Food Business in Qatar: Start Your Successful Restaurant

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Qatar’s Food Market
  • Restaurant Business Models in Qatar
  • Investment Cost and Estimated Timeline for Restaurant Setup
  • Process of Obtaining a Restaurant License in Qatar
  • Key Success Factors for a Restaurant Business in Qatar
  • Start Your Food Business in Qatar with QIncorp


The restaurant business in Qatar is profitable, given the diverse population and the demand for various cuisines. To embark on this journey, potential entrepreneurs must understand registration policies, licenses, permits, capital investments, and infrastructure initiatives. The growth of the F&B sector in Qatar is underpinned by two significant factors: population growth and increased tourist arrivals. Qatar’s cosmopolitan population, consisting of people from different continents, creates a unique market where residents and tourists seek the flavours of their native cuisines.

Overview of Qatar’s Food Market

The Qatar food service market is experiencing significant growth, estimated at 1.72 billion USD in 2023 and projected to reach 2.89 billion USD by 2029. The population of Qatar is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.7% to reach 3.3 million by 2030. The market’s largest segment is Fish and seafood, with other sectors like dairy and soy food showing promising growth.

According to Alpen Capital, annual food consumption in Qatar is expected to grow to 1.9 million tonnes by 2023, fueled by high disposable incomes, a growing expat population, and young, urbanized consumers. This consumption is also influenced by the influx of tourists, making food service outlets and hospitality an excellent avenue for international brands.

Restaurant Business Models in Qatar

Qatar offers two primary restaurant business models: franchisee and non-franchisee. Non-franchised restaurants require entrepreneurs to manage all aspects of the business, while franchise restaurants benefit from the support and brand recognition of the franchisor. Investing in a franchise can provide advantages such as standardized taste and ambience, as well as customer brand loyalty, easing the day-to-day operations for the entrepreneur.

Despite well-thought-out plans, understanding Qatar’s legal processes and local laws can be complex, emphasizing the need for careful decision-making. QIncorp can alleviate your stress by taking responsibility for the setup, proper planning, and ensuring the successful launch of your food business in Qatar.

Investment Cost and Estimated Timeline for Restaurant Setup

The investment cost for setting up a restaurant in Qatar encompasses commercial registration, obtaining licenses, rent, interiors, kitchen equipment, crockery, and cutlery. Costs vary significantly based on location, size, concept, and additional services (alcohol, shisha). Fine dining restaurants, typically located within hotels, require an average area of about 400 sqm, with the kitchen and storage sections occupying 25% to 35% of the space.

Setting up a fine restaurant in Qatar can take 8 to 12 months, contingent on obtaining licenses, securing premises, selecting menus and designs, hiring and training staff, and completing preliminary testing. Even if you have planned everything well, there are still lots of legal processes and local laws in Qatar, and you will need to make decisions wisely. QIncorp provides you free consultation to assist you with pre-setup phase.

Process of Obtaining a Restaurant License in Qatar

Obtaining a restaurant license in Qatar involves several steps, including name approval, Articles of Association (AOA) preparation and legalization, sign verification, commercial registration, and approvals from civil defence, health department, municipality, labour registration, and visa quota submission. The careful completion of these steps ensures a smooth establishment of the restaurant. QIncorp offers expert advice on choosing the right business structure, whether it’s a limited liability company (LLC) or any other suitable option.

Running a restaurant in Qatar necessitates compliance with public health regulations, including suitable location, fully tiled interiors, adherence to civil defence regulations, proper kitchen standards, hygienic worker conditions, and adequate refrigeration and food storage systems.

Key Success Factors for a Restaurant Business in Qatar

Restaurant Concept: Incorporating unique elements such as lighting, music, cutlery, and décor or featuring a celebrity chef can enhance the restaurant’s appeal.

Menu Options: Regularly updating the menu based on consumer preferences and F&B sector trends is crucial for sustained success.

Quality of Service: Well-trained servers and an experienced management team contribute to the overall dining experience.

Location: Choosing an appropriate location, often within five-star hotels for fine dining establishments, is a key success factor.

Cuisine: Offering a diverse selection, including international, continental, Arabic, Indian, and Italian cuisines, caters to a broad audience.

Start Your Food Business in Qatar with QIncorp

Starting a restaurant in Qatar requires careful planning and execution. QIncorp offers expertise in choosing the right business structure, documentation, registration, licensing, and compliance with regulations. Entrust your venture to QIncorp, and focus on developing your strategy while we support your business’s continued growth.

Contact us.