Businesses types in this industry

The accommodation industry includes:

  • hotels
  • motels
  • serviced apartments
  • other short-term accommodation for visitors.

The food services industry includes:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • pubs
  • bars
  • other businesses that sell meals, snacks and beverages.

Industry statistics

Industry research is an important part of planning for your business, it may help you identify:

  • economic and industry trends
  • establish or improve your business
  • help you keep pace with your industry.

See statistics about Australian industry on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

The Australian Taxation Office provides industry benchmarks to help you compare your business's performance against similar businesses in your industry. Read about the benchmarks for the accommodation and food industry.

Check out the profile for the accommodation and food services industry, on the Labour Market Insights website. This will give you an idea of what's happening in the Australian job market.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It’s important that you are aware of the laws that apply to the accommodation and food services industry.

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Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the accommodation and food services industry. The licences and permits you may need include:

  • preparing and/or selling food
  • selling and/or consumption of alcohol
  • starting an accommodation business
  • building accommodation facilities 
  • erecting/displaying signage
  • restricted trading days
  • outdoor dining
  • playing video/sound recordings
  • disposal of waste.

Find the licences and permits you need for your business

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find information on the licences you may need.

Food safety

If you are handling food in your business, you need to follow the food safety rules to keep your customers safe from food related illnesses. These are based on national standards for storing, handling and serving food safely.

Your state or territory government can provide guidance about the right steps to take for your business including food safety programs and training.

Learn about the Food Standards Code and other government policies and regulations relating to food.


Accommodation and food services industry businesses have specific goods and services tax (GST) measures. It’s important that you know your GST obligations and to make sure you register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Learn more about the GST requirements for a food services business.

Employing people

If you're looking to employ staff, there are Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the accommodation and food services industry that you'll need to comply with.

Use our checklist for small business owners to help you meet Australian laws when hiring an employee. We’ve also included some tips that might help you through the hiring process.

If you're ready to employ someone, create an employment contract tailored to the award and your business needs.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

There are general work health and safety regulations for all businesses, however there are state and territory WHS requirements that apply to businesses in the accommodation and food services industry:

Check out WHS advice for the accommodation and food services industry, including WHS duties and how you can manage risks.


Food and grocery stores 

Energy use might be a small percentage of your total operating cost. But for many retailers, it can make profit margins much tighter. 

By starting with low-cost energy improvements, you can save money quickly then re-invest in larger energy-efficient upgrades. 

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has tips for reducing your energy costs in their food and grocery stores industry sector guide


Focusing on ways to reduce energy use through your hot water, kitchen, laundry and refrigeration appliances can help you save money.  

Learn how to choose the most energy-efficient appliances on the Energy Rating website


The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has tips and case studies about reducing energy costs for hotels in the services industry sector guide

Find support

If you need advice or support, consider getting help from your industry association, a business adviser, accountant or legal professional.

Explore grants and programs relevant to your industry.

Read next

Find out more about insurance options for your business.