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naming your food truck

What is in a food truck name? Some will say it can mean the difference between success and failure. As a culinary entrepreneur, naming your food truck is an important, critical step and sorting through potential names can be a long and tedious process.

When trying to come up with just the right name for your mobile food business, the options can be overwhelming.

The following tips are designed to help narrow the potential field and make your choice a little easier:


DO consider making the name descriptive, so that potential customers are immediately informed of the menu items on your truck. Research has shown that businesses with names that identify their products or services are more successful than non-descriptively named businesses.

DO keep the description general enough so that you can, if desired, expand your menu in the future.

DO make it memorable. Tell ten people the name you are considering. A week later, connect with them again and ask them to recall that name. How many people were able to accurately remember it? If it was less than seven, you may want to consider other more memorable alternatives that truly grab people’s attention.

DO make it phonetic. Crazy food truck names and quirky misspellings have become quite a trend, but it’s frustrating for consumers. No one wants to have to spell out the name of a business every time they talk about it. Make your mobile food business name phonetic so that people will be able to Google it from hearing it out loud

DO consider the oral impact of the name. How it will sound when spoken? Try writing down a list of words that could describe your food truck business, then mixing them up into different combinations and saying them out loud to see how they sound.

DO consider the visual impact of the name. How it will look on the truck itself, the internet (your website, social media sites), advertisements, business cards, etc. As with the sound of the words, try playing around with various looks by writing them down on paper or typing them into your computer.

DO choose a name that is easy to understand, pronounce, and remember.

DO make the name unique enough to distinguish your food truck from others on the street.

DO choose a name that will not be easily imitated by competitors.

DO consider how the business name could be shortened by the public. Just as a child’s initials can spell out an embarrassing word, so could the abbreviation for a business.

DO come up with a list of several potential names, and then try them out on close friends and family members to get their reactions.

DO live with your ideas for a while, to see how they sound and feel with the passage of time.

DO keep alternatives in mind, in the event that further research reveals that the name you would like to use is not available.


DON’T name your roaming bistro too soon. It’s exciting to name your food truck, but it’s more important to get it right. Take your time.

DON’T select a name that is too long or confusing.

DON’T choose a trendy name, since trends and fads pass quickly, and you don’t want your business to appear outdated.

DON’T include unacceptable terms in the name, like profanity or obscenities.

DON’T use initials. JWT could be grain and feed store, or it could be a famous advertising agency. It has no meaning. Business names that use initials are less memorable.

DON’T get sued over sloppy seconds. In the naming stage, you do not want to select a name for your food truck that you may have to change later or, even worse, get sued for, because someone else has a registered trademark on the word or phrase. This can be easily be avoided by visiting the federal patent and trademark office’s site, USPTO.gov, and doing a search on any potential names.

Still having a tough time coming up with a name, check our our free Food truck Name Generator to see if it can give you some suggestions. <here>

Do you have any additional tips for naming your food truck? We’d love to hear them. You can share your thoughts in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

naming your food truck

When it comes to naming your food truck, a prospective owner needs to give as much thought to it as they would in naming their child. It’s a name that you will use for the lifetime of your mobile food business.  What you name your food truck can contribute to its success. This single name will help you establish the core concept and identity of your business, as well as build your truck’s brand awareness.

First and foremost, you must determine your target market. Whether you are looking to attract families, the business crowd, the baby boomers the millenniums (or for that matter all of the above), your name should be something your core customer base can relate to. Second, your name needs to represent your brand and what type of dining experience you wish to offer from your service window. Last, make sure the name is easy to pronounce (customers will not want to dine somewhere they can’t say), easy to spell and easy to remember.

Here are several helpful ideas on naming your food truck:

Name it after an area code

One of the big trends for naming food trucks today is to use the area code of your operation or the country code of the cuisine you serve. For example, Via 313 an Austin, TX food truck that sells Detroit style pizza (313 is the area code of Detroit), or 5411 Empanadas a Chicago food truck that sells Argentinian style empanadas.

Name it after your signature item

If you specialize in one type of food (as most food trucks do), consider incorporating your signature item into the name of your truck. For example, a food truck that mainly sells hot dogs in Dallas calls itself “Sassy Hot Dogs.” Not only will this help identify your truck for exactly what it sells, but it will also help improve your rankings in Internet search engines.

