How to Establish a Restaurant, Eating House or Tavern | Western Cape Government

How to Establish a Restaurant, Eating House or Tavern


A restaurant or other eating house is a business that concentrates on selling meals and may or may not be licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises. A tavern, on the other hand, is primarily licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises and it may or may not also serve meals.


Space: Is the space you have identified for your business enough to accommodate the number of people you plan to host?

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


  • Is the site you have chosen quiet enough for people to eat or drink undisturbed?
  • Are the street surrounds neat, well kept and regularly maintained?
  • If liquor is to be sold in the establishment, is this likely to disturb surrounding establishments and neighbours?
  • Is the site free of unpleasant odours, rubbish etc.?
  • If you are going to provide live entertainment, have you considered your neighbours and asked their consent?

Equipment: Have you got adequate catering equipment, cutlery, crockery, serving place etc. to cater for the number of people you plan to host?


  • Have you considered all the safety and security aspects related to your business?
  • For example, have you got fire extinguishers appropriately placed for easy access?
  • Have you ensured the safety of your customers with regard to their motor cars, security of establishment, access to a telephone for emergencies, a well-equipped First Aid Kit etc.?

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

Aesthetics: Have you considered whether your establishment is attractive and inviting and will lure people to use the facility? You should consider an attractive colour scheme, cleanliness of the whole environment, pleasant and welcoming staff and good signage and information on your menu.


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.

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014