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.
When opening a food service business in Ireland (e.g. café/restaurant), businesses are required to comply with the following:
- Know the relevant food legislation
- Register with the appropriate official agency,
- 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 which then must be completed, and the hard copy returned to the HSE.
Please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required for starting a food retail business.
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.
Please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required.
You may wish to play music in your cafe/restaurant.
- In this case copyright music use is licensed per the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Restaurant, Hotel and Nightclub tariff (Tariff HRNPD), which can be accessed at https://www.imro.ie/duallicence/tariffs.php. The IMRO Dual Licence also includes payments due to Phonographic Performance Ireland.
Please find link below to relevant information on the procedures required for playing music in a business premises.
If considering opening a bed and breakfast, please find links below to relevant information on the procedures required.
Please find links below to relevant useful information on the planning and building procedures required when opening a cafe/restaurant.
- Please find relevant link to additional information for doing business in Ireland on the Business Life Cycle Table (e.g. taxation, health and safety).
- Please find relevant link to information on cross border catering services