Restaurants and other businesses that prepare or serve food at an event must be licensed by the City.


Caterers prepare or serve food, or both, at private events with a predetermined guest list.

Event examples:  

  • Receptions
  • Parties
  • Conferences
  • Weddings
  • Trade shows

What to know

  • If you serve or plate food on-site, you need a catering license.
  • Caterers may not cook or prepare food on-site.
  • If you serve alcohol, you also must have a Liquor Caterers license.
  • You do not need a license for food delivery, such as:
    • Box lunches
    • Pizza

Before you begin 

Look at our information about:  


Caterers must:

  • Avoid selling individual meals or foods. Companies may use a licensed caterer to provide meals for employees, tenants, or guests.
  • Use a vehicle which meets all the requirements when transporting food. You must have a vehicle inspection. See the fee for the vehicle inspection  
  • Keep the food service area restricted to only employees, tenants, and guests. It may not be open to the general public. 
  • Use approved food transport containers.
  • Have temporary handwashing in the food service area.
  • Record some employee illnesses:

Food safety

You are responsible for food safety. This includes control of food from preparation to serving customers.

See City and State food safety resources:


Catering businesses in Minneapolis must be licensed. 

See Caterer Application

Businesses with a restaurant or an on-sale alcohol license in Minneapolis

If your business already has a restaurant or on-sale alcohol license from the City and you want to add catering, use the Caterer, Add a license application. You must have the same ownership and kitchen.

See Caterer, Add a License Application


Find your license fee

Submit your application

Submit your application to Business Licenses & Consumer Services

If you have questions, contact:

Food plan review

You must submit plans to: 

  • Open a new food or alcohol business, including:
    • Food carts
    • Food kiosks
    • Food trucks 
  • Remodel or expand an existing food or alcohol business 
  • Replace food equipment that needs any of these permits for installation:
    • Gas
    • Mechanical
    • Plumbing  
  • Add ventless cooking equipment or ventless hoods  

The City must approve your plans before you start any work.   

See Food plan review

More information


Report a complaint about a food or restaurant business


Your food handling methods determine how often the City will inspect your business.


The information on this page should serve as a guideline only.

two people on their wedding day

Liquor catering license

A food catering business that serves alcohol at events needs a license from the City.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Environmental Health

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave S, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Food Plan Review Team

Mohamed Yusuf

Jim Donovan

Janna Beard


Mohamed Yusuf

Jim Donovan

Janna Beard



Public Service Building

505 Fourth Ave. S. 

Minneapolis, MN 55415