How to set up a takeaway business from home - (2023)

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If there were winners from the chaos of Covid and the lockdown, the delivery area was one of them.

However, it now faces a new threat from the cost of living crisis, which is causing households across the UK to lose an average of £3,000 in purchasing power by the end of next year.

As consumer consumption habits change, takeaway companies must adapt. You need to offer fair priced menus, regular promotions and discounts, and watch out for rising operating costs due to inflation.

Despite these challenges, now is a good time to start a takeaway business and serve delicious home-cooked meals directly to consumers.

The benefits are many, especially for startups, as by leveraging existing resources you can minimize the cost of other overheads like rent or travel. But settings, as our experts know, can be confusing. Fortunately, our experience has taught us all the important details, including building rules and regulations.

So put your feet up, turn on the TV on Saturday nights and let us bring the facts straight to you and tell you everything you need to know to start a small takeaway business in the guide below.

Everything you need to create a delicious takeout website

There's a lot of planning going into launching a takeout business. Fortunately, creating a website to promote your business is an area that doesn't need to cause undue stress. Thanks tomodern models like the following, you can create your own in less than an hour.

At, we've tested and ranked website building tools and identified Wix as one of the best tools you can choose to build a business website. Wix even has a selection ofcustom website templates designed specifically for takeaway businesses- Simply place your preferred menu, delivery details, text and images into your chosen template. Better yet, it's completeTry it Freefor you.

In this article we cover:

  • Should you open a takeaway business now?
  • Takeaway food business plan
  • Take-away Grocery Licenses
  • Compare Food Companies
  • Online ordering systems (ordering and payment apps)
  • The best online ordering systems for takeaway businesses
  • What else do you have to consider? can help your business succeed

At, we're here to help small businesses in the UK start, grow and thrive. We have helpful resources to help startups get started - you can use the tool below to get started today.

Startups caught up with James Tulley who shared his experience starting a Teesside based companyTake away food delivery serviceLeave street food:

Prior to Covid-19, I was working full time as a chef during the week and running my business on the weekends. When the country closed, my shop had to close. Unfortunately I didn't have the right to the license and I had to do something to not lose my house, so I set up a gourmet delivery service. The offer changed weekly and each week consisted of a menu from a different country with instructions on how to heat it up. Luckily it was a huge success! "

10 Essential Guides to Starting a Business

1 Starting a Business: An 11-Step Guide to Success

2 Free Business Plan Template

3 How to register a company name in the UK

4 How to register a trademark in the UK: step by step guide

Top 5 free project plan templates for small business

7 How to register for VAT: a guide

8 How to Become a Sole Trader: The Complete Guide

9 Small Business Grants: How to Apply for a Business Grant

10 How to create a business website

(Video) How To Start And Run A Takeaway Business From Home In The UK

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Should you open a takeaway business now?

According to a recentPost Covid market reportThe takeaway industry is experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to the British Takeaway Campaign. The report found that, at the height of the pandemic, 38% of households were ordering takeaway at least once a week (and those are just the ones that admit it) and were spending an average of £45 a month in 2020.

However, this is not just a flash in the post-pandemic situation: the market was already growing before the first national lockdown began. It has increased by 43% over the past five years and is expected to reach £22 billion by 2025.

That's an incredible rate, and it definitely bodes well for startups.

As food delivery companies increase capacity and waive registration fees, this is the perfect opportunity to lay the groundwork for your future takeaway business: set up your kitchen, acquire the necessary skills, gain the experience. needed and promote your brand. There.

Best of all, starting a takeaway food business from home doesn't require a huge upfront investment on your part. While delivery companies often charge a company registration fee, this is usually not paid until you start making money, something you should check with the delivery company before signing up!

And if you're worried about the commission fees that come with partnering with a delivery company, there's another way to get your takeout business up and running.

You can use a takeout ordering provider to create a website with an integrated ordering system. Or, if you already have a website, embed one into it. Please note that you will need your own delivery or collection service for these options. But you can learn more about these options later.

“Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge I have ever faced and to be honest the last 18 months have been very stressful. [But] the takeaway business has been booming since lockdown, so as long as your food is good and well marketed, you should be doing fine.

– James Tulley, founder of Deja Street Food.

