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Wollongong City Council

Food Businesses

Any business that handles food has to be registered with Council.

This includes restaurants, cafes, food trucks, coffee vans, market stalls, caterers, home-based food businesses, childcare centres, bakeries, delicatessens, fruit shops, convenience stores, takeaways, school canteens, supermarkets and hotels.

All types of food businesses may be inspected by Council. Fees apply.

If you’re setting up a new food business, read our Design and Fit-Out Guide for Food Businesses PDF, 1247.28 KB

Notify Council of a food business

You must notify Council before you start operating any food business.

To submit a notification, you must log in or register in our Online Services system.

Once you are logged in, go to Lodge an Application, then Permits & Licences, and Operate a Food Business.

    Non-retail food businesses such as food manufacturers, wholesale bakeries and egg producers must register with the NSW Food Authority.

    Mobile food vending trial

    We are starting a trial to let mobile food vendors trade at selected locations on public land that's owned or managed by Council. The trial will run over summer 2021-2022 for up to 12 months.

    For details see our Mobile Food Vending Trial page.

    Mobile food businesses

    Mobile food businesses and food trucks must follow the NSW Food Authority’s Guidelines for Mobile Food Vending Vehicles. These guidelines cover everything from setting up a mobile food business to permits and day-to-day operation.

    Council inspects all mobile food vehicles that are based in the Wollongong City Council area. Fees apply for inspections.

    There are also restrictions on the locations where mobile food businesses can trade. Before setting up a new mobile food business, please use our online enquiry form or call (02) 4227 7111 us to talk about where you'll be able to operate.

    You must notify Council before you start operating a mobile food business. Follow the instructions in the top section of this page.

    Temporary food businesses

    This category applies to food being sold from a temporary structure (like a stall or stand) for a limited or periodic time at an approved event. Examples include the sale of food at fairs, festivals, markets or shows.

    You should read our Guidelines for Food Handling at Temporary Events PDF, 190.45 KB before you set up a temporary food business.

    Council can inspect temporary food businesses operating in the Wollongong City Council area. Fees apply for inspections.

    You must notify Council before you operate a temporary food business. Follow the instructions in the top section of this page.

    To support business recovery and encourage COVID-Safe outdoor dining, we're waiving fees for outdoor dining applications and licences until 30 June 2023 across the whole Wollongong City Council area.

    Please note, outdoor dining licence holders will still need to pay a bond.

    We oversee and encourage outdoor dining in public spaces. If you're interested in setting up a food business with outdoor dining, read the two documents below:

    You need to get permission from Council to use a public space for outdoor dining. Your application must include:

    • A detailed plan of the area you propose to use. This should include dimensions and show how tables and chairs will be arranged. You should also include any umbrellas, planter boxes, barricades or other items if relevant.
    • Photos or a brochure showing the furniture and any other items you want to use in the outdoor dining space.

    If you have questions about the application process, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111.

    How to apply

    Before you can apply, you need to log in or register in our Online Services system.

    Once you are logged in, select Lodge an Application, then Permits & Licences, and Outdoor Dining.

    If you're cooking food for sale at your home, you must follow the same rules that apply to commercial food premises.

    To learn about setting up or running a food business from your home, please see our Home-Based Businesses page.

    One of the most common causes of food-related health problems is improper temperature control.

    All types of food business owners should be familiar with and follow the NSW Food Authority's temperature control rules.

    The NSW Government has banned certain single-use plastics.

    Lightweight plastic shopping bags were banned from 1 June 2022, and a number of other single-use plastic items were banned from 1 November 2022.

    To learn more, visit the Plastics Ban NSW website.

    Wollongong City Council has a COVID-19 assistance package, which includes support for food businesses.

    Fees for outdoor dining applications and licences will be waived until 30 June 2023 (note that bond payments still apply).

    We also waived fees for food businesses for their first annual scheduled inspection, and administration fees for inspections, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

    Report an issue

    You can report food-related issues to Council including food poisoning, health, hygiene and food handling issues.

    See our Food Issues page for details.