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Starting a takeaway food shop may be a smart business move. As our lives become increasingly busy, we look for different ways to save time. Ordering takeaway food is a way to do this. However, for your shop to succeed, it is critical that you consider the legal and financial aspects of running your own business. This article sets out what you should think about when starting a takeaway food shop.


Choosing a location for your takeaway food shop is a decision that requires careful consideration. Where you locate your business will affect your trading times, customer base, competition and ultimately, the type of food you should serve. When browsing for shop premises, consider the local demographic, nearby competitors and complementary businesses.

Furthermore, design your menu and your brand to suit the location of your takeaway shop. If you choose premises near busy offices, your customer base is likely to be employees that work during the day and have a one-hour lunch break. Opening a sandwich or salad bar, for example, is likely to suit the local demographic.

Build a Brand

Building a brand will help you make your business stand out from your competitors. You should choose a logo, business name and slogan that reflects the values you want your food to be associated with.

Registering your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alone will not give you exclusive rights to use that name. To protect your brand, it is a good idea to register trade marks that make you stand out from your competitors. A trade mark is any distinctive feature of your brand that helps customers identify your products, including:

Registering them will prevent others from using your trade mark on their products and unfairly benefiting from your brand value.  

For example, the yellow ‘M’ logo is a registered trade mark of McDonald’s. This trade mark gives McDonald’s the exclusive right to use that logo to mark products, allowing customers to link their food with their brand easily. Other takeaway food shops are unable to label their products with that trade mark, preventing them from unfairly benefiting from McDonald’s brand.

If you want to use an already established brand, you can consider buying a franchise. A franchise model is when the business owner licenses their business model and brand to third parties. Many takeaway food shops operate using a franchise model, including McDonald’s, Domino’s and KFC.

Licences and Permits

As a food business, there are licences and permits you have to obtain before opening your takeaway shop. It is also important that you abide by food hygiene and safety standards. These licences and permits vary depending on the location of your shop. Carefully research your state’s requirements for licences and permits and ensure you acquire them before commencing operations.

For example, in New South Wales (NSW), you will need to:

  • appoint a trained food safety supervisor;
  • notify your local council of your business activities; and
  • ensure you comply with food safety and labeling standards.

Buying Stock

To ensure the success of your business, you will need to find reliable wholesale suppliers. It is crucial that they can deliver good quality ingredients consistently, as the ingredients you use will affect the quality of your food. You should also consider where you will buy takeaway containers. It is a good idea to look for environmentally friendly containers that are recyclable. Using fresh ingredients and recyclable containers will reflect positively on your brand by associating your takeaway shop with good food and environmentally friendly practices.

You can use online hospitality directories to find wholesale suppliers. Once you have found suitable suppliers, establish a supply agreement with them where you outline the parameters of your relationship. This includes deciding on the prices, quantity and quality requirements of your orders.

Delivering Food

Having a food delivery option may increase your customer base and help your business become more profitable. Consider partnering with food delivery services such as Uber Eats and Menulog, or having your own delivery drivers. If you decide to have your own delivery drivers, they may have to obtain a food delivery licence. In NSW, you can apply for a permit through Service NSW.

Key Takeaways

Starting a takeaway shop is a great way to share your love of food with lots of people. Running your own takeaway food shop can be a smart business opportunity and investment. However, to ensure your takeaway shop is successful, you should be aware of the legal and financial requirements of running a business. If you have any questions, contract LegalVision’s business lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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