Famous Restaurant Logos the Whole Family Will Recognize

Certain colors evoke certain emotions. And in the world of logo design, this is one of the factors that impact the consumers’ purchasing decision. Other than that, memorability is also another influential element that amasses patrons. Ultimately, most consumers pick a logo that they recognize more than anything. Sure, they can try a new brand or two a few times. However, a recognizable logo will almost always be a sure win. That’s because brand trust is more important for consumers. And this is why these eight famous restaurant logos are recognized by anyone worldwide. These memorable logo designs have made a name within the food and beverage industry, not just because of history, but also because of superior service, delectable food, and exceptional branding. 



fast food chain famous logo

Whether a hungry diner is from Europe, Asia, or America, I bet my bottom dollar he can instantly recognize the McDonald’s logo. Being the topmost memorable logo in the world, McDonald’s doesn’t disappoint with its family-friendly atmosphere and tasty burgers and fries. But how did this restaurant logo become so famous the world over?

It all started in 1937 when Patrick Mcdonald launched a restaurant called “The Airdome.” Soon after, his two sons, Richard McDonald and Maurice McDonald, renamed it to the famous chain it is today “McDonald’s.”

Due to the restaurant’s success, the brothers hired an architect to design the first structure. And this is where the bright, golden yellow arches that we know of today originated. The logo underwent a couple of iterations. However, the official one, designed by Heye & Partner GmbH, is now adapted in thousands of chains worldwide.


Burger King

fast food chain famous logo

Burger King strides happily as one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. Additionally, it’s also one of the most famous restaurant logos. The logo exudes a warm and inviting feeling to both young and old patrons. But did you know that Burger King was once named Insta-Burger in 1953? It was in 1967 when James McLamore and David Edgerton changed it to Burger King. 

It was also in the same year when both founders introduced the illustrious Burger King logo. Although there have been improvements to it, the fundamental concept of the logo didn’t change that much. Up to this day, it still has the two buns enclosing the “Burger King” text in captivating red, yellow, and blue colors. 



fast food chain famous logo

The face on the “Wendy’s” logo is founder Dave Thomas’s daughter Melinda Lou “Wendy” Thomas. Since launching Wendy’s in 1969, he has always pushed for an old-fashioned family-style diner that’s cheerful and reassuring. Dave Thomas went for a classic branding that encourages families to take comfort in his fast-food restaurant.

After not having too many revisions on the logo for 30 years, CEO Emil Brolick felt it was time for a modern upgrade. In 2013, as part of the Publicis Kaplan Thaler campaign, they finally introduced a more stylized and contemporary Wendy’s logo. Brolick said this is a move to keep up with the increasing competition. And truthfully, he made a brilliant decision maintaining the classic tone but emanating a more modern feel.



fast food chain famous logo

Colonel Harland David Sanders is the man behind the company KFC and its logo. People, regardless of age, can identify the KFC logo due to its inviting portrait and icon. However, it wasn’t always like that. 

When KFC was in its early years, Colonel Sanders had a much serious appeal. The logo in 1952 didn’t exude that welcoming vibe towards consumers. Some people claim the former Colonel Sanders’s look seemed like a businessman hungry for consumers’ money. 

It was in 2007 when a San Francisco-based branding company, Tesser, decided to do subtle revisions to make him friendlier. The creative company retained the bow tie, goatee, and glasses, but made the colors brighter and his smile more approachable. 


Tim Hortons

fast food chain famous logo

The history behind Tim Hortons’s success is a bit melancholic. Tim Hortons, the founder behind this coffee-and-donut enterprise, didn’t witness the restaurant’s success after 10 years when it started gaining international traction.

Tim Hortons was a Maple Leaf hockey player who knew his career would soon end. He wanted to venture into the coffee and donut business so he’ll find other money-making means. When he opened the idea to his fellow team members, they had laughed at him. Being the persistent man that he was, he still gave it a go. Unfortunately, Tim was killed in a vehicular accident while traveling after a game at the Maple Leaf Gardens. 

Despite his passing, the logo remains one of the most famous restaurant logos to date. Tim Hortons made the logo himself, using his own signature that hasn’t changed at all. However, the typography logo works on all marketing mediums, packaging, and products.



fast food chain famous logo

If you don’t know where the name “Popeye” from Popeyes logo originated, it’s from the movie “The French Connection.” Alvin C. Copeland was inspired by Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the main character from the film in 1972. However, instead of putting an apostrophe between the “e” and “y,” he stuck to just keeping it plain and simple. He later jokingly admitted that he couldn’t afford an apostrophe because he was too poor back then.

The Popeyes logo has undergone several revisions to make it more appealing to a younger audience. In 2008, it was featured as one of the best rebrandings in the Graphic Design Now: In Production international survey. All thanks to the famous creative agency — Pentagram


Domino’s Pizza

fast bk food chain famous logo

The name “Domino’s Pizza” was the idea of a delivery boy during its inception in the 1960s. Tom and Jim Monaghan had bought a small pizza chain called DomiNick’s owned by Dominick DiVarti. When the Monaghans wanted to expand, the original owner didn’t want them to use the name “DomiNick’s.” Until a delivery boy suggested that they used Domino’s instead. 

As per the logo, Tom Monaghan wanted the dots to represent newly-opened chains. However, because the chain’s success was so progressive, he decided it wasn’t possible to add new dots anymore. The three dots represent the first three Domino’s pizza chains that opened in the 1960s. 



fast food chain famous logo

From Pete’s Super Submarines to Pete’s Subway, and finally Subway, this healthy sandwich chain has unparalleled staying power. It took 19 years for Subway to start from a small sandwich shop in Connecticut to becoming an international sensation in 1984.

Both founders, Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck, wanted to put a different take on convenient and healthy food. Fred DeLuca made a couple of revisions. But after he died from leukemia in 2015, the new CEO, Suzanne Greco, said it was time for a revamp. The most recent logo is a fresher and brighter green, which indicates freshness. And the arrows coming from both letters “S” and “Y” imply that they cater to an active and athletic audience.


Wrap Up

Your logo should be the symbolism that represents your brand as a whole, like how these famous restaurant logos that tell their story throughout the years. That’s why entrepreneurs and marketers shouldn’t do logo design by halves. Additionally, creating a logo should only be entrusted to experts like Design Doctor who know the right elements that convey your branding.

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