What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Did Shakespeare really have it right? Is a name that unimportant? It seems pretty crucial to me. You see, I work at Food 101 Morningside. Food 101 is a local favorite (local to Atlanta, GA) – a comfortable, farm-to-table staple in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood. The chef, Ron, has been here since day one and so have many of our regulars. Now, after several years, Chef Ron has bought the restaurant from his former partners and is making it his own. The first item on the to-do list – changing the name.
You would have thought naming the restaurant would be one of the more fun parts of owning your own restaurant. You would have thought wrong.
Turns out, naming a restaurant is a laborious and nerve-wracking decision. Much like naming a child, you consider way too many options, over-analyze every thought and worry about what other people will think. Then you come up with something great and it turns out three other restaurants already have the same name. Oy.
From a marketing perspective (I’m the PR director for the restaurant), I really felt the name was make or break. It couldn’t sound too feminine or too masculine. Did it sound “foodie” enough? Did it convey the right imagine? As the owner and chef, Ron felt that the name wasn’t quite as crucial as I did – the food is still all his cooking so the menu isn’t changing, and the atmosphere stems largely from his boisterous personality so that isn’t changing either . He wanted it to be something that spoke to his personality and was more personal. So as Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”
After months of arguing back and forth and tossing around bad names and good ones, we finally settled on a name. Now we are ready to start telling people and, as nervous as we are, we don’t want to hear, “You should have…”
Come July 1, 2009 Food 101 Morningside is going to be rosebud.
Want to know how we decided on rosebud? Stay tuned…