Restaurant and catering start-up checklist 

Filter by:  

You've decided to follow your dreams and open a restaurant or catering business, which is no ordinary task. What do you need to know? What preparations need to be made?

The Restaurant and catering start-up checklist is designed to help you create and implement your recipe for success. For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.

  • Business start-up checklist

    When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.

Bon appétit!

Knowing the restaurant and catering industry

As a restaurateur or caterer, you need to know your industry, customers and suppliers inside-out. Your marketing strategy will be as crucial to your success as the items on your menu. Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and become an expert.

Designing and setting up your restaurant or catering business

Whether you build your business from the ground up or you plan to buy an existing one, you need to have a very organized, functional set-up. From the appetizers you serve, to the supplies you require, you will need to have every detail in place. Significant time and attention to detail will be needed for setting up your food service business, transporting your food, and kitchen and menu requirements.

  • Menu Design

    Design your menu to attract customers and to promote your restaurant.

  • Menu costing

    Learn how to set your menu prices to maximize profits.

  • Restaurant design

    Set up the interior and exterior of your restaurant to balance functionality with ambience.

  • Restaurant kitchens

    Follow these tips to make your restaurant's kitchen efficient, safe and functional.

  • Stock control and inventory

    Explore various stock control techniques and learn how to develop a suitable inventory system for your company.

  • Finding and managing suppliers

    Find suppliers to fill the many needs of your business.

  • Protecting your business

    Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.

Complying with restaurant and catering rules and regulations

You will find that the food service industry has a number of specific regulations. From storing and preparing food to serving alcoholic beverages, you need to have your house in order before you open your doors. Explore these regulations and guidelines early on in the planning process.

Red Seal Trade certification in the restaurant industry

Red Seal Trade certification is available for certain occupations in the food service industry. You may want to consider these qualifications when you are staffing your restaurant.

  • Red Seal Trades

    Find out more about trades that are designated under the Red Seal Program. This program is recognized as an interprovincial standard of excellence.

Additional Resources

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.

  • Contact the Canada Business Network

    The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a success.

  • Business support organizations

    Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.

  • Starting a business

    Want to be your own boss? Find out how to start a business.

  • Canadian Finance and Leasing Association

    Find leasing and financing companies that could help you procure items such as equipment, vehicles, and inventory, through asset-based financing.

Was this information useful?