Restaurant license

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A restaurant concession , hospitality authorization (Austria), hosts Patent (Switzerland), old pitcher justice , new and often Inn / liquor license is to open and operate a restaurant required by law to if requested this sovereign act. If such an act is required, today it is usually a personnel concession . Historically, it could also be connected to a building; You could then become a landlord by purchasing an inn.


The operation of a restaurant, more precisely a restaurant trade, is governed by restaurant law . The trade regulations apply and - in principle - the Federal Catering Act of May 5, 1970 , abbreviated GastG, whose § 31 in turn refers to the trade regulations. The concept of a restaurant license has been alien to German application of the law since 1970 at the latest .
According to § 2 , the catering industry would therefore require a permit if not only non-alcoholic drinks, prepared meals or free samples are "given" or if this is not only done to house guests as part of an accommodation facility; In addition, the GastG knows a simplified form of permission, namely the permission granted "for a special occasion".
However, with the federalism reform, the federal states have been given sovereignty over restaurant law. Some made use of it and enacted their own restaurant laws, whereby often only a notification requirement is regulated with the authority and possibly an obligation of the supervisory authority to refuse the operation according to § 35 trade regulations due to unreliability. In the other countries, the old law continues to apply.
Already under the Catering Act of 1970, the federal states were authorized to regulate the freedom of license for ostrich taverns themselves by means of a statutory instrument.

Refusal, prohibition

A restaurant permit is to be refused according to § 4 GastG (if applicable and not under state law) if:

  • the applicant does not have the necessary reliability, in particular because he is devoted to the drink or is concerned that he will exploit inexperienced, reckless or weak- willed people, promote the abuse of spirits, gambling or immorality or the provisions of food law, health law , the protection of minors and occupational health and safety will not comply;
  • the rooms dedicated to the operation of the restaurant or the stay of the employees are unsuitable for the operation, in particular because of the necessary protection of guests and employees from dangers to life, health or morality or do not comply with the other regulations for the maintenance of public safety and order ;
  • the restaurant contradicts the public interest with regard to its location or its use, in particular has harmful environmental effects or other dangers or nuisances for the general public.

Conditions and evidence

According to food hygiene law, it may be necessary to provide evidence of the expertise or training of the commercial person or of the people in this field who handle food in the company.

A restaurant permit or permit can be granted with requirements or conditions (e.g. noise protection).

The following documents would be required when applying:

Insofar as state law applies, it often provides for similar evidence in the course of at least the usual duty of disclosure and checking for trade prohibitions.


The fee for a restaurant license could previously be over € 10,000, in Rhineland-Palatinate up to € 11,502. It was composed of a basic amount and an area amount. In addition, there were surcharges depending on the type of operation and location of the restaurant. Today the European Services Directive applies in this area . The effect of this is that it is not the economic value of a license that has to be skimmed off, but the expense of the authority. This usually results in fees of up to € 500. The exception is the Saarland, in which there is no longer a licensing procedure; here the trade is only to be registered as a trade subject to monitoring (45 € plus 6 € for trade subject to monitoring).


The hospitality law is essentially regulated in the trade regulations  (GewO). In order to practice the hospitality industry in Austria, you have to submit a business registration to the responsible trade authority ( district administration authority ). This then grants a hospitality license . In order to then open a restaurant, corresponding operating facility permits are also required.

The only exceptions are special forms such as running a tavern and renting private rooms (up to ten beds as part of the domestic part-time employment by members of the own household, also as part of vacation on the farm ) - these are in principle not covered by commercial activity.

The business registration in the hospitality industry includes the scope of the intended exercise ( serving of beverages, serving food , accommodation ) and type of operation (e.g. hotel, inn, coffee house, snack bar, etc.).

The authority then checks the required personal and factual requirements.

The associated with the establishment guest and Schankgewerbe concession (last § 189 para. 1 GewO 1973), which could be mitgepachtet with the building was completely abolished with the amended GewO 1994 (and transferred to an installation license).


The host patent is a cantonal certificate of proficiency for gastronomy . A host patent is granted in the cantons of Aargau , Appenzell Innerrhoden , Bern , Basel-Landschaft , Basel-Stadt , Freiburg , Geneva , Jura , Lucerne , Neuchâtel , Nidwalden , Obwalden , St. Gallen , Schaffhausen , Solothurn , Ticino , Thurgau , Vaud and Valais (Certificate of proficiency) required in order to obtain an operating license. The Hospitality Act is regulated at cantonal level, so the requirements for issuing patents are different. In order to obtain a host patent, applicants must pass several exams in different areas such as: B. Completed food law , accounting , marketing , hospitality law . The examination is carried out by the cantonal examination committee.

No patent requirement

In some cantons there is no patent requirement. A patent is not required if you have a degree from a hotel management school. The further conditions for the issuing of patents result from the cantonal hospitality laws. In the canton of Bern, for example, a license in the form of a patent is not required for public catering establishments with fewer than 30 seats, for public catering establishments in hospitals and retirement homes and for those companies that are located outside of towns in the hiking or skiing area and have fewer than 50 seats , as well as have a small menu.

Conditions and evidence

The cantons, in turn, have different conditions and requirements for issuing a patent. In order for a patent to be issued, the applicant must have a good repute. Any entries in the criminal record can lead to the denial of the patent (e.g. in the canton of Bern). In certain cantons (e.g. canton Aargau), professional experience in a hospitality business is required.


The aim of the test is to ensure the quality of the hospitality industry . The aim is to prevent people from opening a hotel and restaurant business even though they are not up to the challenges of running a business. The requirements in the areas of hygiene , accounting and human resources are high. The courses and exams ensure that operators have basic knowledge in these areas.


Depending on the canton, different requirements are placed on the knowledge of the applicant. Accordingly, the cantonal exams are more or less detailed. Courses must be attended prior to the exam. These are offered by various institutions.


In the mid-1990s, public discussions began on whether to abolish the host patent. Among other things, the opinion was expressed that liberalization of the hospitality industry could improve quality. On the other hand, it was feared that the hospitality industry would go to waste because anyone would have the opportunity to open a hospitality industry. The cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden , Glarus , Graubünden , Solothurn , Schwyz , Uri , Zug and Zurich have since abolished the host patent. Since then, the host patent has been regularly discussed in the canton of Basel-Stadt. It was reintroduced in the canton of Solothurn on January 1, 2016. In the remaining cantons, the requirements for training and knowledge vary.


The requirements for issuing patents are regulated by the cantons. Important subject areas such as food and hygiene regulations are regulated at the federal level (LMG, hygiene ordinance).

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. § 1 Restaurant Act
  2. § 12 GastG
  3. § 14
  4. a b c d e Information on hospitality permits , Austrian Chamber of Commerce
  5. cf. this decision the Supreme Court, Business Number 2Ob406 / 50 , 17 June 1950
  6. Transitional provisions § 376. 14b. ( Hospitality ) GewO 1994 ( i. D. G. F. online, ris.bka )
  7. [ BSG 935.11 - Gastgewerbegesetz (GGG)], BELEX - collections of laws of the Canton of Bern, accessed on September 19, 2018
  8. Hosts are at odds - Basel wants to abolish host patents , RegionalJournal Basel, accessed on September 19, 2018
  9. Solothurn host patent - reality again since 2016 , Swiss Distance Learning Gastronomy School, accessed on March 17, 2017
  10. Creating a hygiene concept - self-control in the catering industry ,, accessed on September 19, 2018