Layout and construction requirements for catering establishments

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you run a catering establishment? And does the establishment require a licence under the Alcohol Act (Alcoholwet)? Then you must meet the requirements on layout and construction. These requirements are set out in the Alcohol Act and the Building Decree 2012 (Bouwbesluit 2012).

Layout requirements

Layout requirements differ for newly built catering establishments and for catering establishments in existing buildings. These requirements are, among others:

  • In general, catering locations must cover an area of at least 35 m2. Municipalities may increase the minimum required floor space.
  • Walls in newly built catering establishments must be at least 2.60 metres high, and at least 2.10 metres high for existing buildings.
  • Newly built catering establishments must have at least 1 toilet. If the toilet is used by more than 15 persons (25 persons for existing buildings), you need at least 2 toilets. If your maximum capacity is over 60 guests, you need at least 1 toilet for every 30 people. You can find all requirements for the number of toilets and their dimensions in the Building Decree 2012 (in Dutch).
  • Newly built catering establishments need to make sure ventilation comes directly from the open air. The air refreshment capacity must be at least 4 dm3/s per person (2.12 dm3/s per person for existing buildings). You can find more information in the Building Decree 2012 (in Dutch)

Please note: do you change the layout of your establishment so that it no longer fits the description on your licence under the Alcohol Act? You need to report this change to the municipal authority within one month.

Accessibility for disabled visitors

As a result of the United Nations Convention on people with disabilities, all entrepreneurs must comply with legislation on the following topics:

  • You need to meet the needs of people with disabilities through reasonable modifications in the workplace (in Dutch);
  • You ensure the general accessibility (in Dutch) of your establishment. You do not have to make adjustments to your entire establishment for all people with disabilities, but you are required to do so for certain parts of your establishment.

The Royal Dutch Hotel and Catering Association (Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, KHN) can give you advice on how to optimise the accessibility of your establishment.

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