Footpath dining permit guide

Footpath dining allows visitors and residents to enjoy Brisbane’s scenery, climate and cosmopolitan character. The Footpath Dining Local Law 2011 enables food business operators to create an outdoor footpath dining area under specific conditions that ensures the safety of diners and pedestrians.  

If you have a new or existing food business and you want to offer dining on the footpath outside the premises, you may require a permit from Council.

When you need a permit

If the area outside your premises is a public footpath, you need a footpath dining permit to use the area for customers to eat and drink.

Examples are a sidewalk cafe, a takeaway food store or a convenience store with tables and chairs on the footpath for use by customers.

Outdoor dining in the Queen Street, Brunswick Street and Chinatown malls require a specific malls outdoor dining permit instead of the footpath dining permit. 

Mall areas in Fortitude Valley include:

  • Brunswick Street - from Wickham Street to Ann Street
  • Duncan Street - from Wickham Street to Ann Street
  • Beirne Lane, Brunswick Street Mall.

When no permit is needed

You do not need a permit to have customers eat and drink outside your food business premises if the outdoor area is on private property. For example, food premises within shopping centres do not need a permit if the area used is owned by the shopping complex.


Payment of an application fee and design requirement fee is required for new footpath dining applications with a new/amended design. Where you are taking over an expired footpath dining permit and there is no amendment to the design, payment of the application fee is required. If the application is approved, occupancy fees will be applicable.

For a transfer application, payment of the application fee is required. A transfer application allows the remaining occupancy fee to be transferred between the current and new operator. However, if the permit has expired, you will be required to pay the occupancy fee.

Footpath dining design requirements

Footpath dining areas must be designed to:

  • protect the safe and convenient passage of all footpath and road users
  • minimise adverse impacts on the amenity of the surrounding area
  • protect access to, and the maintenance of, footpath assets and infrastructure. 

Council has developed a footpath dining design checklist (Word - 1.78Mb) to assist businesses in designing a footpath dining area to meet these requirements. The checklist must be completed and submitted as part of the application for a footpath dining permit. 

How to apply

To apply for a footpath dining permit you must:

  1. hold public liability insurance to the value of 20 million dollars with Council named as an interested party
  2. complete the footpath dining design checklist
  3. prepare the other supporting information and documents including plans, photographs, and Department of Transport and Main Roads approval (where required).

Use the ‘Application for food business approvals’ online form to apply and pay with a Visa or Mastercard. Alternatively you can apply by completing the hard copy form.

Applications submitted with all the required supporting information and documents will be processed within 15 working days. 

Other approvals

Your application should consider:

Amend or transfer an existing permit

If you want to amend or transfer an existing footpath dining permit you need to apply to Council for approval.

Use the Application for food business approvals online form to apply for your footpath amendment or transfer application and pay with a Visa or Mastercard. If you are applying to transfer the permit, you will need to provide the current permit holder's consent.

Inspection request

If you are planning to purchase an existing business with a footpath dining permit or need to demonstrate compliance for an insurance or bank application, you can request an inspection report outlining the current compliance status of the premises/activity.
Complete the Inspection report request online application and make payment with Visa or Mastercard.

Internal review

You can use the Internal review form (PDF - 133kb) if you are requesting an internal review (appeal) on a decision Council has made regarding your footpath dining application. 


To surrender a Footpath Dining Permit, complete the Licence or permit surrender application online form.

More information

For further information you can phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Related information

Footpath Dining Local Law



Last updated: 25 July 2022

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