How to set up a takeaway business from home - (2)

James Tulley, Founder of Deja Street Food

Create a travel business plan

The first step to starting a business is to create a business plan.

Your business plan is the document that structures your proposal and helps you align your objectives with a realistic and achievable goal.

It should cover all aspects of what your potential business might look like, from licensing to expected revenue. These details make you a great resource for attracting investors.

Read our free guide on how to do this.Businessplan-Designfor more information on what to include and how to get started with your business plan.

(Video) How to start a food business from home UK

Make sure you have the right business licenses to take with you.

When turning your love of food into a home delivery business, similar rules and regulations apply asstart a catering business, including the necessary permits and the level of cleanliness you must demonstrate.

Government law says you must do thisregister your grocery storeat least 28 days before opening. And if you are already trading, then you need to register as soon as possible.

Before starting a takeaway food business at home, you should also make sure you have a level 2 food hygiene certificate. Virtual College offers an accredited city and guildsLevel 2 food hygiene coursefor £12.

Compare Food Companies

The three main delivery companies Deliveryoo, Just Eat and Uber Eats have different rates, commission rates and regulations. Here's an overview.

DeliverooLike thisUber Eats
registration fees

Around £500 (including professional equipment and photography)

registration fees

£295 (now waived due to Covid-19)

registration fees

Around £300 - £430 depending on the package you want

commission percentage


commission percentage


commission percentage

15% - 30%




£0.50 service charge



Need help meeting your schedule?

Starting a takeout food business takes time and effort, and it's important to make sure you don't waste anything either.

We recommend using project management software to streamline processes, track progress and assign tasks. Whether you start your business alone or with others, it's a great way to get things moving in the right direction.

Find out which project management tools we recommend.

The numbers above provide a high level overview and thorough research should be done before signing up with a vendor.

It's also worth noting that while Just Eat has the upper hand when it comes to lower fares, it has a stricter affiliate approval process than both Deliveroo and UberEats.

Weigh the pros and cons of using a third party

Benefits of using a third party for delivery
Disadvantages of using a third party for delivery
Very easy to sign up
Start business within a week
They market your business to you.
responsible for deliveries
Associated with a brand that is not yours
customer service something out of your hands
Commissions and shipping costs apply
It can take up to seven days for payments to appear in your bank account

Online ordering systems (ordering and payment apps)

While outside delivery companies make life easier for takeaway food business owners, they receive a relatively large share of their profits in return.

So if you have the option of having your own food delivered or you want to encourage your customers to pick up their food to go, you can always use an online ordering system. An online ordering system can be integrated into your website, or you can use a white-label ordering and payment app provider to host your digital menu and process your payments.

Online ordering systems and ordering and payment applications areMore economicaljreceive less commissionthan UberEats and Deliveroo, but give your customers the option to order food directly from you. In fact, some online ordering systems offer theirfree basic packageand take only a percentage of each transaction performed by the system or application.

So how do you get one? First, contact an online takeout ordering system or ordering and payment provider. If you don't know where to start, you can always use guide you All you need to do is answer a few basic questions about your potential business and we will match you with the best suppliers for your needs.

Once set up, customers can order and pay online, and orders will arrive right on their phone.

(Video) 10 Things You MUST DO BEFORE Starting Your Business (UK) 2023

Free online ordering systems

With free online ordering systems, you can create an ordering platform and take orders for free. But is there a catch? You will likely have to pay for the following optional services:

  • A fee for payments to be deposited directly into your merchant account instead of through your online ordering platform
  • Any advanced marketing service
  • A website optimized for sales
  • A branded mobile app

The best online ordering systems for takeaway businesses

Choosing the right ordering and payment system for your business takes a lot of thought. While some providers offer free setup of their ordering and payment system, be prepared to pay a commission percentage for every transaction made through the platform. The table below shows a selection of ordering systems on the site.

Online-QuadratFlippigdirect orderreserve feedgenius to go

Free to set up with a Square account


Free to set up


0% Provision


Set up for free (requires basic computer skills)


Yes, but cash payments cannot be accepted without a custom domain, one location only

additional fees

2.5% of each transaction made through the platform

additional fees

7% order fee
2.5% card processing fee

additional fees

£199 setup cost
£8/week thereafter
£7/week optional for enrollment

additional fees

£25/month optional for a sales optimized website

additional fees

£25/month for your Essential package, which includes everything not included in your free package

Square Online allows you toCreate a simple online ordering system for free. After setting up a Square online store, you can place a link on your social media pages.

