How to open a restaurant in Poland

How to open a restaurant in Poland

How to open a restaurant in Poland

The restaurant industry in Poland is booming and could be a potentially lucrative market for investors. The catering sector in Polish cities has become more popular in recent years and restaurant life in Poland has become more diverse, especially since the end of the COVID pandemic. All the more so because foreigners living in Poland are trying their hand in this business.

The Poles’ love of dining out has led them to make eating out an integral part of their enjoyment of life. Restaurants outside the home are becoming more and more affordable and customers are willing to try new ideas and different tastes.

The Polish restaurant market is mainly divided into two categories: casual dining and fast food. The casual dining category is concentrated around full-service restaurants offering sit-down meals with varied menus and attentive customer service. The fast-food sector is characterised by quick-service restaurants with limited menus and quick service.

With the global spread of COVID-19, the restaurant sector has faced a difficult period. The restaurant industry in Poland was no exception and many businesses suffered serious financial losses. However, innovative ideas and advances in digital technology such as remote ordering, delivery systems and online payments have allowed businesses to stay afloat.

If you want to open a restaurant in Poland, designing and constructing one will be your new occupation. But first, you will need to determine the type of business your enterprise is in, choose a location and select a team. First you need to figure out what kind of restaurant you plan to open. You can choose local or European cuisine, or even the exclusive type that many people dream of. We recommend creating a detailed business plan, taking into account all the details and costs. Then you need to choose the most suitable location. To make the restaurant popular with the local population, we recommend opening it in a picturesque city centre, such as the Old Town Centre, where many people visit shops, restaurants and other places. Don’t forget about accessibility for people with disabilities as well. The last step will be to hire staff. You will need to hire experienced staff with the right skills to provide a proper service to visitors. Don’t forget to provide training to ensure high quality service and consumer demands. Below we will go through all the steps for opening a restaurant in Poland in more detail.

Legal entity registration for a restaurant

The first thing you must do to run any business in Poland is to open and register a legal entity. For foreigners, we recommend setting up a company with the legal form of spółka z o.o. (counterpart of a limited liability company). This form is easier to open and does not require a residence permit or permanent residence permit, to be an EU resident or to have a Pole Card, as in the case of opening a sole proprietorship.

So, in order to open a limited liability company (LLC) in Poland, the following steps are required:

  • Reserve the company name and get it approved at the National Court Registry. A legal address will also be required.
  • Prepare the articles of association and incorporation documents, which are a notarial deed signed by all founders. Provide a list and details of the incorporators and board members (they will need to register and obtain a PESEL number (TIN), an ePUAP profile, verification for ePUAP (this requires either a visit to the Polish consulate in the country of residence or a government office in Poland).
  • Determine the PKD (KVED). According to the Classification of Activities, in this case these are: SECTION I, ACTIVITIES Lodging and catering SERVICE, section 56, groups – 56.1, 56.2, 56.3.
  • Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NIP) and register the company in the National Court Register KRS (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy) through the S24 system (online registration). To do this, go to the eKRS website and search for “S24 – Rejestracja spółki”.
  • Open a bank account and deposit the required share capital (minimum 5000 PLN).
  • Register as a VAT payer (if applicable) and obtain any other required registrations or permits.
  • Obtain a company seal (if required).

The whole process usually takes around 2-4 weeks and includes notary fees, court fees and other administrative costs.

We always recommend that you consult a professional lawyer or a specialised company formation agency at this stage to ensure that all necessary steps are taken in a proper and timely manner.

Features of opening and running a restaurant in Poland

After registering a legal entity, you can proceed to further steps, such as selecting a location for the future restaurant, determining the price category and so on:

  1. Demographics: The location of the restaurant must match the target market. For example, if the restaurant is aimed at students, it is better to locate it near a university or college.
  2. Price, competition and market saturation. Think of a location that matches the price and theme of your restaurant. A location with high competition and saturation, such as a shopping mall or a busy street, may be suitable for unique themed or high-end restaurants, while a family restaurant may work better in smaller residential areas or out of town.
  3. Accessibility and parking. A restaurant located in a location that is easily accessible to customers is more likely to attract more customers. In addition, the availability of adequate parking space is also an important factor to consider.
  4. brand image. The location chosen for the restaurant should maintain and reinforce the desired brand image.
  5. Government policies: Consider the regulations and permits required to open a restaurant. It is possible to open a restaurant in some locations, but this is illegal, especially if you sell alcohol.
  6. Availability of supplies. If the chosen location is close to supply shops or wholesalers, this will make it much cheaper to deliver food and supplies.
  7. Safety and security. The location should be in a safe area with no frequent crime and no possibility of threatening incidents.
  8. Operating costs. The location should be profitable for running a restaurant business. The cost of renting the space should be affordable for the restaurant owner.

