Types of food businesses
A food business stores, prepares, packages, serves or provides food for people to eat. A food business may also directly or indirectly deliver food, such as home grocery delivery or a restaurant takeout order.
A food business may be a:
- Grocery, market or convenience store
- Food stand or food truck
- School or institution
- Vending machine
- Retail bakery
For more about food business definitions, please review License and Consumer Services Food Related License Definitions.
A restaurant prepares or provides service, food, and beverages to customers for more than 21 days a year. Beverages may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
A grocery store sells food and food accessories for people to use, make, or eat at home. This may include
- Meat, poultry, or fish
- Bread or baked items
- Cereal and other dry goods
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products
Some grocery stores also sell household items.
A confectionary business sells ready-to-eat snacks and beverages such as
- Chips, crackers or popcorn
- Cookies and bulk candy
- Soda, milk or juice
- Ice cream and donuts
- TV dinners
Confectionary licenses are often held by businesses that serve another purpose, for example
- Hardware stores
- Gas stations and car washes
- Dollar stores
- Tobacco shops or video stores
If the business has a hand sink and 3-compartment sink for washing utensils and equipment, they can sell self-serve coffee and pastries. A commercial-grade microwave may be available for customers to heat their food.
Potentially hazardous foods should always be stored and displayed in approved commercial equipment.
A market where growers can sell their goods directly to the consumer.
A food cart is a mobile food and beverage service. Food is sold from a non-motorized vehicle that is moved by its operator. All food carts must be meet Minnesota Food Code requirements.
A food and beverage business in a motorized vehicle or trailer that can be easily moved to another location.
Short term food vendor
A food and beverage vendor with a food stand that is disassembled and moved from location to location. A Short term food vendor operates no more than 10 days annually at any one civic event.
Seasonal food vendor
A vendor who sells food and beverages at multiple community events throughout the year. A maximum of two stands can operate for each permit.
All vending machines must comply with applicable rules and regulations of the:
- National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA)
- National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF)
- State of Minnesota rules