Fast Food and Snacks Industry Guide

Burger, pizza and chips

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the fast food and snacks industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Cake Shop BOP563 
Café  BOP516 
Chocolatier  BOP279 
Coffee Shop  BOP391 
Craft Bakery  BOP064 
Delicatessen  BOP271 
Fast Food Takeaway  BOP165 
Fish & Chip Shop  BOP542 
Homemade Cake & Biscuit Maker  BOP141 
Ice Cream Van  BOP129 
Mobile Coffee Cart  BOP552 
Mobile Takeaway  BOP086 
Restaurant  BOP021 
Sandwich Delivery Round  BOP295 
Sandwich Shop  BOP140 
Speciality Cake Maker  BOP346 
Sweet Shop  BOP462 
Tea Room  BOP087 

Sector Update

Food and Grocery Retail SEC008 
Food and Grocery Retail  SRG011 
Restaurants and Foodservice  SEC072 
Restaurants and Foodservice  SRG003 
Retail Food and Drink  SYN001 
Wholesale Food and Drink  SEC042 
Wholesale Food and Drink  SEC079 
Wholesale Food and Drink   SEC090 

Business Information Factsheets (BIF)

Food Safety Inspections – A Guide To BIF503 
Food Safety Legislation – An Introduction To BIF435 
Food Information & Labelling Requirements – A Guide To BIF182 
Registration of Food Business Premises BIF486 
Food Safety Act 1990 – A Guide To The BIF070 
Food Hygiene Regulations In The UK – A Guide To BIF193 
Food Safety Management System – An Introduction To BIF502 

Related Legal Regulations

Food Safety Act 1990  LEG004 
Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations  LEG567 

Small Business Help Books

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. Located within the Centre.

Coffee: From Bean to Barista by Robert W. Thurston (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) [SBH BT.190]
A concise overview of coffee from planting to the latest ideas in roasting and making beverages. Covers cultivation and its challenges, especially climate change; new research on hybridization; the history of coffee and cultural change surrounding it around the world; devices, new and old, for making coffee drinks; the issue of organic versus conventional agriculture; and the health benefits of the brew.

The Coffee Boys’ Step By Step Guide To Setting Up And Managing Your Own Coffee Bar by John Richardson and Hugh Gilmartin (How To Books, Oxford, 2010) [SBH BT.134]
Practical information from experienced entrepreneurs including creating quality products, attracting, training and retaining excellent staff, making a profit. Gives advice on location, raising finance and devising a clear marketing plan.

Cook Wrap Sell, A Guide To Starting And Running A Successful Food Business From Your Kitchen by Bruce McMichael (Brightword, Petersfield, 2012) [SBH BT.16]
Covers all aspects of starting the business from the product, business plans, financials, tax, insurance, registration etc. through to running the business, branding, marketing and sales. Includes case studies, checklists, legalities etc.

The Franchising Handbook: How To Choose, Start And Run A Successful Franchise by Carl Reader (Holder and Stoughton, 2016) [SBH STAR.98]
Practical information for those thinking of investing in a franchise and includes what franchisors are looking for, what can or cannot be negotiated with a franchisor, and how best to present yourself to ensure that you win the franchise you want. Includes case studies and advice from experienced franchisors.

How To Make Money From Cooking And Baking by Rita Storey (Franklin Watts, 2017) [SBH BT.52]
Basic guide covering all the key points, tips and tricks required to start and run a profitable food enterprise. Possibly aimed at a younger audience but clarifies all the stages and requirements clearly and precisely.

Areas covered include: designing brand images, conducting market research, writing a business plan and publicity and marketing. 

How To Open & Operate A Financially Successful Coffee, Espresso and Tea Shop by Elizabeth Godsmark, Lora Arduser & Douglas R. Brown (Atlantic Publishing Group Inc, 2014) [SBH BT.57]
A US publication covering all aspects of starting and establishing a successful coffee, espresso and tea shop. Includes chapters on business plans, names, equipment, menus, management, employee relations, marketing, finance etc.

How To Open & Operate A Financially Successful Speciality Retail & Gourmet Foods Shop by Sharon Fullen (Atlantic Publishing Group Inc, 2017) [SBH BT.54]
A US publication covering all aspects of starting and establishing a successful speciality food enterprise. Includes stories and practical insights from experienced entrepreneurs.

