How to Start a Restaurant Business in Vietnam

The F&B industry in Vietnam is thriving, with more restaurants winning international awards and more people eating out than ever before.

More and more restaurants in Vietnam have been achieving notable international awards than ever before in it’s rich culinary history. The expanding middle-class paired with an influx of foreign-trained chefs and an appetite for novel food concepts is fueling this incredible boom in the restaurant industry. This is also another reason starting a restaurant business in Vietnam is among the most amazing business ideas.

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But, you need to know that opening a restaurant requires a lot of effort. However, with assistance from the expert, you can run a successful restaurant business in Vietnam without putting an endless hole in your pocket.

You have a number of options if you are thinking of setting up your restaurant, café or food and beverage business in the country. These options are food and beverage retail stores, restaurants and cafés, catering businesses, or fast food. Restaurants seem to be the most desirable form of food and beverage business in Vietnam due to the prospering tourism that brings in so many visitors every year.

If you are curious about how you can go about starting a restaurant in Vietnam, Cekindo has created a simple guide that helps you navigate through the process.

Regulations in Vietnam

For foreigners desire to open companies in the food and beverage sector, they must comply with several laws including the Food Law and the Company Law.

The Company Law provides you with the requirements to register your restaurant business in Vietnam, and the Food Law lays out the following mandatory provisions as stated below:

  • Types of food and beverages to be prepared and sold at the restaurants
  • Licenses required for opening a restaurant and food business
  • Quality and health standards for food products prepared and sold at the restaurant
  • Safety and hygiene standards for food-handling staff at the restaurant
  • Documents required to obtain the operational licenses

Ways to Start a Restaurant Business in Vietnam

There are a few ways you can opt for to conduct your restaurant or F&B business in Vietnam:

  • Obtain business through merger and acquisition (M&A)
  • Start a new business

For most entrepreneurs, starting a new business is the most common method.

RELATED: How to Sell Alcohol for On-site Consumption in Vietnam

Starting a New Restaurant Business in Vietnam

Here are the simple steps you should follow to register a restaurant business in Vietnam:

1. Choose the right legal entity

2. Find a location for your business with a legit business address

  • Sign Memorandum of Understanding or Template Contract
  • Acquire Certificate of Land Right Use and house ownership

3. Apply for food and beverage licenses and related permits

  • Investment Registration Certificate (IRC)
  • Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC)
  • Certificate of Food Safety Condition (COFSC)
  • Fire Protection System Registration (if any)
  • Alcohol License (if any)
  • Environmental Protection Plan Registration

Tips for Running a Successful Restaurant in Vietnam

In addition to all the requirements you must follow, here are the extra golden tips that any restaurant owners should pursue in order to put your restaurant business ahead of the game.

  • Conduct detailed market research
  • Accumulate experience in regards to restaurant operation and management
  • Obtain all legal licenses to prevent legal complications
  • Develop a professional business plan
  • Hire qualified staff
  • Observe, supervise and oversee your restaurant business

How Cekindo can Assist

Choosing the right business entity for your restaurant business is the foundation of a successful venture. Your decision affects everything from ownership structure to financing and hiring to tax implications of your company.

Cekindo is here to support motivated entrepreneurs and business owners and help you pick the perfect business structure, create and implement the best formation strategy, as well as providing you with insightful advice for your business operation and growth throughout the entire process.

Serious about your restaurant business in Vietnam? Make one of your business ideas in Vietnam come true. Schedule a consultation with Cekindo right away. Start by filling in the form below.

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Tomas Svoboda - Cekindo - Vietnam Country Manager

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Ing. Tomas Svoboda

Tomas is the co-founder & Chief Business Development Officer responsible for Vietnam. His role is to define the key potential of the Vietnamese market and to ensure that Incorp's branch in Vietnam provides its clients with smooth and hassle-free market entry solutions.