How to Open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia?

You probably have in your mind the question of how to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia. And this is understandable as this country is one filled with both incredible culture and tradition in the field of gastronomy. But before setting up your restaurant in Saudi Arabia, there are some laws and regulations to understand and some things to know.

In this article, we will go through topics such as: how to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia, how much does it cost to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia? business registration, and visa application. Giving you the best information on this topic so you can better understand all the steps you will need to follow to establish your own food business in Saudi Arabia.

Why Open a Restaurant In Saudi Arabia?

restaurant in saudi arabia

You have come to the right place if you want to know why opening a food business in Saudi Arabia can be one of the best decisions you can make. There are several benefits and conveniences. Let us see what these can be by having your fast food restaurant in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Constantly growing economy:

It is no secret that the economy of Saudi Arabia is the largest in the Middle East. In addition to having laws that favor foreign investment allowing exponential growth in the short and long term.

  1. Convenient tax structure:

As mentioned above, Saudi Arabia has a beneficial tax structure. It has a low and, in some cases, new income tax. This allows the growth of new companies and businesses in the country.

  1. Growing food industry in Saudi Arabia:

Saudis are known for their great love for gastronomy. This makes it favorable for the establishment of restaurants in the country. Moreover, the estimated growth of the Saudi food market by 2025 is nearly $13.7 billion.

  1. Safety and reliability:

In addition, the country of Saudi Arabia is also recognized for its safe and stable living environment. This is of great benefit to be able to attract employees from other countries with incredible talents.

  1. Tradition and avant-garde:

Not to mention that opening a fast food restaurant in Saudi Arabia will allow you to delve from the country’s tradition to its innovation. Offering new opportunities to create unique environments that will appeal to the masses.

How much does it cost to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia?

To determine how much does it cost to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia? you will need to determine several factors. Also, these factors can drastically change the cost of opening a restaurant. These range from the size of your establishment, gastronomic concept, licenses, permits, etc.:

  1. Location for restaurant and rent:

The cost of the location you are going to rent will change depending on the location for restaurant, size, and other factors of the restaurant itself. If you are thinking of renting a location in a commercial or tourist area this cost will be much higher.

  1. Licenses and permits:

Also, the cost to establish your business can vary between $4000 to $8000 depending on the type of restaurant in Saudi Arabia you want to establish. In addition to all the services you want to offer in it.

  1. Decoration of your restaurant and kitchen equipment:

These prices may vary according to the type of gastronomy you are going to offer and the decoration you want your restaurant to have. But keep in mind that you will also have to calculate the cost of your kitchen equipment, staff uniform, and furniture operating technologies among other expenses.

  1. Salary of your employees:

The gross salary that a restaurant in Saudi Arabia employee can earn can be SAR 47,998. Of course, this may vary according to future laws and regulations.

Also, you have to remember that the type of food you are going to serve, the size of the premises you want to rent, the location of the premises and so on will influence the cost for your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. Not to mention that you will have to pay a business license fee of about SAR 2000 per year.

Procedural Steps to Open a Restaurant in Saudi Arabia

The procedures you must follow to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia are specific and clear. You must be in compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements of the country for the proper operation of your restaurant.

Some of the steps to follow may vary depending on your situation, style of restaurant, permits, etc. But in general, they follow the same pattern from registering your restaurant, applying for the visa, and obtaining the licenses. Let us take a closer look at these steps to enter the food industry in Saudi Arabia.

Register a Business Name

To open your restaurant in Saudi Arabia you will need to register a business name. This step is crucial for the creation of your brand and to be able to have a distinctive in the legal framework. But for this, you must know about the following parameters:

Choice of your name:

  • First of all, you have to choose a name for your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. It should be unique and represent your restaurant. Also, the name must comply with all local regulations, this means no hate messages.

Verify the availability of the name:

  • Next, you have to check if the name you want to name your restaurant is free. The name of your restaurant in Saudi Arabia must be a sole proprietorship and should not be used by another company or venue.

Preparation of your documents:

  • After that, you have to prepare all the documents for the filing of your name. These are the business name registration application, your passport, and copies of your ID among others.

Reservation of your name:

  • After you see the availability of the name you want to use you have to reserve it at the Ministry of Commerce in Saudi Arabia. The same service will let you reserve the trade name for 60 days. This is until you issue a commercial registration.

Payment of fees:

  • You will also have to pay all the corresponding fees at the time of registering your trade name. The cost of the fees may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

Approval and Obtaining:

  • After you submit your application, we will verify the availability of the name and that it complies with all regulations. Also, you will then be given a certificate that confirms that your restaurant name is official and protected by the laws of Saudi Arabia.