Money For Jam: The Essential Guide To Starting Your Own Small Food Business by Oonagh Monahan (Oak Tree Press, 2017) [SBH BT.172]
For those starting a food business. Covers latest updates in legislation, registration requirements, labelling, packaging, suppliers, distributers and emerging trends and includes many case studies of successful food businesses.

Pop Up Business For Dummies by Dan Thompson (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2012) [SBH BT.89]
A guide to planning and launching a successful pop up business. With information on finding the perfect location, negotiating the best possible terms, advertising and marketing, day to day running of the business etc. With case studies, tips and practical advice.

Popup Republic: How To Start Your Own Successful Pop-up Space, Shop or Restaurant by Jeremy Baras (Wiley, 2016) [SBH BT.88]
A guide to launching your own successful pop–up through stories, examples, anecdotes, and case studies. Includes permits, insurance, and licenses that are needed to run a pop–up, and more. Written from a US perspective.

Running A Food Truck For Dummies by Richard Myrick (Wiley, 2016) [SBH BT.92]
Gives the details needed to start your own food truck business quickly, affordably, and successfully. Includes information to help you find your food niche, follow important rules of conducting business on the road, outfit your moving kitchen, meet safety and sanitation requirements, and much more. Written from a US perspective.

Start And Run A Delicatessen by Deborah Penrith (How To Books, Oxford, 2009) [SBH BT.102] 
Starting and growing a delicatessen with information about location, business plans, raising finance, employing and managing staff, marketing and advertising etc. Also gives info on expanding the business into other areas such as catering to businesses, private functions etc.

Start And Run A Sandwich & Coffee Shop by Jill Sutherland (How To Books, Oxford, 2009) [SBH BT.106] 
A stage-by stage guide to planning, opening and establishing a sandwich and coffee shop. Practical advice, tips, real-life examples, checklists etc.

Start Your Own Coffee And Tea Shop by Emma Mills & Michelle Rosenberg (Crimson, 2010) [SBH BT.108] 
Practical advice on starting and growing the business with chapters on finance, business plans, legalities, supplies and equipment, marketing etc. With contributions from Bettys Tea Room, Costa Coffee, Coffee Republic etc.

Starting Your Own Restaurant by Sara Rizk (Crimson, 2008) [SBH BT.123]
Comprehensive step by step guide to starting a restaurant and making it a success. Covers finding and furnishing premises, licenses required, finding good suppliers, managing restaurant staff, attracting customers etc. With practical advice from successful restaurateurs.

Start Your Own Speciality Food Business by Cheryl Kimball/Entrepreneur Media (Entrepreneur Press, 2016) [SBH BT.112]
American publication with useful information covering business planning, market research, locations, promotions, social media, daily operations, accounting and cash flow, employees etc.

Wake Up And Sell More Coffee: Fresh Ways To Make money From Your Coffee Business by John Richardson and Hugh Gilmartin (Robinson, 2015) [SBH BT.153]
Advice from established coffee businesses and industry experts for anyone starting or involved already in a coffee business. They seek to answer two main questions: 1. What is the one thing they wish they’d known before they started 2. What is the secret to success of their business and of great coffee shops and cafes in general.

Wake Up And Sell The Coffee: The Story of Coffee Nation And How To Start, Build And Sell A High Growth Business by Martyn Dawes (Harriman House, 2014) [SBH BT.154]
The story of how Coffee Nation was built with practical, experienced knowledge on how to build your own high-growth business. All areas from start-up to exit are covered, including coming up with an idea, researching and testing your business model, pitching to investors, raising funding, negotiating contracts and controlling your finances.