Others, like Flipdish, will help you create beautiful, user-friendly websites with integrated online ordering, and also help you implement a marketing strategy! It's up to you to decide how sophisticated you want your online ordering platform to be and how much you're willing to give up on each sale.

Using an online ordering system versus a delivery company

online ordering systemdelivery service
define costs0€ - 200€£ 300 - £ 500
Commission0% - 7%10% - 30%
immediate commitmentNOE
competition with other companies.NOE
Own marketing requiredENO

What else do you have to consider?

Create an attractive menu

You may not be used to high speed cooking. This means that you need to consider menu items that you can prepare quickly with available facilities. Decide what menu items you can best prepare before you open your shop: side dishes, sauces, and even full menu items like stews and curries.

How to set up a takeaway business from home - (3)

(Video) Start a Food Business from home in the UK with these secrets ft. Terry Igharoro

Rua Deja food menus

Be active on social media if you haven't already!

Being relatively new to the takeaway business game, you must also take responsibility for driving the business forward.

While delivery and pickup companies may market on your behalf, you need to build your own brand image using Instagram and Facebook likes to engage with your target audience.

Or maybe you already have a loyal Instagram following that you can invite to try your new menu?

Why not take a look at our guidesmall business marketingto see what hints and tips you can take with you?

How to set up a takeaway business from home - (4)

Deja Street Food Instagram account

“Find a concept you're passionate about, make sure it's different from what everyone else is doing, and stands out from the crowd. A great logo and visual marketing are important – post regularly on social media and build your brand. You sell groceries, so make sure your posts are visual and show what you do.”

James Tulley,deliver street food.

track your finances

Starting a takeaway business takes time and money, and accounting software can help with both.

Whether you run the business yourself as a sole proprietor or with a team of chefs and delivery people, you need to make sure you keep your finances in order. When you start taking orders and payments, you need to start tracking your expenses, income, and profits. You can do this with spreadsheets and a lot of work, but we encourage you to get some help. Finding an accountant is expensive, so it's easier to use software to help you with the legwork.

Accounting software is designed to simplify complex money-related processes. From tracking your expenses to managing your taxes, every financial process becomes easier with the right tools.Take a look at the accounting software we rated the best.

“Make sure you cost your dishes correctly. Calculate exactly how much each dish costs to produce, including packaging. It's very, very important. Then you can calculate correctly. Grocery costs should be around 20-30% of its retail price. No point in selling a dish for £5 when it costs £3 to make."

– James Tulley, Street Food Holiday

Use the software to your advantage

Similar to the above, software can help you set your business up for success in many ways; This can make organizing your tasks, tracking your customer base, and getting paid much easier. Using software tools now available to even the smallest of businesses can literally save business owners hours of time every week and even help them provide better customer service.

Consider our top recommended software tools for task and team management, customer information management, and store checkout below:

What should I do next?

Here is a summary of how to start a home delivery business:

  1. Contact several delivery companies or online ordering providers to see if their services are a viable option.
  2. Make sure you register your business with the Food Standards Agency within 28 days
  3. Make sure your kitchen is fully equipped and has the proper food hygiene certificates
  4. Stay active on social media. Start a discussion about your new takeout business. You might even get some tips from adigital marketing agency. Startups works with several agencies that will be happy to advise you
  5. Brainstorm menu ideas and practice each of your dishes by cooking for the people in your home.

“My number one piece of advice for people wanting to start a takeout business is that there is always something that can go wrong, you have to wait, and to be flexible and understanding, you have to dedicate a lot of time to doing it. sure you can. .

“And most of all, make sure your food is amazing! Organize your recipes and weigh all ingredients in grams so dishes are consistent when prepared by other employees.”

– James Tulley, Street Food Holiday can help your business succeed

At, we're here to help small businesses in the UK start, grow and thrive. We have helpful resources to help startups get started - you can use the tool below to get started today. is easy to read. If you purchase through links on our site, we may receive a commission from retailers of the products we review. This helps to provide free reviews to our readers. There are no additional costs to you and the editorial independence of our reviews is never compromised.


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