Mouthwatering menus and outstanding hospitality keep your customers coming back to your restaurant, but how do you get them through the door? Great restaurant logos are the secret ingredient.
The best restaurant logos ensure that you stand out among the already-crowded culinary competition. It’s what catches a second glance from potential customers, sets a mood and can even stir up discussions on social media and foodie blogs. These are all super effective ways that design can make your restaurant (or your pub, cafe, or food truck) even more successful.
Whether you create culinary delicacies or serve up pub grub and beer, having a great restaurant logo is important because you want to be remembered. In this piece, we’ll run you through a variety of delectable restaurant logo ideas that are sure to inspire you and tickle your taste buds.
How to turn good restaurant logos into great ones
There’s a lot to consider as you start dreaming up your restaurant logo design: cuisine, location, style, personality and, perhaps most important, your customers.
Louise Fili, an award-winning Italian-American graphic designer who specializes in brand development for food packaging and restaurants, says the importance of thinking through all these questions beforehand is all “about knowing what you don’t know.” Wherever you’re at with your brand, this will give you a great place to start.
Start by identifying your every piece of your restaurant’s personality, which includes the atmosphere, decór, type of food, region of cuisine and price point. Then, consider how design elements can elevate that.
For example, bold graphics may fit well for modern eateries, but they might not work for the atmosphere of a laid back cafe or a location that’s more traditional. Make sure you carry this personality consistently through all of your design.
Your logo should help bring new customers in and draw familiar faces back, and that’s why it’s important to define who your target audience is and what visuals they expect and enjoy. Who is sitting down at your table or waiting at the bar for their drink? Speak directly to them and what they need.
Finally, don’t forget to imagine how your logo will look on the sparkling, massive sign that welcomes your customers. The best restaurant logos look great there and everywhere you would want to show them off.
61 amazing ideas for restaurant logos
Upscale restaurant logos
Elegant touches and extravagant visuals can masterfully tie in the ambiance of a memorable fine dining experience. Upscale logos need to match the decadence of your restaurant.
Hand-drawn elements communicate precision and intentionality, while nostalgic fonts inspire a more sentimental and romantic ambiance. Whether your style leans more minimal or you’re drawn to elaborate details, your upscale, first-class vision can be communicated in countless ways.
Contemporary casual restaurant logos
Casual dining establishments create strong communities, as customers are welcome to return for any occasion. This target customer base should deeply influence the fonts, graphics and colors found in your logo.
Traditional restaurant logos
Create a sense of familiarity and storied history through your logo design. Simple fonts and vintage graphics elicit a sense of tradition, just like the tried-and-true dishes you serve in your restaurant.
Takeout and fast food restaurant logos
The food may be quick, but your branding is just as important in a fast food restaurant. Even if your customers spend less time in your establishment than most others, you still need to capture the feeling of satisfaction through deeply intentional graphics that convey exactly what your customer will walk away with.
Pub and bar restaurant logos
Customers linger at pubs and bars, so communicating the atmosphere of your restaurant with your logo design is essential. Will they be sitting under industrial-chic facades? Let cold and utilitarian aesthetics guide the way. Is your bar focused on serving small batch, natural wine in a quieter space? Look for softer fonts and use white space to create a cleaner look with this type of logo. Focus on design aesthetics that capture just the right mood.
Famous restaurant logos
It’s always a good idea to look to the best for inspiration. Here are some of the most iconic and famous restaurant logos to provide you with ideas for your own restaurant venture. They’ve stood the test of time and their success speaks volumes.
The fundamentals of restaurant logo design
If you’re just starting to develop a logo for your restaurant, the creative process can be intimidating. But here’s a little crash course.
Logo design is a nuanced specialization of graphic design that encompasses aesthetics, branding & marketing, composition, color theory, typography and artistic skill. Get a full introduction to the craft in our article on how to design a logo.
1. Choose the perfect restaurant name
Before you can create a logo, your restaurant needs a name. You can play it safe and name it after yourself or use a name that refers to the cuisine you’re serving, but you can also get creative. Anything is possible.
But consider that restaurant names and logos need to go hand in hand. As you scroll through the examples above, notice how the names and logos complement and enhance each other. How they set a mood together. You could also choose a logo that either illustrates your restaurant’s name or gives your name a second or deeper meaning. Check out this article to learn more about choosing a name for your business.
2. Design for your brand
There isn’t one “best” type of logo. The most successful ones are those that best represent their brand. The high-energy red and bold, script typography of the Coca Cola logo both suit the brand well, but those same design choices might not work for more relaxed brands like a yoga studio or massage parlor.
So before anything else, consider your brand identity. Are you running an upscale restaurant or a humble family-friendly diner? Is your focus in traditional cuisine or a unique fusion of culinary wonders? Your identity will guide your design choices.
3. Know your colors, shapes and typography
In design, every color and shape represents different emotions. For example, logos that are primarily black seem more sophisticated, and logos built with circles seem friendlier. That extends to typography, too. Serifs are usually formal, sans-serifs are casual. Every design decision reflects on your brand, so choose wisely.
How to get a logo for your restaurant
Your restaurant has several different options for getting a logo:
- Logo maker (DIY). With the help of a logo maker or other entry-level design software, you essentially make your logo yourself from scratch.
- Hire a design agency. Hand off all logo design duties to a design agency and their suite of specialists, but the extra talent comes at an extra cost.
- Work with a freelancer. Find a freelance designer to design your logo for you, which gives you the benefit of a professional at less cost than an agency.
- Commission a design contest. In a design contest, you explain what you want in a creative brief, including visual preferences and business goals. Then, multiple designers from all over the world submit samples based on your brief. From there, you simply pick the one you like best and start revisions. You’ll only pay for the one sample you choose.
DIY and logo makers are only advisable when you’re working with a very limited budget. Your logo is a branding asset too important to skimp on, and considering how complicated logo design is, if it’s not designed by a professional, it may not be as effective as it could be.
Design contests leverage the creativity of multiple designers, who come up with different ideas of logos designs you can choose from. If you’re still unsure what style and look is right for you, a logo design contest presents you with all your different options.
If you already know what look you’re going for, your best bet is to work directly with a freelancer. Browse portfolios to find the perfect match and then collaborate with your designer to get a design you’ll love.
If your biggest concern is price, check out our logo design cost guide for more detailed information.
Are you ready to get a mouthwatering restaurant logo?
Just like cooking up delicious experiences for your restaurant is an art form, great branding is an art form too. Get creative with your restaurant logo design so you can give your customers just a taste of what they can expect from you. We hope you’re inspired and ready to explore the endless option for your own amazing logo!
Need a logo for your restaurant, cafe or bar?
A logo design contest can get you dozens of ideas from designers around the world.
This article was originally written by workerbee and published in 2016. The current version has been updated with new information and examples.