Wake Up And Smell The Profit: 52 Guaranteed Ways To Make More Money In Your Coffee Business by John Richardson and Hugh Gilmartin (How To Books, Oxford, 2008) [(B) SBH BT.155] 
52 practical hints, tips and tricks to help improve a coffee business. Save money, make money, gain loyal customers.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

GlobalData logo

  • Attitudes and Behaviour in Chocolate, Confectionery and Desserts
  • Category Innovation Update: Chocolates, Confectionery and Desserts
  • Category Innovation Update: Savory Snacks
  • Food On The Go
  • Ready Meals
  • Savory snacks
  • Successes and Failures Case Studies (Regular Updates)
  • Top Trends in Hot Drinks 2018
  • Top Trends in Savory Snacks 2020
  • Top Trends in Chocolate, Confectionery, and Desserts

IBISWorld logo

  • Biscuit Production
  • Cafes & Coffee Shops
  • Coffee Processing
  • Coffee, Tea and Spices Wholesale
  • Chocolate & Confectionery Production
  • Confectionery Wholesaling
  • Fast Food Franchises in the UK
  • Full-Service Restaurants
  • Ice Cream Production
  • Juice & Smoothie Bars
  • Pizza Delivery & Takeaway
  • Potato Crisps & Snacks Production
  • Prepared Meal Manufacturing
  • Soft Drink Production
  • Takeaway & Fast-Food Restaurants
  • Tea Processing

Mintel logo

  • Attitudes Towards Casual Dining
  • Attitudes Towards Cooking In The Home
  • Attitudes Towards Healthy Eating
  • Attitudes Towards Home-Delivery and Takeaway
  • Attitudes to Low/No/Reduced Sugar Soft Drinks
  • Attitudes Towards Lunch Out-of-Home
  • Attitudes Towards Premium Soft Drinks
  • Attitudes Towards Pub Catering
  • Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners
  • Burger and Chicken Restaurants
  • Cake, Cake Bars and Sweet Baked Goods
  • Carbonated Soft Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Shops
  • Consumer Snacking
  • Crisps, Savoury Snacks and Nuts
  • Eating Out Review
  • Eating Out: The Decision Making Process
  • Ethnic Restaurants And Takeaways
  • Global Food and Drink Trends
  • Ice Cream 
  • Kid’s Snacking
  • Pizza and Italian Restaurants
  • Pizzas
  • Ready Meals and Ready-to-Cook Foods
  • Savoury Biscuits
  • Sweet Biscuits and Snack Bars
  • Sugar and Gum Confectionery
  • The Future of Eating Out
  • The Future of Quick Service Restaurants
  • World Cuisines
 Passport logo
  • Cafés/Bars in the United Kingdom 
  • Chocolate Confectionery in the United Kingdom
  • Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • Consumer Foodservice in the United Kingdom
  • Consumer Foodservice By Location in the United Kingdom
  • Fast Food in Western Europe
  • Fast Food in Asia Pacific
  • Fast Food In Eastern Europe
  • Fast Food in Latin America
  • Fish and Seafood in the United Kingdom
  • Full-Service Restaurants in the United Kingdom
  • Gum in the United Kingdom
  • Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the United Kingdom
  • Limited Service Restaurants in the United Kingdom
  • Nuts in the United Kingdom
  • Packaged food in the United Kingdom
  • Ready Meals in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Tea in the United Kingdom
  • Self Service Cafeterias in the United Kingdom
  • Street Stalls/Kiosks in the United Kingdom
  • Sugar Confectionery in the United Kingdom
  • Sugar and Sweeteners in the United Kingdom
  • Savoury Snacks In the United Kingdom
  • Sweet Biscuits, Snack Bars and Fruit Snacks in the United Kingdom
  • Tea in the United Kingdom

EMIS logo

  • Europe - Confectionery
  • Europe - Savory Snacks
  • Europe Snack Bar Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2018 – 2023
  • Global Coffee Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2019 - 2024)
  • Global Coffee Pods and Capsules Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)
  • Global Confectionery
  • Global Confectionery Market 2021 - 2027
  • Global Fast Food Market 2020 - 2027
  • Global Frozen Pizza Market, 2017-2023
  • Global Fruit Snack Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)
  • Global Organic Snacks Market, 2018-2025
  • Global - Savory Snacks
  • Global Snack Bar Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2019 – 2024
  • Global Sweet Biscuit Market - Growth, Trends, And Forecast (2019 - 2024)
  • Healthy Snacks Market Analysis and Segment Forecasts To 2025
  • Savory Snacks Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2019 – 2024
  • United Kingdom - Confectionery
  • United Kingdom - Savory Snacks

Trade Magazines & Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

British Baker (William Reed) [(P) HT 75 - E(8) Science 2 pre 2010. 2010 onwards available from Business Source Complete (EBSCO) available onsite via electronic sources]
This is a fortnightly trade magazine covering the bakery industry throughout the UK. Features news, product reviews and market insights.

