starting a restaurant in south africa

restaurant is a business that concentrates on selling meals and may or may not be licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises. Below you will find a list of questions you need to ask your self when starting a restaurant in South Africa.

Where will this restaurant be located : Location is the single most important factor that can make or break your restaurant dream. Is your site located close to and around the type of people your restaurant concept is targeting? If you’re interested in a fine dining restaurant, your site should be located in an upscale commercial or residential part of town where the kind of people who will patronize you live or work.

Venue for your restaurant:

  • Is the site you have chosen quiet enough for people to eat or drink undisturbed?
  • Is the site free of unpleasant odours, rubbish etc.?
  • Are the street surrounds neat, well kept and regularly maintained?

Parking: Is there enough parking in the surrounds to accommodate your customers, and can they park safely and conveniently?

Health: Health Regulations must be adhered to. Have you contacted your local council for health regulations and requirements related to eating and catering establishments?


Application for and granting of a trading licence

The Local Council will circulate your application to the relevant Health, Fire and Building Inspectors, to Town planning etc. who will ensure that your business plans for your business comply with their regulations.


Signage for local roads in the Local Municipality areas can be arranged through the Local Tourism Bureau in the Municipality. For signage on National Raods and secondary roads, the Regional Tourism Liaison Committee (RTLC) can be contacted for the processing and issuing of signs. Contact Ms Itumeleng Pooe, The Director: Tourism Regulation, at 021 483 8759, for contact details of the RTLC in your region.


Find out from your Local Council if your Local planning structures allow for your chosen business activity on the site you have selected.


Liquor Licence

For application and granting of a Liquor Licence you need to talk to the Liquor Board and apply for a licence in terms of legislation.

List of equipment required to start a restaurant 

Kitchen equipment
Dining area (tables, chairs)
Sound and sight
Kitchen smalls
Dining room equipment
Shop fitting

List of companies selling restaurant equipment

1 . food serv

Foodserv Solutions offers a wide range of equipment to suit every need.

Tel: +27 (0)11 616 5183
Fax: +27 (0)11 616 8287 / +27 (0)11 616 8729
Address: 9 Watkins Street, Denver, 2094

2. Culinary

Culinary strives to provide the best service possible with every contact!

  • Lanseria Centre, Pelindaba Rd (R512), Lanseria, South Africa
  •  (011) 701 2200
  •           (010) 003 3199
  •  ​

Success tips for winning restaurant business

To increase the chances of success, the following tips will surely help entrepreneurs and startups who are considering this business idea.

(a) Never compromise hygiene, food and service quality

No matter the concept or type of restaurant you decide to start, quality and hygiene must remain top on your agenda. Hygiene is great for your customers and keeps you on the good side of government health and sanitation inspectors.

(b) Work on creating a loyal customer base

Because people must eat every day, repeat business is the easiest way for restaurants to succeed. It’s much easier and cheaper to keep your existing customers satisfied and coming back than always trying to get new customers.

Making a Plan

You need a business plan in order to make your business idea a reality. How to write a business plan

How to fund your business?

You can finance your business by any or all of the following ways:

  1. Fund your startup yourself.
  2. Pitch your needs to friends and family.
  3. Applying for a Business loan
  4. Finding your business through crowdfunding
  5. Apply to local angel investor

Investors invest into things that they know and understand, only talk to investors who know your industry. Conversations with anyone else are unlikely to be productive. You also want to do some research into your investor. To fnd out What does an investor really want to see from your business pitch read more

Register Your Business Name

Your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you need to register it. Click here for a step by step guide on how to register your business

Insuring your business 

From the day an entrepreneur starts a business, he exposes himself to certain risks, find out how you can insure your business.

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