June 4, 2024

4 Red Flags to Watch for When Renting Out Your Kitchen

Lack of Proper Certifications and Documentation

One of the first things you should verify is whether the food brand has all the necessary certifications and licenses. This includes health and safety permits, food handling certifications, and registered business documentation. You can search if a business is registered with Companies  House here.

A brand that is unable or unwilling to provide these documents or information might be cutting corners or may have something to hide, which can lead to issues down the line.

What to Look For:

  • Up-to-date Food Safety Certifications
  • Is a registered Business
  • Business licenses and proof of insurance, if applicable.

You can search the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to see if a business has registered and/or has received a Food Hygiene Rating. Ensuring food businesses have the appropriate certifications is crucial for maintaining food safety standards.

Unclear Business Model and Objectives

Even if a business has just begun operations, a strong food brand should have a clear business model and objectives. If a brand cannot clearly articulate its target market, product offerings, or growth strategy, it might indicate a lack of planning and foresight. This could result in unreliable rental income and a potential headache for you as the kitchen owner.

Questions to Ask:

  • What is or has been your target market?
  • What are your key products or offerings?
  • What is your growth plan for the next year or few years?

Research indicates that clear business planning is essential for small business success, with poor planning being a significant factor in business failures. Understanding how to set up a commercial kitchen is part of this planning process.

Financial Instability

Financial stability is a crucial factor when considering renting out your kitchen. A brand that struggles with finances may delay payments or even default on their rent, disrupting your cash flow and business operations. Request financial statements or references to ensure the brand is in good standing.

Financial Red Flags:

  • Unwillingness to provide financial references or statements
  • History of late payments or defaults
  • Lack of a solid financial plan, budget or funding.

Understanding how much a commercial kitchen costs in the UK can help ensure the brand's financial planning is realistic, learn more here.

Negative Reviews or Poor Reputation

In today's digital age, a food brand's reputation is easily accessible online. Negative reviews or a poor reputation can reflect underlying issues within the brand's operations, quality, or customer service. Conduct thorough research and consider feedback from previous customers or partners.

Research Tips:

  • Check online reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, Google, and social media
  • Reach out to previous landlords or partners for references
  • Look for patterns in complaints or negative feedback

Not all businesses require a website or have a presence on social media. However, there will be some evidence of the business online, which will give you some idea of how they operate. If you can't find anything online about the business, then this may be cause for concern.


Renting out your kitchen to food brands should be a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it's essential to proceed with caution. By being aware of these red flags and conducting thorough due diligence, you can protect your kitchen or venue's reputation and ensure a smooth and profitable partnership. If you're considering renting out your kitchen space, keep these tips in mind to make informed and confident decisions.

About Oya Kitchens

At Oya Kitchens, we prioritise maintaining high standards and fostering successful collaborations between food vendors and hosts. We offer flexible rental options and comprehensive support to both food brands and property owners.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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