs or social media pages with variations of the above names, I have the longest eye roll. Reason being, you’re putting your new website and social media handles in a group of names created by people who are well established and are already dominating the market. Why force yourself to compete with that and use a name that may get lost in the clutter? Instead, create something unique and stand out. Yes it will take you longer to come up with another name, but do it.
With the invention of Tivo and the DVR we skip commercials and go right to the show of our choice. With so many magazines posting their articles online, we don’t have to fumble through hundreds of ads in print magazines. However, when you’re looking to create your blog name it would be in your interest to watch commercials, look over print ads, and pay attention to popular brand names that are already out there. Looking at the branding of products you see everyday and zoning in on their names and even their marketing will help you figure out what you can call your own blog. I flipped through many issues of LA Weekly and Eater, watched tons of commercials during shows on the Food Network, and spent more time than I would like to admit walking down grocery store aisles with no interest to buy anything. Looking at the names of brands in commercials showed me key words that brands are using to represent their products and their business. Flipping through magazines helped me understand how many words most brands use in their name; some were single words while others were phrases. Staring at products on a shelf in a market helped me see hundreds of names in one place and gave me a greater gauge on how consumers view a name when it’s directly in front of them. Figuring out why certain brand names are so catchy and have lasted throughout time (i.e. Nike, Ocean Spray, Apple, Tillamook, Amazon, etc.) helped me to design a name ideal for my restaurant blog.
I have a feeling that this suggestion may have raised an eyebrow because you’re already doing it. The difference here is what you’re doing in the restaurant. Instead of taking photos of food and writing notes about what you ordered, spend time thinking about your future blog and how it connects to restaurants. Being in the exact environment that your blog will focus on can help bring forth creative ideas. Staring at the chefs in the kitchen, watching waiters carrying food, touching menus, smelling dishes, and thinking of details within the restaurant can jog your mind to words and actions that can be used to come up with a name for your restaurant blog.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received when coming up with the name for my blog came from a copywriter friend. He suggested that I should write at least 100 names and then when I felt like I had written enough that I should come up with another 100 names. I did just that and you should too! It will take some time, but if you apply the previous tips to this step it will be a great way for you to find the perfect name.
In the time I worked to come up with my name I walked around with a notepad and pen to jot down potential names that came to mind. Whether they were good or bad, I wrote it down. Page after page, name after name I came up with horrible, nonsensical, irrelevant, funny, creative, unique, and great names and they only improved as I added to the list. From Food City to Salmon Eats A Lot, I had a plethora of names. Having a book of it all helped me eliminate names that wouldn’t work and finalize on potential names that could. It may be annoying to walk around with a notepad or to constantly write names in your phone for weeks, but if the process will lead you to a great name for your restaurant blog why wouldn’t you do it? If it’s any consolation, I came up with 217 names before I called it quits. Follow My Gut was the 212th name.
Having the goal of running your own restaurant blog is extremely exciting and might end up being a fun adventure that you incorporate into your life. But as you’re planning your dream website, take time to create your dream blog name. I can attest that coming up with a name for your restaurant blog may not come easily or quickly. You may get frustrated that others have a name you want or get annoyed that there aren’t any good ideas coming your way. However, if you follow the previous tips laid out here and open yourself up to any names that come your way, you will come across the perfect name that you feel is made just for you alone. As a result, it will be unique and it will be one you’re proud of saying to others when they ask for the name of your restaurant blog.