Café Life Magazine (formerly Café Culture) (J&M Group) [(P) HR 850 - E(4) Science 2]
Trade publication aimed at independent cafés. Features event and supplier directories.

Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft (formerly known as Cake Craft & Decoration) (Anglo American Media) [ZK.9.b.14891 Humanities - Must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Monthly magazine containing news and features on the latest techniques and trends in cake decorating.

The Caterer (formerly known as Caterer & hotelkeeper) (Reed Business Information) [(P) 647.950941-E(1) Business]
Trade publication aimed at restaurant managers, chefs, hotel owners and others in the hospitality industry. Covers catering equipment, company news, trends in foods and drink, foodservice, suppliers, profiles, job adverts, restaurants and hotels for sale.

Chippy Chat & Fast Food Magazine (formerly known as Fryer & Fast Food) (ChippyChat) [ZK.9.b.29366 - Must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
The Fish & Chip and fast food magazine for the UK. Covers news and events within the industry with recipes, trends and developments. All magazines freely available from the website.

Confectionery Production (Bell Publishing) [(P) HT25 - E(1) Science 2]
Magazine for the global confectionery, chocolate, bakery and ice cream industries. Includes directory of plant, equipment, ingredients and packaging materials.

Convenience Store (William Reed) [(P) AL 936 - E(2) BUS]
Covers industry and business news, products, NPD, jobs, events etc. related to the food, drink and other products sold from convenience stores.

Fast Food Professional (formerly Fish & Chips and Fast Food) (Newco Media Ltd) [ZK.9.d.742 Humanities - Must be ordered using Explore the British Library]
Trade magazine for fish and chip shops and fast food outlets. Includes catering equipment, fryers, cooking oil, refrigerators, burger bars, kebabs, fried chicken soft drinks, disposables, pies, sausages, pastry products, new products etc. Recent issues freely available online:

Fish Friers Review (NFFF) [(P) HR 16 – E(2) Science 2]
Journal of the National Federation of Fish Friers. Covers the fish and chip shop trade, including fish restaurants, frying & catering equipment, potatoes etc. Carries adverts for businesses for sale with news and comment, with a regular feature on legislative matters. You can find reviews here.

Kennedy’s Confection (Kennedy’s Publications ltd) [(P) HT 25 - E(14) Science 2]
Trade magazine covering sweets, chocolate, bubble gum, candy, biscuits, mints, snacks, packaging and branding, manufacturing and processing plant and machinery. Includes new technology and trends. Extensive directory and country profiles.

Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Magazine (J&M Group) [(P) HP 173 – E(19) Science 2]
Journal of the Pizza & Pasta Association.  News on people and products in the industry with features on franchising, food safety, company profiles etc.

International Sandwich & Food To Go (J&M Group/The British Sandwich Association) [(P) HQ 91 – E(22) Science 2]
(Formerly International Sandwich & Snack News)
News and comment on food trends, food hygiene and new products. Includes suppliers directory etc.

Snacks Magazine (Quarterly) (Leek: Tudored) [(P) HQ 91 – E(20) Science 2]
Journal of the European Snacks Association. New product news, technology review, product licensing, savoury and sweet snacks. crisps, nuts, popcorn, ethnic snacks, regulations, market profiles etc. Detailed buyers guide for Europe.

Tea and Coffee Trade Journal (Bell Publishing) [(P) HR 82 - E(1) Science 2]
Features new products and news for the tea and coffee industries.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

The BFBi Directory 2019-2020 (The Brewing Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association) [(B) DIR 338.47663 BUS] 
Industry handbook listing worldwide suppliers of products and services for the brewing, food and beverage industry. 2020 - 2021 version available free online:

Frozen & Chilled Foods Yearbook 2020/21 (Sherwin Publications Ltd) [(B) DIR 338.766402850941 BUS]
Buyers guide for the frozen and chilled foods industry. Gives an alphabetical list of companies with suppliers of catering and retail products.

