4 Restaurants with Interesting Stories Behind their Names

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Many believe that the name of a business plays a huge role in its success. Others don’t buy the idea so much but there’s no denying that a lot goes into a business’ name. If it’s catchy and memorable, recognition would be easy. If it’s witty and funny, it provides the business a fun personality which can benefit it in various ways.

This is why it’s also fun to pay attention to the stories behind the names of the businesses you love. You’d be surprised at how personal some can be, especially for the size and popularity they have reached. This is particularly true for restaurants since lots of them are started out as small businesses. 

Lots of restaurants are named after the people who founded them, so we don’t really have a lot of unique restaurant names, especially back in the day. Most of them are possessive forms of the owners’ or their children’s names. But there are a few that tend to stand out. 

If those funny, pun-filled restaurant names came to your mind, of course, those count but they don’t always have any meaning. Sure, they’re creative but most of the time, they’re quite contrived. What we’d like to shed light on are the ones that named their restaurants after things other than their kids or their family or something completely unexpected. They can say a lot about a business, if you’ll really think about it. 

So what are these restaurants that got us tickled pink by their names? Here are a few that we found quite interesting.

Raising Cane’s

Not everyone thinks of a chicken tenders place when this name is first mentioned to them. It sounds more like a title of a book, movie, or sitcom with a feel-good story. Well, it might be an unexpected name for a fast food chain but it can still be somewhat a feel-good name, nonetheless.

Why? Raising Cane’s got its name from the dog of the founder, Todd Graves. Initially, he planned to call his restaurant “Sockeye’s Chicken Fingers” after the Sockeye salmon that he fished in order to raise money to start his business. A friend of his intervened and recommended he name it after his dog instead which he did. 

Raising Cane I was a lovely yellow lab who was loved by everyone for his friendliness. When he passed away, Raising Cane II came along after a while. He now accompanies the founder and his wife to their business and philanthropic activities.

Technically, Raising Cane’s have all of the elements you need to make a distinctive restaurant name. It has an actual name in the possessive form to it. However, the ‘Raising’ part tends to give it a twist. For that and the fact that it’s named after a beloved pooch really tugged at our heartstrings.

Pizza Hut

The name may not necessarily sound very unique but its story is still worth mentioning if you’ll ask us. It’s borne out of necessity and frugality because the founders only really had space for 8 letters in the free signage provided to them when they were starting out. So when they brainstormed for names to use, they decided on the word ‘pizza’ for the top 5 letters and needed another three-letter word to complete the name. They ended up with ‘hut’ because their store looked like one and the rest is history.

Sure, it’s not as thoughtful or sentimental as others but the name grew on the business. It led them to pursue an iconic look which they still stick to today. The name is simple but very memorable since it’s very straightforward so it works well.

Little Caesars

This chain’s name is as much as a no-brainer as the other names that are based on the names of the owners and founders of the restaurants they stand for. ‘Little Caesar’ was the nickname for the founder given to him by his wife. There wasn’t really any reason behind the moniker but it was as if it was meant to be used as their food venture’s name.

Today, Little Caesars isn’t exactly very little anymore. As the third largest pizza chain in the US, the only thing minute about them is their name. 


Arby’s name is quite a fun one. While other restaurants opt to shorten their names, they took the other direction and expanded their name. So from RB’s that stand for ‘Raffel brothers’, the founders of the chain, they stylized it into Arby’s.

While it’s not unique to name a restaurant after the owners, as mentioned above, what made Arby’s an interesting name is the coincidence it comes with. Lots of people actually think that the RB their name sounds out stands for roast beef which is their primary fare. While it’s a cute take, it’s not the case. It’s entertaining to think about, though, since the chain wanted to stand out from the competition using their different offering from other fast food chains.

What’s in a brand name? A lot on most occasions but they can also mean nothing at all. However, if they have a nice ring, they can certainly be helpful for your business. These names may give you an idea or two, so take notes.