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The Quick Guide You Need For Opening A Takeaway

The quick guide you need to open a takeaway

Are you an entrepreneur that is interested in opening up a takeaway? One of the great things about opening up a takeaway business is that you can start small, and the business model can grow over time. Starting a takeaway can be a sound business idea for both aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs who have already experienced some success in the business world.

The other positive factor working in your favour is that the takeaway industry is definitely still booming, and you’re bound to be able to fill a gap in the market. Even though sit-down restaurants have taken a bit of a backseat since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are still more than happy to order in takeaways. By choosing the right premises and focusing on customer loyalty, you could have a successful business model on your hands. Of course, it would be advantageous if you, as the business owner, had some experience (or even passion) when it comes to food, but even if you don’t, you can always consult with experts for inspiration and guidance.

However, opening up a takeaway does not come without its challenges. There can be a lot of red tape that you have to navigate, and customers can be exceptionally critical when it comes to food quality and service.

In this article by Real Business, we provide you with the quick guide that you have been looking for to assist you in opening up a successful takeaway business!

Create a business plan

Before you start looking for premises, hiring staff, and designing your dream logo, you should have a solid business plan for your takeaway business. You will need this business plan to set out goals for your business, as well as to show potential investors.

Although there are many business plan templates available online, there is no clear-cut layout for a takeaway business plan, but your plan should comprise the following.

Type of takeaway business you wish to open

What sort of food are you planning to sell at your takeaway? It is always advisable to offer a certain cuisine or style of food so that your target market can find you easily. Ensure that you conduct proper market research and look into what some of your potential competitors are up to. Obviously, it would be a good idea to specialise in a cuisine that you may have some experience with.

Your target market

What does your target market look like? You may be surprised by how important defining your target market is when it comes to takeaway restaurants. Your target market will affect your branding, your prices, and what your menu will look like. Defining your target market may also require some market research.

How you plan to service customers

When it comes to takeaway businesses, there’s the traditional model where the customer phones or orders in person and picks up the order themselves. But what has become far more popular for takeaway restaurants is customers ordering their meals through online apps, like Uber Eats, that make use of delivery drivers for added convenience. Make sure that you are well-versed in the latest apps and technology available to you for greater customer reach before finalising your business plan.

The financials

You need to have some sort of idea of how your business will turn a profit, and how many meals you’ll need to sell to break even. If numbers aren’t your strong point, consider sitting down with a business advisor to help you get your financial details accurate. Only then will you be able to find investors should you need financing.

Sample menu

A sample menu, which can always experience adjustments along the way, should definitely form part of your business plan. Your sample menu should detail the costs of each meal and the price point for customers.

Consider franchising

Consumers like what they know and know what they like. There is a reason why takeaway franchises are some of the most successful and iconic franchises in the world. Just look at big names such as McDonald’s and KFC. If you don’t have any groundbreaking takeaway ideas of your own, you could always look at investing in a franchise.

When you buy a franchise, the franchisor will provide you with a detailed business plan and suppliers. And, most likely, a loyal customer base that cannot wait for your franchise to open in their local area. Gaining finance for franchises is usually a lot easier than other takeaway models.

The downside is that franchises can be very expensive, and there is not much wriggle room when it comes to franchisor rules.

There are many options to buy franchises, and it is well worth looking into if that appeals to you.

Finding the right premises

The premises from which you plan to operate your takeaway is very important. Most people don’t want to drive too far to pick up their takeaways or pay too much to have their takeaways delivered. Walk-ins are going to make up a large number of your customers.

Your takeaway business needs to be in close proximity to where your target market lives or hangs out.

Finding the ideal commercial property can be tricky, and rents can be outrageous in certain areas. A commercial property agent should be able to point you in the right direction and help you find properties that fulfil your needs and are within your budget. But remember to look over the lease very carefully before you sign anything. Ideally, you want a commercial property that has all of the relevant licenses already in place.

Of course, buying a commercial property could also be an option should you have sufficient capital. In certain cases, you may be able to run a takeaway business from your home should your property be correctly zoned and licensed, but this is not a possibility in most cases.


