Starting a Food Service Business : Cafe/Restaurant
The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authorities listed below.
Detailed below is an overview of the administrative procedures involved when opening a café/restaurant in Ireland.
Procedures required when starting a food service business
When opening a food service business in Ireland (e.g. café/restaurant), businesses are required to comply with the following:
- Register with the appropriate official agency,
- Familiarise yourself with relevant food legislation,
- Develop a food safety management system (HACCP) and acquire food safety training,
- Develop a traceability system,
- Obtain a copy of the relevant National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Guidelines
In the case of service sector premises such as restaurants, cafes, or take-aways, the agency to register with is the local Environmental Health Office (EHO) of the Health Service Executive (HSE). Each business should contact the EHO office directly for further information on the registration procedures required.
How to apply
Food business operators must contact the appropriate HSE office for a registration form to complete and return to the HSE.
Applying for an Alcohol Licence for a café/ restaurant
If you intend serving alcohol in a café/restaurant, you may wish to apply for a Special Restaurant Licence or a Wine Retailers On Licence from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.
Planning and Building requirements
Please find links below to relevant useful information on the planning and building procedures required when opening a cafe/restaurant.
Local Authorities Ireland - Information on tourism supports, fire safety, business rates and planning.
Food Safety Authority Ireland - Food safety specific information supports and training.
Starting a Food Business Factsheet - FSAI 2017