The 11 Best Restaurant Logos in the Industry
Wondering what elements make up a great business logo? We put together a whole guide here.
With that in mind, we won’t get into too much of the nitty gritty, but suffice it to say that your restaurant or brewery logo is like a firm handshake. It’s often the first and sometimes only thing people see and helps set the tone for what your customers and potential patrons can expect.
A visual representation of your brand, your logo shows who you are as a business. All within a tiny little illustration or graphic.
So while it may seem like a small detail, it’s really a big one.
“Branding now has the final say,” says Ben Butler, co-founder of Necromancer Brewing and Top Hat, an award-winning design and marketing agency in Pittsburgh, in our guide to designing and developing a brewery logo.
Nail your branding and you’re already on your way to success. And it all starts with your logo.
What We’ll Cover in This Piece:
What Is a Restaurant Logo?
Quite simply, a logo is an emblem with text and/or design that your company constructs to visually represent your brand.
“One of the first things I say to someone is, ‘Think about what you mean when you say logo,’” says Matt Tanaka, founder and creative director at Stout Collective, a brand strategy and design studio, in our guide to designing and developing a brewery logo. “Are you looking for a brand marker? A specific icon? A visual identity? A logo is not one little thing; it’s a small part of the bigger piece.”
For that reason, a logo needs to catch peoples’ eye while simultaneously showing your restaurant’s vibe, aesthetic, and ethos.
“If you think about who you are as people…and what you’re all about, and then look at your existing logo, does it match?” asks Tanaka. “Does your design communicate things about you that make you who you are?”
Oftentimes, a logo will be the first glimpse consumers have into your company. So it’s absolutely worth your time and investment to create a symbol that reflects your business’ character and identity.
Afterall, this is going to be the graphic you put on your social media pages, your menus, your website, your uniforms, your business cards, and more.
It’s no easy task! So that’s why we’ve laid out a few simple elements to consider when designing the perfect logo for your business.
The Five Elements of a Good Restaurant Logo
Consider these top four elements when designing a good restaurant logo.
Illustration or Iconography
What symbols or designs represent your restaurant? Think about the icons that define your business, whether that’s a unique ingredient, a type of cuisine, an symbol of the city you’re in, or something meaningful to you.
Whatever it is, just make sure it makes sense to your brand and it stands out.
Typography can be the defining factor that sets your logo apart from others. Think of words, letters, and fonts like the architecture of your logo. Building type and letterforms become kind of like your signature.
It’s the foundation upon which you can build the rest of your brand.
Always a fun one, color palettes will become the elements that extend beyond your brand. Most likely the colors you use in your logo you’ll also infuse throughout your establishment.
Color often evokes emotion and, especially at a restaurant, can even conjure up images of certain foods. For example, are you a vegetarian restaurant? Then you might want to use greens to establish a link to vegetables. Seafood? Blues might make more sense.
The other way to think about it is through your space.
Are you a big, bold cafe or a simple soft fine dining room? Answering these types of questions will probably help you determine a viable color scheme.
What shape do you want your logo to be? Circular or square? Something unique to really make you stand out?
The last thing to consider is: Can your logo weather the test of scalability? Will it look as good on a uniform shirt as on a business card as on a menu? Make sure that you design something that has the bandwidth to fit well across multiple platforms.
The last thing you want is to build your dream logo only to find out later that it doesn’t quite work on social media, for example.
The 11 Best Restaurant Logos in the Industry
Here are just a few of the restaurant logos we’ve noticed around the industry that follow these considerations and work really well.
A funky, hip taco spot in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, Big Star serves honky tonk tacos along with margaritas. Their logo has a distinctive star shape with bright reds, blacks, and golds to invoke a sunny afternoon spent on their patio eating, drinking, and having a great time. If you’re from Chicago and see that emblem, you immediately know it’s Big Star.
The simple bright block lettering with a sun over it immediately evokes the morning, which is probably when you’re enjoying a nice yolk or two, right?
Typography comes into play here with Yolklore’s logo. It’s simple, but a big statement. The yellow filled-in O’s look like yolks and the definition underneath (“n. Legendary breakfast”) is a clever component to the fun name.
Here is a great example of how color connects to food. For a restaurant focusing on fresh, healthy vegetables, the deep and bright greens help connect the customer directly to this business’ ethos.
This graphic could be a little confusing, but it actually works because of the tagline underneath. The image makes us think of this place as a passionate coffee shop focused on sustainability and getting you a best-sourced, most-delicious cup of coffee.
Bottle + Kitchen
Another fun play on imagery, this logo includes two knives in white that carve out a black space in the middle in the shape of a bottle. Hence bottle + kitchen. It’s a brilliant example of how illustration and iconography can play a big part in your logo.
A golf simulator, bar, and restaurant, The Green’s logo is simple, but effective. Obviously, it’s different shades of green to match up to the name, but typography and scalability seem to be a huge consideration here too. That iconic “G” is something The Green can use across its entire brand, from posters to hats.
FourPeaks Brewing Company
This brand knows exactly who they are: a brewery representing their location in Tempe, AZ. The four peaks in the background perfectly encapsulate the brewery, and the colors and textures seem to represent Arizona.
Snooze AM Eatery
A revered brunch spot in Houston, TX, Snooze’s 1950s-style typography immediately illustrates a diner-style vibe and gives folks the impression that this will be a fun, nostalgic place to grab breakfast. The bright orange font also gives off morning vibes, perfect for a brunch place. One you’ll get out of bed for instead of hitting the snooze button.
A Nashville hot chicken spot with locations across Tennessee and Florida, this restaurant simply used typography and a bit of play on words to make sure their logo was sustainable across their entire footprint. It’s the bright red, rustic lettering that simultaneously showcases farm, funk, and a little bit of heat. Hence: hot, hipster chicken.
Pilot Project Brewing
A unique brewery incubator for up-and-coming brewery projects, Pilot Project is just a super simple yet bold logo.
The First Step to Designing Your Restaurant Logo
Find a designer. Now this can take a couple forms:
- DIY: If you’re on a budget, you can certainly design your own logo using programs like Canva or Looka.
- Hire Someone to Join Your Team Full Time: You could hire a full-time graphic designer or creative director to join your team and do all your design work in-house.
- Hire a Freelancer: There are plenty of uber talented freelance designers out there that you could partner with to develop a restaurant or brewery logo. A few good sites to browse for potential partners include Dribbble, Design Brew, and We Love Branding.
- Work With an Agency: This may be the most expensive option, but you’ll also get the full investment that could include everything from a full brand evaluation to logo creation. Agencies with experience in the food and bev space include Stout Collective and Little Big Brands.;