The Grocer: Directory of Manufacturers & Suppliers 2020 (William Reed Business Media Ltd) [(B) DIR 380.1456402541 BUS]
Directory of food and drink manufacturers and suppliers; also has a list of food & drink products and a brand index.

International Sandwich & Food to Go News. (Café Culture) Annual Trade Directory 2018 (J & M Group) [(B) DIR 338.47664602941 BUS]
Guide to companies and services in the convenience food industry. 2020 directory freely available online.

Speciality Food - The Directory 2020 - 21 (Aceville Publications Ltd) [(B) DIR 664.002941 BUS] 
Guide to companies supplying speciality and delicatessen food. Includes baking, confectionery, ready meals, snack foods, drinks etc.

The Butcher 2019 (Yandell Publishing Limited) [(B) DIR 338.664902541 BUS] 
Guide for the retail butcher. Gives contact details of relevant associations and product suppliers. Consists of many articles covering trade bodies, wholesaling, recipes, shop refitting and refurbishment, butcher profiles etc. 2019 edition also available free online:

Ukers’ Tea & Coffee Global Directory & Buyer’s Guide 2020 (Bell Publishing Ltd. Gravesend Kent) [(B) DIR 663.940294 BUS]
International directory of agents, brokers, associations, exporters, importers, coffee roasters, tea packers, processors, manufacturers, suppliers, machinery and equipment offerings etc. Includes a glossary of tea and coffee terms.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

The Beverage Standards Association

Trade association for suppliers and retailers in the beverage industry, including coffee shops. It provides news, information and a directory relevant to coffee shop owners. 

Big Hospitality (Formerly Restaurant Magazine)

This is a trade publication aimed at owners and managers of restaurants that features trade news, updates and reviews.

The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association 

Represents businesses in the sandwich industry, providing news, events and a supplier directory.

Café Life Association 

Membership-based organisation for businesses that operate in the café market. Provides a few basic fact sheets but gives a suppliers directory.

The European Snacks Association

Concerned with the development and improvement of potato chips, edible nuts and snack food products in Europe. 

The Food and Drink Federation

A membership association for the food and drink industry, including chocolatiers. It provides industry updates, information and guidance for its members. Many free reports etc. are available also.

The Food Standards Agency 

An independent Government department that provides businesses with news, reports, guidance and information in relation to food safety.

The Ice Cream Alliance (ICA) 

The trade association for the ice cream sector. It provides advice on obtaining equipment, ice cream brands, new technology and developments in the sector. Includes a directory of suppliers.

The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO)

Gives an analysis of the world cocoa market. Reviews recent developments in the market with long term trends and forecasts. 

Just Food

A website providing access to reports, news and event information from all sectors of the food industry. Includes an international directory of products and suppliers. 

National Federation of Fish Fryers (NFFF)

Represents fish and chip shop proprietors and offers trade training courses specially designed for new entrants to the trade. Includes an associate members directory, suppliers etc. 

The Nationwide Caterers' Association (NCASS) 

A trade association for both static and mobile caterers. With news and fact sheets on various topics including starting up (takeaway, sandwich van, fish and chip shop etc.), insurance, training, VAT etc. With catering contacts. 

Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association

The trade association for pizza, pasta and Italian food businesses. Offers a range of member benefits including a regular magazine and free access to a legal helpline. Features a free online directory of suppliers of relevant products and services within the industry. 


The UK's seafood body. It works on a cross-industry level with fishermen, processors, wholesalers, seafood farmers, fish friers, caterers and retailers. Gives latest news, policy reforms, nutrition information, recipes etc. 

UK Hospitality 

Represents the broad hospitality sector – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues. 

UK Tea & Infusions Association

An independent non-profit making body dedicated to promoting tea and herbal infusions; providing services and support of a technical, scientific and regulatory nature to the tea industry. Works closely with several large national and international food bodies to ensure that the quality of tea imported into the European Union meets the highest possible standards as regulated by law. Includes a directory of tea related businesses and venues

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by The Style PA, Sweetbeetandgreenbean, dblstripe under a Creative Commons license