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Sarah Ward

Cafe Regulations: 12 Regulations You Need to Learn About

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Learning about cafe regulations is a critical part of learning how to open a cafe. It ties into the cost to open a cafe, writing a cafe business plan, and even cafe inventory management. Across the range of the types of cafes you can open to work in customer experience for customer satisfaction, cafe regulations are vital for your success in all regards. 

In this BinWise blog, we’ll walk you through a range of cafe regulations you’ll need to get acquainted with. We’ll also talk about the importance of regulations, and what they mean for the rest of your cafe business, from servers to the executive chef. From menus for cafes to hosting brunch and working on customer retention strategies, it all starts with having your cafe squared away with rules and regulations.

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What are Cafe Regulations?

Before we dive into the 12 categories of cafe regulations, it’s important to understand the ground cafe regulations cover. Cafe regulations extend to everything from general business licensing to alcohol licensing to food permits to health and safety requirements. Every part of your cafe business needs to be checked off the list of regulatory requirements.

Overall, these 12 types of cafe regulations cover your business when it comes to every facet of your business. That ranges from your food service to the building safety of your cafe, and everything in between. Cafe rules and regulations are put in place to make your business run smoothly, so all you need to do is take care of your customers.

12. Resale Permits

Resale permits are a larger part of the permitting you need to sell food and drinks. They give you the legal right to resell items you’ve bought from wholesale suppliers. 

11. Live Entertainment Licensing

Living entertainment licensing will come into play if you decide to have live music or other entertainment events at your cafe. You need the licensing in place to be able to host those events. 

10. Alcohol Sales

Alcohol sales are a major part of getting your licensing squared away. Getting a liquor license can take time and money, so if you’re selling alcoholic beverages, get started on the process right away.

9. Business Licensing

General business licensing comes into play for every business. A business license, as a basic license, gives you permission to operate as a business. It should be one of the first licenses you get. 

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8. Food Permits

Food permits are another must-have for a cafe business. A food permit gives you permission to sell food on the premises. It also ensures you’re following health standards for food preparation.

7. Seller’s Permits

Seller’s permits go hand-in-hand with resale permits, but with a broader scope. A seller’s permit gives you the general authority to be selling from your legal business premises.

6. Business Insurance

Business insurance is something to get after you’ve gotten set up as a licensed business. This insurance will help protect you and your employees. It will also cover your cafe against any litigation that could be brought against you.

5. Food Handler Permits for Employees

Food handler permits for your employees are an absolute must. You’ll need general food licensing for the cafe. On top of that, everyone who handles food in your cafe will need a food handler’s permit. 

4. Health and Safety Regulations

Health and safety regulations for cafe businesses cover your food preparation, but they also extend to cleanliness standards around the cafe. From the kitchen areas to the tables and guest-facing spaces, health and safety are kept in check.

3. Location-Based Environmental Regulations

Location-based environmental regulations may or may not exist for you and your cafe. In many countries, states, and smaller localities, there are regulations around materials you can use and standards to maintain.

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2. Trademark Applications

Trademark applications are a unique licensing need. When it comes to designing the brand of your cafe, the more unique and creative, the better. When you have a logo and other brand resources set up, a trademark will make your cafe truly one of a kind.

1. Certificate of Occupancy

A certificate of occupancy goes together with the other general licensing you need to own and operate a cafe business. This certificate is a statement that your business is legally squared away to operate from the location you have set up.

"Key Takeaway: Cafe regulations extend to everything from general business licensing to alcohol licensing to food permits to health and safety requirements. Every part of your cafe business needs to be checked off the list of regulatory requirements."

Frequently Asked Questions About Cafe Rules and Regulations

Cafe rules and regulations come with a lot of things you, as a cafe owner, need to know. The 12 regulations and licensing requirements outlined in this blog cover a wide range of what you’ll need. You may need other, more specific licensing depending on your cafe business plans. 

Overall, it’s best to learn everything you can, to be fully prepared. You should lean into everything, including marketing strategy for cafe businesses. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you more insight into cafe regulations. They’ll also dive into some of the specifics of running a cafe and working with all your licensing needs to find success.

Do You Need a Permit to Sell Food?

Yes, you need a permit to sell food, except in very specific circumstances. The most common specific circumstance is when someone who grows food on a farm sells that food from the farm property. Other than that, if you’re selling food in any restaurant, bar, or cafe setting, you need a range of business and food licensing permits.

How Much Income Can I Make as a Cafe Owner?

As a cafe owner, you can expect to make between $40,000 and $60,000 a year with one cafe. If you open more locations, your income potential rises up in the $100,000 range. Considering the cost it takes to open and operate a cafe business, this income left for you after managing your accounts is a great amount. Using the right restaurant tech as business support will help.

How Many Customers Does a Small Cafe Have Each Day?

On average, small cafes see between 150 and 500 customers each day. That’s a wide range, and that’s primarily because of the range of what cafes offer. If you have smaller menu options and quick drinks, you’ll see more people come through the doors. A more robust menu will result in slightly fewer people, but will even out in profits.

What Is the Success Rate of Cafes?

The success rate of cafes across the board rests at around 10% of all cafes open for around two years. Yes, that percentage is low. The cafe industry is saturated with a lot of great cafe businesses already making a splash, and it’s hard work to make your cafe a success. The hospitality industry is rewarding in terms of profits and satisfaction, but it’s not an easy industry.

Don’t let that discourage you from opening and operating your own cafe. Hard work and passion will help you get far along the way. Every cafe you see open for business today is evidence that, no matter the odds, you can have a successful cafe business. 

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Cafe Rules and Regulations: Are You Up To Code?

Sorting out the rules and regulations of your cafe business gets you another, quite tangible step closer to opening the doors for business. When you’re ready to open the doors, reach out to BinWise and BlueCart. From the BinWise Pro inventory program for beverage inventory software for management to BlueCart’s order management software, we’ve got you covered.

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