Serving up simplicity for new café owners

Starting a food business can be a difficult and lengthy process. Juggling licences, permits, fees and approvals from multiple government agencies can take up precious time.

Your real focus needs to be on selling macchiatos and gourmet smashed avocado, or simply hitting the road in a shiny new food truck.

Meeting your legal requirements is just the starting point. By getting through these steps quickly, the sooner you can open the doors of your new café, and focus on building your business.

The Queensland Government identified an opportunity to make this process easier for you. We collaborated with current and potential café owners and local, federal and state government agencies, to clearly identify the process of opening a new café in Queensland. This has resulted in the rollout of a trial ‘starting a café’ service in Brisbane and Logan.

In the same way services like travel and banking have taken an online user experience approach, we are also focused on redefining our services to meet your needs, not the other way round.

Our ‘starting a café’ trial service is designed to remove the confusion around what you need to do to get your business up and running.

“This is really simple and fresh. It looks easy to use, it would give me the information I need” — prospective Queensland café owner

The new service is set up like an interview. We ask you a series of questions about your food business plans and from your answers, we’ll explain what key government licences, regulatory obligations and support services you need. No longer do you have to search through more than 100 possible licences and regulations, we’ll serve up a list of the information you need, how long it takes and what it costs.

There are countless benefits to this service. Simplifying information makes it easier, faster and cheaper to get your business up and running. This service allows you to focus on what’s important — your service offering, marketing your business and building a strong customer base.

“I wish this had been around a year ago” — prospective Queensland café owner

Since the ‘starting a café’ trial started in late 2016, more than 2100 business intenders have used the tool. Feedback has shown the service saves time, and reduces confusion. Finding the relevant food business licences now takes 10 minutes, rather than a week.

“Wow, this really does cover everything” — prospective Queensland café owner

‘Starting a café’ is one great example of how the Queensland Government’s collaborative work in developing digital services is making a positive difference for local Queensland businesses. Building on the success of this pilot, we are continuing to collaborate with the federal government to deliver even better outcomes for Queensland businesses.

Visit to read about other Queensland Government initiatives that put people at the heart of digital services.

DIGITAL1ST is our strategy that outlines the Queensland Government’s overarching approach to delivering great digital services.