Name it after an ethnicity

If your mobile food business specializes in a type of ethnic cuisine, it makes sense to give your truck an ethnic name – just make sure it can be phonetically translated into an easy-to-pronounce English word, and that customers are able to easily figure out what type of cuisine you serve. Also, beware that while the name might translate to something meaningful in your own language, it might not always sound appetizing or inviting as an English word.

Use a clever, witty pun

One of the best ways to grab attention is to come up with a clever pun for your food truck name. A clever name can also help ramp up profits, as you can market your name/brand on T-shirts, caps, aprons and other retail merchandise for sale from your sales window. Example, Wienerbago our 2013 Punniest Food Truck Name of the Year.

Name it after yourself

One of the more traditional trends is to name the food truck after yourself or a relative, like “Mama’s Food Truck – Malaysian Cuisine.” This is a good idea if you have a great story to tell or a larger-than-life personality, and works better if the person the truck is named for is actually going to be working in the truck. Trucks named after the owners also help to create better personal relationships with customers, as it evokes the feeling that you are inviting your customer into your own home.

Adding “food truck” to the name

It is always a good idea to add the primary identifying words to your food truck name that will help customers understand that your operation is mobile. Using the word “food truck” can attract the right crowd especially when they are searching for a local food truck online.

naming a food truck

What’s in a food truck’s name? Naming a food truck is a common problem. Is it too quirky or not memorable enough? The challenge for all prospective food truck owners is to pick a name that’s catchy, but also fits well with your particular type of business.

10 Questions To Ask Before Naming A Food Truck

Here are 10 questions to ask as you ponder naming a food truck. That choice could make all the difference in establishing your food truck business in your local area.

What do I want a name to accomplish for my food truck? 
The first question to ask yourself when naming a food truck is what you want the name to do. The name you select can help separate you from competitors and reinforce your food truck’s brand. Clearly define your brand positioning before choosing a name.

Will the name be too limiting? 
Don’t box yourself in. Avoid picking names that could limit your mobile food business from enlarging its menu or expanding to new locations.

Does the name make sense for my truck? 
For most food trucks, it’s best to adopt a name that provides some information about the style of cuisine you serve. That doesn’t mean it can’t also have a catchy ring. But be careful because quirky names are always a crapshoot.

Is the name easy to remember? 
The shorter the name, the better, (or in other words K.I.S.S.). We suggest food truck owners limit it to two or three syllables and avoid using hyphens or other special characters. Also try to skip using acronyms, which mean nothing to most people, and picking a name whose first letter is closer to A than Z because certain algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically. When choosing an identity for your food truck simple and straightforward are always in style.

Is the name easy for people to spell? 
That may seem to be a given, but some food truck owners purposely select names that consumers can’t easily spell. It’s a risky strategy to try to make a mobile food business stand out. If your name looks like a typo, scratch it off the list. Some branding professionals we have spoken with believe it’s important that your name be spelled exactly as it sounds. Otherwise, you will forever have to spell it out for people when saying the name or your company’s email or website address aloud.

How will potential customers first encounter your name? 
Some naming experts believe there are exceptions to the easy-to-spell rule, especially if most people will see your name for the first time in print or on the side of your truck. The payoff can be that the unusual sound and spelling of the name helps to create a very distinctive brand.

Does the name sound good and is it easy to pronounce? 
The sound of the name is important in conveying a feeling of energy and excitement. You also must be sure potential customers can easily pronounce your food truck’s name. It is a fact that people are able to spell, pronounce and remember names that they are familiar with.

Is your food truck’s name meaningful only to you? 
A name with hidden or personal meanings evokes nothing about your food truck’s brand, and there may be cases when you or a staff member won’t be there to explain it when most people encounter it.

Is the name visually appealing? 
When naming a food truck, you also want to consider how the name will look on the side of your truck, in a logo or an ad.

Have I conducted a proper trademark search?

A great name for a food truck is worthless if someone else already has laid claim to it. Start with some free resources like Trademarkia.com or USPTO.gov to do a search to see if the name is already in use. Then, hire a trademark attorney to do a more thorough screening, and if the name isn’t taken, to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Get naming a food truck right the first time will save you both a lot of time and money.

For more on Trademarking your food truck check out this full article on the topic.

Still having problems naming a food truck? Try out our fun and handy Food Truck Name Generator.

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