IMPORTANT: In Poland, in order to sell and serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants you must have an appropriate licence (there are A and B licences). Depending on the type of establishment and the type of alcoholic beverages sold, different types of spirits are available. It is advisable to consult local authorities and obtain the appropriate permits and licences before selling alcohol in restaurants in Poland.

Attracting foreign employees to work in a restaurant

Currently, the restaurant business in Poland, although flourishing, is also experiencing a serious shortage of qualified staff. One way to solve this problem is to hire foreign workers.

Firstly, Poland offers a wide range of visa and work permit opportunities, which makes the country attractive for foreigners. Also, the standard of living and quality of services in Poland is quite high, which also attracts foreign workers. Employees from Ukraine do not need a work permit, and nationals of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova enjoy a simplified work permit procedure.

Secondly, the restaurant business in Poland is a fast growing industry, which means great career opportunities. Foreign workers can gain valuable experience in an international environment and develop their professional skills.

Thirdly, many foreign workers already have experience in the restaurant business, which makes them attractive candidates to work in Poland. This also helps to raise the level of service in restaurants and improve the quality of services.

Furthermore, hiring foreign workers in the restaurant business can help to diversify the cultural environment in Poland, which in turn will attract more tourists and increase the level of economic development.

Hence, hiring foreign workers in the restaurant business in Poland is a profitable solution for companies and the country as a whole. It helps to solve the problem of a shortage of qualified staff, improve the quality of services provided and diversify the cultural environment, which will lead to economic growth and improved standard of living.

Peculiarities of restaurant bookkeeping in Poland

Public catering accounting is one of the most complex, as it combines the accounting for food production, trade and service with the provision of entertainment and relaxation services. Let’s have a look at the final bookkeeping for the catering industry.

  1. Proper recording of cash transactions: The cash register used in a restaurant must be able to record each transaction and generate receipts. The receipts help keep an accurate record of sales.
  2. Inventory Management. A restaurant must properly manage its stock, including raw materials, drinks and other items. Proper inventory management ensures that no items are lost or stolen and that materials are used optimally. All serious restaurants use meal costing and inventory management software. It must be remembered that only items sold are included in cost accounting.
  3. Payroll management: The restaurant owner must keep proper records of employee salaries and wages. It is also important to keep up-to-date records of tax deductions, social security contributions and other mandatory deductions. Usually a schedule is applied and the restaurant manager keeps track of it.
  4. The restaurant owner must keep proper records of income and expenditures in order to calculate the tax to be paid to the authorities. Understanding taxation in Poland can be complicated, so it is advisable to seek professional advice. If the revenue per year is less than 2 million EUR, the corporate income tax will be 9% of the revenue (the Polish VAT in 2023).
  5. Financial statements. Good accounting practice requires the maintenance of financial statements including balance sheets, profit and loss statements and cash flow statements.
  6. Periodic auditing of the restaurant’s financial statements ensures that accounting practices comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  7. Restaurants usually install cameras at the cash register in order to avoid fraud and inventory accounting, failure to sell their own drinks or food

In general, accounting plays a vital role in the smooth running of a restaurant in Poland. By keeping accurate records, the restaurant owner can identify areas for improvement and make informed business decisions.

List of reports and deadlines for filing accounting documents:

  1. Corporate Income Tax (CIT) – pay in advance by the 20th of the previous month
  2. CIT-8 (annual report) – by 31 March of each year
  3. VAT-7 report – monthly by the 25th of the previous month and payment
  4. Payroll – by the 15th of the previous month and the payment
  5. Annual Accounts – by 30th June.

The process of starting a business in Poland is quite time-consuming, but in principle, if the entrepreneur approaches the issue competently, there should not be too many problems. If you want to start a company in Poland and save time and effort, it is better to turn to specialists who know all the stages of company establishment and are familiar with the local law. We are ready to help you at any stage. If you have any questions or would like more advice on this subject, please contact us at office@progressholding.pl.

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