The Agni
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July 14th, 2011

How to start your restaurant business in India?

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Written by: Balaji
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A lot of us have ambitions to start our own restaurant. For some foodies it could be a nice hobby and for others it could be a profitable business if done well. The two most important things in a good restaurant business are a) right location b) right chef. These two makes or breaks any restaurant business. Once you decide if this is right for you, here are the steps you could follow.


  • Research your market and find what cuisine you want to target
  • Follow restaurant focused blogs like and
  • Create a business plan – decide on pricing, target demographic profile etc.
  • Choose the right location – restaurant business is mostly about location that anything less

Apply for the Permits

  • Shops and Establishment license – from state government
  • Signage license from municipality
  • Nomination of PFA from Director of Prevention of Food Adulteration in the state
  • Health / Trade License from Municiapality
  • Eating house license from Police commissioner
  • NOC from fire department
  • Environment clearance from local government
  • Lift license (if life is there)
  • Liquor license from excise commissioner (if liquor is served)
  • L-4 license from department of tourism (for star hotels)
  • Playing Music license from Indian performing right society (if music is played)

More details on permits are on NRAI website


  • Hire the right chef who would not jump ship easily. A lot of restaurants hire from distant villages with a strong food culture and work hard to retain the right ones.
  • Design the right ambience – make it appropriate for the audience
  • Hire the right staff and focus on customer service to the core – for menial jobs you could sites like
  • Get suppliers for food and utensils – use,, Justdial and Sulekha
  • Get insured. 4 types of insurances are mandatory in India - Public Liability, Product Liability, Fire Policy, Building & Asset
  • If you are also providing home delivery consider using sites like Justeat


  • Become a part of national restaurant association - NRAI and join local trade bodies
  • Get a blog and twitter account and create a buzz before opening the store
  • Get premium listing in classified sites like
  • Use deal sites like Snapdeal and provide coupons to kickstart the business
  • Use Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to constantly interact with your customers
  • Get your site listed in – that provides menus of restaurants across India
  • Engage your audience constantly in food review sites like Foodlets

Also read this.


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About the Author

+Balaji heads a consultancy firm - Agni Innovation Labs - that helps small businesses, law firms and political campaigners launch their brand successfully. The services include blogging, press releases, social media strategy development and email campaigning. Contact the author: balaji [at] theagni [dot] com for more details.


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