Building Consent for a Hospitality Venue

Gerrick Numan

December 8, 2023

Hospo Hints

If you’re setting up a new venue, you’ll most likely need a building consent.

Below are some key compliance elements you’ll need to consider if you are fitting out a space from scratch.

Fresh Air (Mechanical)

Contaminated air (from cooking and in toilets) will need to be removed and fresh air will need to be introduced.

You’ll need a mechanical engineer to provide a design of this showing your hood, fan and ducts sizes and specifications and how fresh air will be reintroduced to the space.

Plumbing & Drainage (Hydraulic)

How waste water from sinks and equipment is connected to the sewer will need to comply with the building code. If you are washing dishes, you will likely need a grease trap.

In most instances a design of this will need to be approved by the council before the work is done. You’ll need either your plumber, designer or hydraulic engineer to complete this.


People in your venue need to be protected from fire and be able to easily escape if there is a fire. This will require certain materials to be used, signage, emergency lighting, and many other requirements.

A fire engineer will be needed to design the fire protection elements and will advise you what is required.


Your venue will need to be accessible to all types of people regardless of their mobility. This includes people in wheelchairs, crutches, older people etc.

There are specific requirements around counter heights, access path widths, toilet sizes and many other things. Your designer will be able to help you with this.

Food Hygiene

There are a lot of requirements around cleanable surfaces, multiple sinks (cleaners, hand wash, dish wash, food preparation), non slip flooring and other things that are needed to ensure your venue complies.

Now what?

Most of the above information and more is searchable online for your specific area, but this gives you a taste of the multitude of compliance requirements needed when opening a restaurant, cafe or bar where building consent is required. If you need help, get in touch.

And if you’d like to know the easiest, most cost effective way to set up a restaurant, café or bar, check out the next article in this series here…