How To Start a Restaurant in Malaysia 

Nowadays, many modest roadside booths have gone viral owing to the originality and variety of the cuisine itself, with customers eager to line up to buy it. We would recommend for sellers that wish to grow their business from enterprise to Sdn Bhd. It is an excellent chance for your company's future. Have you made the decision to operate a restaurant in Malaysia as your next big project? There are many things to plan and accomplish, but first it's necessary to understand what's involved and what to expect. Let's figure out the next step together!

1. Strategies your business plan

The greatest thing you can do before launching a restaurant or any other food company is to have a detailed strategy that outlines all of your business-critical components. The food and beverage sector is not only fast-paced, but also incredibly competitive, and entering the scene without a solid plan is a definite way to fail. You must be prepared by having a solid strategy that covers the most critical aspects, such as:

  • Budgets
  • Business operations
  • Financial predictions
  • Restaurant branding and market fit
  • Marketing strategy approach
  • Suppliers
  • Staffing needs and recruiting rules
  • Service standards and compliance 
  • 2. Secure your funding

    It's a truism that no firm can exist, let alone thrive, without money. To get your restaurant off the ground, you must first get money.From a financial standpoint, here is what you should know when starting a restaurant in Malaysia:

    • The expense of starting and running a food business.
    • What the costs include you must write down exactly what you need money for, such as rent, employees, and equipment.
    • Your preferred method(s) of obtaining the required capital loans, investors, self-funding, and so on.

    3. Register your company/Company Incorporation

    Before you may start a restaurant in Malaysia, you must first register and incorporate your business. When you are going to register your company, you need to choose a name, a name that can represent your business activities and does not exist yet. Next is to decide which business entity that you want to register, you can read more for the type of business entity. For more details about company incorporation services and company secretarial services, you can contact us here. 

    4. Locate your best site

    When developing marketing plans and strategies to effectively sell to their target audience, business owner typically consider the 4Ps. One of it is “Place” which is very crucial to business owner to have proper location in order to start a restaurant business in Malaysia. Whether you have a dine-in restaurant or merely offer delivery, here are the variables to consider when determining where to set up shop:

    • Which neighbourhood or location has the highest commercial potential?
    • Who is your intended audience?
    • How many rivals currently operate in that market?

    5. Recruit your core team

    Aside from having a decent site, a company firm must also employ people to run their business with competent management so that the process runs smoothly and without dispute or complaint later on. That's because your company's service, devotion, quality, and commitment to providing a great experience are all given to your customers by your employees. That is why assembling the correct team is crucial. Not to mention that staffing is a significant portion of your operational expenditures. Here are some of the most important staffing-related considerations to consider before approaching this critical step:

    1. How many personnel will your restaurant require?
    2. Which jobs are most important to the restaurant's success?
    3. How will you teach your employees, and what will it entail?

    6. Get ready to get into business.

    Finding the proper location and witnessing the elements of a new restaurant in Malaysia come together is quite thrilling! But you still have a lot of issues to work out before you can open for business. The following are the critical issues that must be resolved:

    Insurance - When you operate a restaurant or other food company, you take on a lot of liability risk, so having proper insurance is critical. Anything may go wrong in a variety of areas, so be sure you're covered.

    Renovations, it's likely that the site you've chosen isn't ideal for your business. Whether it is a renovation or a redesign of the interior design (or both), it will require time and money to complete before your food company can serve consumers.

    Equipments opening your doors for business isn't an option unless you have all of the necessary equipment to create and cook the delectable foods you're promising to serve. Make sure you're properly prepared for your first order, from storage through preparation and delivery.

    Suppliers, you'll need to find suppliers you can rely on to supply the quality and quantity of ingredients you want in the period you specify. This should be taken care of before you open your doors to the general public.

    Licenses - To operate a restaurant in Malaysia, many licences are required, including:

    Business license/Signboard license 

    These can be applied from local authority such as DBKL (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur) or MBPJ (Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya), depending where your restaurant is located. The requirements and cost of license may vary according to each local authority. The usual documents may be required are:

    • For Company/Sdn Bhd- relevant statutory forms - Certificate of incorporation Sec 17, Superform Sec 14 and etc
    • Copy of food handling certificate.
    • Copy of Typhoid injection card given by the doctor.
    • List of all employee’s names.
    • Photo of grease traps in your establishment.
    • Pest control service agreement contract certificate.
    • Supporting document from the local Fire & Safety department
    • Copy of fire extinguisher permit/receipt
    • Sample of signboard indicating design and colour (if applicable); and
    • Photos showing the location of signboard (if applicable)

    Food Handling License

    Anyone who works with food must finish a food handling course taught by a Ministry of Health-approved training school,as stipulated in the Food Hygiene Regulation 2009 issued by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

    Other licenses

    • Liquor license: If you intend to offer any type of liquor, whether beer or hard liquor, you must obtain the necessary license from your local town council. The Beer House License, in particular, will be suited for the use of alcohol on premises. (at the date of this article, Ministry of Financehas directed the Customs Department not to proceed with the enforcement of licensing on the sale of alcohol in restaurants and coffee shops)
    • Halal license: If your restaurant will not offer pork or alcohol, you may want to obtain a Halal licence from Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM). - you may visit for more information
    • Music Authors' Copyright Protection Berhad License (MACP): if you want to play music of any kind in your restaurant, you must apply to the MACP.- you may visit for more information
    • Composite License: governs when and where you dispose of your waste.
    • Wholesale and Retail Trade License: required for foreigners who want to conduct this type of business in Malaysia.The minimum capital investment in terms of shareholders’ funds, which include paid-upcapital and reserves is RM1 million

    The standards and processes for getting licences differ by each local council.

    7. Promote your restaurant

    Today's F&B climate is just too competitive for you to ignore the marketing channels at your disposal. With thousands of people fighting for the same clients' attention, you'll need to get innovative. To be competitive, you must promote your food business as effectively as, if not better than, your competitors. You can refer the following marketing strategies to establish your presence and be a competitive business owner:
    • Website - ensure that your food company website is user-friendly, visually appealing, and prominently shows your menu; make it simple for clients to view the delicacies you provide and place an order.
    • Online marketing entails being active on social media in addition to having a well-optimized website.
    • Offline marketing consists of menu flyers and booklets, advertising boards, and so forth.
    • Soft launch - spread the word to attract clients through promotions, deals, food sampling, special events, and so on.

    Are you ready to get started? Now that you understand the procedure of operating a restaurant in Malaysia, let's get started on your restaurant ownership and adventure your company incorporation straight now with Altomate. Contact us now for company incorporation services.

    Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

    Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

    One of the famous cloud accounting software in Malaysia is Xero, which is originated from New Zealand/Australia and currently serving more than 2 million business worldwide. Xero accounting software is a cloud based program designed that gives business owners real time access
    Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

    Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

    One of the famous cloud accounting software in Malaysia is Xero, which is originated from New Zealand/Australia and currently serving more than 2 million business worldwide. Xero accounting software is a cloud based program designed that gives business owners real time access
    Writing your Business Plan

    Writing your Business Plan

    It is important to create your business plan as it will help to guide you on how to structure, manage and develop your business.


    If you're looking to form an Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia, or have any other questions on starting your business, contact the team at Altomate. Why not check out our service for Company Incorporation too?

    We're here to answer any questions, provide resources, and give you the exact answers you need to get your business to the next level. We thank you for reading this article and hope it gave you some new thoughts and business ideas to move forward with.