Set­ting up a restau­rant busi­ness

French Property News - - Expert Advice - - Cre­ation of the busi­ness

My hus­band and I are chefs and have al­ways dreamed about set­ting up our own restau­rant, but it’s so ex­pen­sive in the UK. While on hol­i­day in Nor­mandy re­cently, we saw a restau­rant up for sale in a pretty, touristy vil­lage and were amazed by how cheap it was. Ever since we got back we’ve been day­dream­ing about mov­ing there. But how easy would it be to do this? I know you can’t tell us ev­ery­thing but where do we start? What do we need to think about first? Name supplied

Tracy Leonetti, di­rec­tor of Leonotti Busi­ness Ser­vices (lb­sin­france.com) replies: I’m a great be­liever in fol­low­ing your dreams and mak­ing them hap­pen but, of course, plan­ning ahead is ex­tremely im­por­tant, es­pe­cially if you are think­ing of set­ting up a busi­ness in France!

The first key point would be to en­sure the restau­rant con­cept is clear (theme, menu, dec­o­ra­tion, pric­ing) along with the busi­ness plan and mar­ket study so that you know your project is vi­able be­fore in­vest­ing. Ask your­self the right ques­tions and if you are not sure what they are, then get some help.

On the prac­ti­cal­i­ties in France, here are some point­ers to get you started:

The busi­ness will need to be reg­is­tered with many or­gan­i­sa­tions: the RCS (trade and com­pa­nies reg­is­ter), the SSI (so­cial se­cu­rity for busi­nesses) and the tax office.

For help with these for­mal­i­ties I would highly rec­om­mend that you make an ap­point­ment with the lo­cal CCI ( cham­bre de com­merce) in the area you are think­ing of open­ing your restau­rant as they can ac­com­pany you through the prepa­ra­tion of your busi­ness plan and with the busi­ness for­mal­i­ties.

They can also dis­cuss the dif­fer­ent types of le­gal and fis­cal struc­tures for your restau­rant. It’s very im­por­tant to un­der­stand the op­tions open to you as the cost of run­ning a busi­ness can be high.

- Li­cences and train­ing cour­ses

You will need an op­er­at­ing li­cence ( per­mis d’ex­ploita­tion) if you are think­ing of serv­ing al­co­hol dur­ing the meals. If you want to serve al­co­hol out­side of the meals, you will need to ap­ply for a bar li­cence called a ‘ li­cence de débit de bois­sons à con­som­mer sur place’.

To ob­tain this per­mis a two-and-a-half-day op­er­at­ing li­cence train­ing course needs to be fol­lowed, cost­ing ap­prox­i­mately €550. You will be issued with a cer­tifi­cate at the end of this course that needs to be given to your lo­cal mairie (town hall) in or­der to get your li­cence. So, again, a good point of con­tact would be to go and see the lo­cal mairie in the area you are want­ing to set up your busi­ness. They are gen­er­ally help­ful with the pa­per­work so get them in­volved in your project early on !

- Health and safety

You will also need to at­tend an oblig­a­tory hy­giene train­ing course. This train­ing course lasts two days and any chef you em­ploy should have done this train­ing course but it’s a good idea that you fol­low the course too, as you will be ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for your restau­rant and its hy­giene.

Use­ful links

For the train­ing cour­ses, there are a few or­gan­i­sa­tions and which one you choose may de­pend on where your busi­ness will be and their avail­abil­ity for cour­ses. Here is one to get you started: www.umi­h­for­ma­tion.fr

Cham­bre de com­merce and di­rec­tory: www.cci.fr/web/por­tail-acfci/ac­cueil

One last word of ad­vice, work to­wards your dream, one step at a time!

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