Getting into the café and coffee shop industry

Before you start a café or coffee shop, you need to understand how the industry works, what things you need to consider in your planning and the legal requirements you must meet.

Café and coffee shop market research

Market research can help you to:

  • understand the industry
  • assess the viability of your business idea
  • identify key factors that could affect the success of your business.

Before you start your café or coffee shop, use our free step-by-step market research kit to develop your business plan.

Café and coffee shop industry requirements

A number of licensing and registration regulations govern the café industry. When starting a café or coffee shop you may need to consider the following requirements.

Operating a food service business

To serve food in your café or coffee shop, you may need a Food Business Licence from the local council where your food business is based. You can use the local government directory to find contact details for a local council.

Licence costs and application processing times will vary so check details with your local council when you apply. Licensed food businesses may have more than 1 registered premises.

Serving alcohol to customers

To serve alcohol to your customers, you may need a Liquor Licence (Commercial other) from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation. Licence costs vary depending on your business type so check with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation when you request an application form.

Picking up meat (e.g. from a butcher) to sell to customers

To pick up meat to sell to customers, you may need to fill in an Application for Accreditation from Safe Food Queensland. Accreditation costs vary depending on your business type and it may take Safe Food Queensland up to 4 weeks to process your application. You must ensure the meat's integrity for your customers' safety.

Food safety

You are legally required to meet the food health and safety standards set in the Food Act 2006, Food Regulation 2006 and Food Production (Safety) Act 2000. Ensure you make and store food safely for your customers.

Learn more about food industry regulations.

Outdoor dining

If you want to provide tables and chairs on the footpath so your customers can consume food and drinks outside, you may need an outdoor dining licence from your local council.

Related links

Last reviewed
April 17, 2015