When there was a survey conducted about having meals, most of us Indians prefer homemade food. We Indians also travel from one place to another for education and to earn a living. For these busy students and working professionals, there is a feature of tiffin service in India. These people are living away from their families and face a critical problem of daily meals which often leads to severe health ailments. So, tiffin service deals in the catering services of homemade food. It is more user-friendly, provides a huge variety of hygienic and healthy food, everything at an extremely reasonable cost. As a result, the Professional tiffin service industry has gained a hasty momentum in a very short span of time. But, ascertaining license for tiffin service is mandatory. Initially, the entire industry was run by local aunties and was very unorganized and disintegrated without any clear direction. This was primarily because the industry wasn’t taken seriously by the investors and the general public.

However, the shift in mentality has led to the advancement of the industry. Presently, numerous tiffin services are being run by young educated professionals including MBAs and Engineers who detected an enormous gap in this sector. The food home delivery system is a boon in the modern world.

Why do I need a license?

FSSAI License Act (Food Safety and Security Standards Act) states that every Food Business Operator (FBO) working on large scale or small scale needs some licenses. The business could be involved in manufacturing, storage, transportation, catering, sale of food ingredients, retailing, marketing, distribution of food products or any other means, needs to obtain these licenses after registering it under State and Central Food Legislation (defined under the Act).

It is highly recommended that one must take all the possible licenses that might come along the way while operating the business. This is basically, to protect the personal asset of the owner.

It is suggested that the owner must consider creating a business entity such as a Limited Liability Company or a Sole Proprietorship, which can be registered very easily. All you need for company registration are a few documents and the entire process is done online.

It is very important to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Health Department. Before starting with the operation, one must contact the local Health Department to acquire the complete knowledge of specific regulations, certifications, licenses and insurance details. Usually, the Health Department compels an inspection of the area to be used as the kitchen.

Licenses required

An array of licenses/permissions one might need to establish a Tiffin Service of Food in India. These may vary in every Indian State. The following licenses for tiffin service are mandatory:

  1. Shop and Establishment Act License
  2. FSSAI License (State FSSAI License/Central FSSAI License)
  3. Trade License
  4. Fire Brigade
  5. Police
  6. Society’s NOC

License from Food and Health department- Since the business is that of food, acquiring this license is the essential one. It is advised for the FBO to get contact the local municipality to know more accurately about the state-specific licenses required to establish a tiffin food service in India.

FSSAI rules on tiffin service providers

  • Every small food business operator should register themselves by submitting an application with form A along with the fee prescribed.
  • It is necessary to specify basic hygienic and safety facilities arranged in premises along with self-attested declaration in a prescribed format
  • Registering Authority shall either accept or reject the application giving a recorded reason in writing or notice of inspection.
  • If accepted, the registering authority shall grant the registration certificate to be published/displayed on the work floor anywhere, where actual business is done.
  • The Registering Authority shall take inspection of the working premises at least once a year.

Documents required for food license

  • Form B duly signed and completed along with the blueprint/layout of the food processing/production unit.
  • List of owners/directors with complete address and contact details.
  • Government-issued certificates, certificate of incorporation, detailed list of machinery/equipment used in food production and processing.
  • List of food items prepared a list of surveyors appointed for sample checking, lab report of input material used in products.
  • Proof of place of possession ex- rent agreement, electricity bill & complete information about the food safety management techniques undertaken.
  • NOC from Municipal bodies, other government bodies in case of re-labelers, etc..
  • Other documents as prescribed by the registrar.

Step by step procedure to establish a tiffin service

Select an area of specialty

You can select any area of specialty. Be it birthday parties, graduation parties, company dinners, intimate dinner parties or catering for wedding events. You can operate either in full time or part-time tiffin service business in your locality.

Registering your business

At this step, you need to obtain all the required licenses for the same. The list of these licenses is mentioned above.

Insure your business

It is important to ensure that your business insures your facilities, equipment, and employees against any unanticipated circumstances.

Obtain necessary equipment

  • Tables and Table cloths
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Tiffin boxes
  • Serving equipment
  • Utensils- silverware, glassware, etc.

Come up with a menu

It is advised that you provide a variety of options for your breakfast and lunch for the customers. Make sure you don’t repeat a certain dish for too long as you could lose some customers because of this.

Research the prices

You should know the market prices before setting your prices. In addition to this, take your expenses and your profit margin into account for the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is FSSAI?
What is the FSSAI license?
Does one need multiple licenses for multiple food business subsidiaries?
What if my food business has an annual turnover of Rs.15 lakh. Do I need to obtain the license?
What is the validity period of this license?
In the case of export/import, does one need the FSSAI license?
For what activities, does one need the FSSAI license?
When can I apply for the renewal of this license?
What is the punishment for food adulteration?
What are the types of food adulteration?
What are the different types of contamination?