[Japan]Differences between the “Restaurant businesses” and “Coffee shop businesses”

We have introduced all types of industries, which is 34 kinds in total related with food business and requires permission to run last time. “Restaurant businesses” and “Coffee shop businesses” has been known as the most common type of food permit among those industries.

This time, we will be going through the differences between the “Restaurant businesses” and the “Coffee shop businesses”.

To start with, let’s give the definition to the above businesses.

For “Restaurant businesses”, it refers to businesses of general eating places, cooking stores, sushi restaurants, soba noodle shops, Japanese inns, caterers, lunch box stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, and cabarets, and other businesses for cooking food or setting up facilities to serve customers.

On the other side, for “Coffee shop businesses”, it refers to businesses of coffee shops and salons, and other businesses for setting up facilities to serve drinks or refreshments to customers other than alcoholic beverages.

To make a simplified conclusion, the largest differences between the two industries is that, in case of you are obtaining a “Coffee shop businesses”, you cannot serve any cuisines, that are cooked on-site, or alcoholic beverages.

The coffee shops that you can often see at the streets are not holding the “Coffee shop businesses” license but the “Restaurant businesses” license since some of them are serving alcoholic beverage such as wine and food.

However, obtaining the “Restaurant businesses” license is more difficult than the “Coffee shop businesses”.

To give further information, one of the requirements for obtaining the “Restaurant businesses” license is that the Kitchen sink and Hot water supply equipment must be installed in the shop even it is not necessary, while “Coffee shop businesses” does not have such restrictions. Some people choose to apply for the “Coffee shop businesses” because the installation of the Hot water supply equipment cost money, and Kitchen sink cannot be innovated afterwards.

We are sure you are getting to know more about the food permit, right? If you have any questions for us or want us to guide you to obtain the food permit, please feel free to contact us at any time. Next time, we will be discussing about the Food Hygiene Manager for the food permit. See you!


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