Open a restaurant, cafe or food business

Below are Council consents, services and fees that you may need to know about as part of your project to open a restaurant:

Building consent

All building works must comply with the Building Act to make sure that they are built safely and to an appropriate standard.

To find out whether your project will require building consent:

Fees Building consent - Fees
Time frame

We process building consents within 20 working days.

This time frame may be affected if the application:

  • is incomplete
  • does not include all the right information.
More information Building consents

Food licence

If you are handling food for sale, you will need to apply for a food licence.

To find out more information about food licensing:

  • speak to a Council environmental health officer - phone 04 499 4444 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • employ a professional to help you - this could be a food safety consultant or a commercial kitchen architect.
Fees Food safety > Fees
Time frame We aim to process health licences within 10 working days.
More information Food sellers

Alcohol licence

You will need an alcohol licence if you will be selling or supplying alcohol.

A certificated manager must also be on the premises at all times when alcohol is being sold and supplied to the public.

To find out how to get an alcohol licence:

Fees Alcohol licence fees
Time frame The alcohol licence application process can take up to 35 working days.
More information Alcohol licences

Trade waste

If your business is producing more liquid waste than that of a large household, or if you are disposing of oil down the drain, you may need a trade waste consent or may be required to install a grease trap.

The Council grants consents on a case-by-case basis. Call the Council to discuss your situation with the Trade Waste Officer.

If it sounds like your business may need a consent, the Officer will assess your situation by looking at site plans, and the type and volume of liquid waste. Chemical analysis may also be involved. The Council officer's evaluation will show whether or not you need a consent.

To find out more information about consent for trade waste:

  • speak to our Trade Waste Officer - phone (04) 801 3760 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • employ a plumber to help you.
Fees Trade waste - Fees
Time frame The decision as to whether consent is needed can take 20 working days. However, assessment and evaluation of the conditions to be set up for consent can take a number of months. Temporary consents may be granted in such cases.
More information Trade waste

Pavement permission

Perhaps you want to use a footpath to provide outdoor seating for customers? If so, you need to apply for pavement permission from the Council.

To find out how to apply for pavement permission, speak to a member of our Liquor Licensing team - phone (04) 499 4444 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Receiving permission does not mean that you can serve alcohol in that area. You will need to apply for a liquor licence for the area separately.

Fees and application form
Time frame We aim to process pavement licences within 10 working days.
More information Footpaths