Apply for Visa Application

Also, to work or establish your restaurant in Saudi Arabia you must apply for a visa. This is especially important if you are a foreigner looking to invest in the country. To do this you must also follow several steps to obtain your visa and follow all the regulations of the country:

Determine your visa:

  • First, you must know which visa you might need to open your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. You can opt for a business visa, investment visa, or work visa.

Prepare your documentation:

  • Then you will need to have your valid passport, passport-size photos of yourself, business plan, proof of sufficient funds, and visa form among other documents at hand.

Visa application:

  • Also, if you have a Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate in your country you can choose to apply there. You can visit the embassy’s website to know in more detail the means you can use for your visa application.

Payment of fees:

  • The cost of your visa fees may vary depending on the type of visa you want to apply for.

Obtaining your visa:

  • After your application is approved, you will receive your visa which will allow you to establish your restaurant in the country. You must also verify that all the information is correct.

Get Saudi Arabia Restaurant License

In addition to your visa, you need to obtain a license to operate your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. Also, this license will allow you to follow the laws and regulations of the country when opening your restaurant:

  1. Business registration license requirements:

The requirements for obtaining your license may vary depending on the location of your premises and the type of restaurant you will be opening. Therefore, you should ask firsthand what are all the requirements you will need to meet for the license application.

  1. Registration of your restaurant:

You will then have to register your restaurant with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. This will result in you having to fill out registration forms, provide your documentation, and pay the fees that will be required.

  1. Land use permit:

You must also obtain a land use permit for your commercial business. This permit is usually obtained from the local municipality or will be given to you by the urban planning authority.

  1. Comply with health and hygiene regulations:

Before submitting your application, you must comply with all health and engineering regulations in the country. Also, you must have adequate food handling equipment and systems, trained employees, and a cleaning service.

  1. Submitting your application:

After your restaurant complies with all health and engineering regulations and is registered. You have to complete an application form. You can obtain it from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce portal.

  1. Approval and renewal:

Once all requirements are reviewed and your restaurant passes a review, you will be given your license to operate a restaurant in Saudi Arabia. You can renew it from the Ministry of commerce website. Just fill out the renewal application and wait for your approval.

Physical Requirements

restaurant in saudi arabia

In addition to all the legal requirements for losing your restaurant in Saudi Arabia, you need to know the physical requirements for a restaurant in Saudi Arabia. You have to know the physical requirements for the same. You have to follow a series of rules and regulations given by the country.

These will help you to be able to follow the regulations of the country and you will have an easier time applying for your license to operate your restaurant. These requirements range from the location of your restaurant and venue Requirements to the equipment of the restaurant.

Best Location

Having an incredible location will guarantee the success of your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. That is why it is important that you know which are the points that you will have to evaluate and study when choosing your location.

Big cities:

  • Also, Cities like Riyadh or Jeddah could be good options for you when choosing a location for your restaurant. Since these areas are full of population this translates into more potential customers for your business.

Shopping streets and malls:

  • You also have different shopping malls or commercial streets which are a good option for establishment. These places have so much tourist traffic that they will give more visibility among the competition.

Safety distance for your restaurant:

  • Also, it is good for your restaurant in Saudi Arabia to be 25 meters away from stores that sell gas and 30 meters away from gas stations. These measures can be taken for the protection of your clientele and your employees.


  • you should research your competition for information on other restaurants that may be similar to yours. You can look for niche arenas where the market is easy to tap.

Long-term growth:

  • You can also evaluate your long-term growth and research the area. You can learn about new construction and demographic changes that may affect your restaurant’s clientele in the long or medium term.

Venue Requirements for Your Restaurant

The requirements of your restaurant in Saudi Arabia are an important part of your restaurant’s functionality. That is why you have to think about the experience of your clientele and the well-being of your employees. Let us see what key points you could take into account on this topic:

  1. Layout of your space:

Your store must have enough space for your kitchen, dining room, storage area, restrooms, and recreational areas which can be optional. Laying out your premises in an optimal way will give more success in work and greater comfort to customers.

  1. Kitchen:

Your kitchen also has to have enough space to be able to operate quietly. In addition to being equipped with appliances, utensils, and all the necessary equipment for the creation of top-notch dishes.

  1. Dining room:

Also, the area where your customers will taste their dishes must have a comfortable and quiet environment. This includes chairs, tables, lighting, and decoration according to your restaurant among other visual attractions for the delight of your customers.

  1. Ventilation systems:

Your restaurant in Saudi Arabia must have a proper ventilation system to have a comfortable and safe environment.