Most entrepreneurs do not have sufficient funds to start up their businesses all on their own. If you do not have sufficient capital to finance your business, you may want to look into the financing options that are available to you.

There are probably far more funding options available to you than you may have thought, such as the bank, private lenders, investors, as well as alternatives such as crowdfunding. Do some solid research into your options, remembering that you could use a combination of options for the cash injection that you need for your business to succeed.

A solid business plan, a clean financial record, and experience in business will all work in your favour when it comes to accessing finance for a takeaway business. Also, have a clear idea of the amount that you’ll need to get your business up and running.

Ensure your compliance

You want to ensure that your takeaway business is completely above board and for there to be no reason for you to be found non-compliant in any way. The first thing you’ll need to do is officially register your business. From there, you’ll need to ensure that you are completely up to date and well informed about all the latest health and safety requirements.

At least 28 days before opening, you’ll need to register your takeaway business with your local authority. It is very important that you do not leave this until the last minute. You will also need to obtain a Food Hygiene Certificate, which will give your customers information about your hygiene standards.

To avoid any legal issues, you should also be abundantly clear about any allergens and ingredients in the items on your menu.

Get insurance

Things can go wrong when it comes to business, and when they do, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t have insurance. While insurance is not obligatory, in our eyes, having insurance is an absolute must-do for any takeaway business. There are many different types of insurance that you can get for businesses, including:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Business equipment insurance

There are many insurance packages that cover all of the above insurance options, and it is well worth making use of all of them if you want to be covered.

While insurance may seem like an unnecessary cost every month, it can truly save your business in case something goes wrong.

Find reliable suppliers

When it comes to takeaways and dealing with food, you’ll need to be stocking up on supplies on a regular basis. Do you know who will be supplying your ingredients, packaging, cleaning equipment, etc.? It is a good idea to do some research into the different suppliers available in your area and find a supplier that is reliable, has industry experience, is affordable, and is communicative.

The last thing you want to deal with is a supplier that delivers late, hits you with unexpected price increases, and is impossible to get hold of. Choose your suppliers very carefully as it is one of your most important business relationships.

Find reliable staff

One of the key ingredients to a successful takeaway business is having staff that you can rely on. Depending on your business model, you may need to hire employees to assist with food preparation, handle orders and deal with customers. You may want to have an active role in the business, especially in the beginning to ensure that things run smoothly and to see which processes could be more streamlined or straightened out.

It’s preferable to find staff with some sort of experience in the takeaway industry so that you don’t have to put extra time and effort into training staff with the basics. Either way, your staff will need to be provided with adequate training so that they know exactly what is expected of them. Be very careful about who you choose to employ because dismissing an employee can be very difficult if you regret your choice later.

Professional employment contracts should be drawn up. There are many templates online, but you may want to consult a legal professional if you are new to drawing up employment contracts.

Time to start marketing

Once you have most of your business affairs in order, it is time to start marketing your business. You want to ensure that you have eye-catching marketing materials such as a logo, menus, etc. It is important that you invest in quality marketing material that will look good on various online platforms and in printed format. From here, you can look at marketing. There are many avenues you can take, including:

  • Word of mouth- Tell all of your family and friends about your new takeaway business. You’ll be surprised by how quickly word of mouth travels.
  • Social media marketing- These days, all businesses need to be active on social media. Ensure your menu and contact number is easily visible.
  • Local resources- Local resources, such as local newspapers, Facebook groups etc., can be very valuable for advertising.
  • Influencer marketing- Influencer marketing can be a fantastic way to reach a large number of people by providing an influencer with a free meal in return for a shoutout on their platforms.
  • Flyers- Handing out flyers and menus in your local area is a great way to alert your local community about your new business venture.

Marketing is exceptionally important for any business, and it may be well worth your time to sit down with a marketing specialist and have them design a custom marketing plan for you.

Start cooking

Once all your business affairs are in order, the only thing left to do is wait for your first order and start cooking!

The initial stages of opening up a takeaway can be very challenging. There may be processes that need a lot of refining, and you may battle to reach customers in the beginning. As long as you are prepared for the challenges involved and have a rock-solid business plan to stick to, you may be in for success.


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