Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Fast Food Business in Singapore
Ask any Singaporean what they love to do besides hanging out online; they’d tell you they love to eat. Singapore is no stranger to a wide range of delicacies. For instance, fast food has become an essential food service in the country as it packs filling meals and convenience into one. Hence, starting a fast food business in Singapore could also help cater to niche market segments.
In the past, Singaporeans consumed simple traditional meals usually cooked by the matron of the family. As time passes and the country implements a modern lifestyle, many have resorted to food convenience. Fast food affairs were usually meant for special occasions as it is considered expensive to spend on fast food regularly. Celebrating birthdays were so common that some fast food joints even have allocated sections for birthday events.
Nowadays, fast food restaurants are frequently visited by youth groups. Groups of school and college students from all over the island often hang out at fast food outlets. Families may prefer to take away fast food rather than dining in. Working individuals in a hurry also prefer fast food as it is a convenient way of eating meals. Hence, the opportunity to start a business in the fast-food industry looks promising. Here is the guide on starting a fast food business in Singapore, which explains the industry practice, business registration, licenses, and permits.
The Fast Food Industry
The food and beverage industry has never seemed to wither. Even in the most challenging economic downturns, this industry will always survive. The most common reason is that there will always be someone who needs to eat or loves to eat. It is accurate as Singaporeans have a wide range of food interests.
The most loved amongst the food & beverage industry is the fast-food segment. The conveniences of having a fast food meal make it a favorite among the people. Although it may not be the most nutritious choice, it fills a need. Not everyone can have the luxury of time and energy to prepare a filling meal after a long day at work or school.
Thus, the moment the tummy growls for food, people can simply head over to their favorite outlets or order it online. The food arrives fresh and ready to eat. After eating, there is no need to wash any cutleries, and throwing away the food wrappers or boxes is quick and easy. No wonder the industry is booming.
The common notion is that fast food is greasy, salty, and never nutritious. But, these foods are ready to eat without the need for cutleries. Although some fast-food restaurants do provide such food, there are more fast food outlets offering nutritious options. The key to being in the fast-food industry is convenience eating. The lesser the hassle, the more likely it will fall into the fast-food category.
That is from the consumer point of view. However, from the fast-food industry perspective, fast foods are foods prepared in advance and semi-cooked foods. Hence, when an order comes in, fast food outlets can immediately cook them to perfection and serve them in minutes. It is no wonder people call it fast food.
There are many known fast food business brands opening outlets in Singapore. If you are interested in setting up one of these, you need a Singapore company registration first. Moreover, if you are a foreigner, it is best to set up a company in this country to start a fast-food business. Once you have completed the essential part, let’s look at the options available.
Fast Food Business Franchise
The most common fast food business set-up you can own in Singapore is via franchising. There are many known brands or fast food businesses that allow for franchising. Starting a fast food business through franchising may be an easy start-up, but it requires a significant initial investment. If you agree to this method, you only need to follow all standard business operating procedures prepared by the master franchisor.
Be wary, though, that you need to ensure your employees understand and execute things as prescribed. Otherwise, it may affect the entire franchise brand. If you are not into the hassle, you can always find a Singapore corporate service provider to help you.
Starting Your Own
There are many self-taught cooks these days that are brave enough to venture into business. Among them could be you, who is interested in starting a fast food business in Singapore. You could be offering something similar but with a local twist. But, if your budget is limited, your fast food business may need to start small. This includes the size of your premise, the equipment used, and the menu you can afford to serve.
Registering Your Business
As with all businesses in Singapore, one needs to have it registered so the business affair can be smooth sailing. Engaging with a firm that provides company incorporation services in Singapore such as 3E Accounting will help you achieve it in no time. Nevertheless, all company incorporation must register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). From then onwards, it is easier to apply for relevant licenses to your fast food business.
But, before heading to apply for any licenses, you should somewhat identify the location of your fast food business. If you are going with the franchise, your future outlet will need to adhere to the master franchisor’s requirements. Whereas, if you are starting your own fast food business venture, you could be looking at a minor premise. Both premise types must comply with the Environmental Public Health’s Law.
If the premise you intend to purchase or rent was not a restaurant, you might need to apply for planning permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Housing Development Board. The next step is to comply with the Code of Practice of Environmental Health and operational requirements for food business. The condition covers minimum kitchen size, refuse management, noise and fume control, and many more.
Food Shop License
Applying for the food shop license is key to operating your fast food business. In principle, without it, all that investment will go to waste. Before you can apply for a food shop license, you will need to renovate your premises to meet the minimum requirement set under the Code of Practice of Environment Health. In the meantime, you may need to get a basic food hygiene certification and also a food hygiene officer.
You would also need to get a pest control contract to ensure that your premise is thoroughly clean throughout the licensing period. Besides, you would also need to have a cleaning program and a food safety management plan. If you plan to sell halal-certified foods, you will need to deal with the halal certification body to get the halal certificate.
Finally, once the premises are fully renovated according to plan, you will need to invite the authorities for a site inspection. Until they are satisfied with the premises, they will issue you the food shop license. With so many sources to work with, you may get flustered with starting a fast food business in Singapore. Contact us and we are more than happy to help you along the way.