  1. Security:

In addition, you will need to have a security system that can be suitable to protect your customers and your employees. These can be fire alarm systems, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers among others.

  1. Accessibility:

You could also consider making your restaurant accessible to people with disabilities. Creating clear corridors, adapted bathrooms, wide doors, and access ramps.

Remember that these aspects are only globalization and that you can apply as much as necessary. The important thing is to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your clients and workers. You can choose to hire interior designers to give your restaurant the touch you are looking for.

Modern Restaurant Equipment

If you want your restaurant in Saudi Arabia to have the best optimization and efficiency when operating, you can choose to have top-of-the-line equipment. They make the work easier and give a better experience to your employees. Among the ones you can get are:

  • Convection ovens
  • Air fryers
  • Induction cooking equipment
  • Charcoal or infrared gas grills
  • Refrigeration equipment
  • Cooking equipment
  • Coffee and espresso machines
  • Order and point-of-sale management system
  • Dishwashing machines
  • Food display and presentation machines
  • Juicers and beverage equipment

Keep in mind that the variation of equipment may be different depending on the type of restaurant you want to set up. It is good if you already have a general idea of what your areas will be. Then you can figure out what might be the best kitchen equipment for you.

Pro tips before opening a restaurant in Saudi Arabia

If you want to know how to have the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia it is good that you are aware of a series of tips which we will give you in a few moments. They can help you make a bigger impact and ensure your success easily in the Saudi Arabian ecosystem.

Having an understanding of the delivery system, the best restaurant system, and designing your menu are topics that will make your restaurant one of the best restaurants in Saudi Arabia compared to others when you open it. So, let us explore each of them and see how they can help you:

Design a profitable restaurant menu

Designing a menu which is accessible to your customers will be one of your best tools when opening your restaurant in Saudi Arabia. That is why learning and understanding its key points will be your best ally:

  1. Know your key customers:

You should also ask yourself several questions before designing your menu such as. Will my customers be locals or tourists, will I have traditional dishes or something exotic, will my business provide healthy fast food? With this understanding, you will be able to have a key menu for needs of your customers.

  1. Careful dishes:

In addition, you will need to have a series of dishes that are cost-effective to cook. Which should have an affordable cost to make and a favorable profit margin for you.

  1. Presentation of your menu:

It is also important that you have the consideration of creating your menu in an eye-catching way. With appetizing pictures, some descriptions of your dishes and that are easy to read.

  1. Pricing:

You will also need to understand the prices in the industry and have a study of them. In addition, you may choose to consider pricing psychology strategies which can help you to better present your prices.

  1. Regular menu adjustment:

Once you have opened your restaurant, you should rotate your dishes. These can be adjusted according to current trends and feedback from all your customers and employees.

Use a restaurant management system

In addition, you can opt to use a restaurant management system to better manage your restaurant’s productivity. This can be a great idea when looking for long and medium-term success:

  1. Choose your management system:

There is many software to manage a restaurant. For this reason, you must investigate each one. Studying its benefits and features.

  1. Install the system in your restaurant:

After you have selected your system, you will have to set it up in your restaurant. You will have to install hardware, software, point-of-sale, and other related equipment.

  1. Training your staff:

You must also train all your staff so that they can have a good handling of the system. They will be able to learn how to manage pricing, track sales, and inventory, and help you manage the store.

Consider online ordering and delivery

Lastly, using online ordering and delivery will give your business an extra edge in reaching more people. This can help you create a wider network of customers and achieve the success you want. The benefits you can get are:

  1. More reach in your restaurant in Saudi Arabia:

You will be able to have a wider clientele by reaching out to sectors that do not like to visit restaurants. But they still want to consume your products regularly.

  1. Ease:

In addition, it will give ease to customers who are unable to come to your restaurant either because they are in their offices or other circumstances. The online ordering system makes it more convenient for customers to order food from home or work.

  1. Better marketing:

By implementing an online ordering system, you will have a greater impact on customers. This translates into your marketing campaign could include coupons or offers for using your services.

  1. Effectiveness at work:

Finally, you will have better effectiveness when it comes to automating deliveries. This will give your staff time and resources to use in other areas which might be a little more important.


In conclusion, opening a restaurant in Saudi Arabia can be one of your best decisions when venturing into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since you have a lot of benefits and advantages when it comes to growing your business.

Understanding the tastes and needs of your customers will make you the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia. Giving you the status to have more branches worldwide.

Saudi Company Formation

Remember that if you want to read about this and more articles you can do it in our blog section. Or if you want to contact us for more information you can do it at +971 43 316 688, we will be waiting for you to give you the best information.

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