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Layout and construction requirements for catering establishments

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

The Establishments Layout Requirements Decree of the Alcohol Act, (Besluit eisen inrichtingen Alcoholwet) contains the layout requirements for catering establishments in the Netherlands. They only apply if your business requires a licence under the Alcohol Act (previously named Licencing and Catering Act) (Drank- en horecavergunning). Your premises must also comply with the building regulations in the Netherlands.

Since 1 July 2021 layout requirements are more strict:

  • In general, catering locations must cover an area of at least 35 m2. Municipalities may increase the minimum required floor space.
  • The walls must be at least 2.60 metres high for new buildings. For existing buildings this is at least 2.10 metres.
  • Catering establishments in new buildings must have at least 1 toilet for at most 15 persons. Catering establishments in existing buildings must have at least 1 toilet for at most 25 persons. In all other situations, at least 2 toilets are required.
  • A mechanical ventilation system is not required. For new buildings the air supply needs to come directly from the open air. The air refreshment capacity is 4 dm3/s per person. Catering establishments in existing buildings need 2.12 dm3/s per person.

Accessibility for disabled visitors

Since the introduction of the United Nations Convention on people with disabilities, all entrepreneurs must comply with the following legislations:

  • Reasonable modifications in the workplace to meet the needs of people with disabilities (in Dutch);
  • Improving the general accessibility (in Dutch). You do not have to make adjustments to your entire establishment for all people with disabilities, however, you are required to improve some parts of your establishment.

The Royal Dutch Hotel and Catering Association (KHN) can provide you with advice on how to optimise your establishment's accessibility.

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO