Shisha bars are Trendy worldwide, especially in Europe and North 

.America; these oriental tea rooms in which Hookah is smoked have many followers. However, since the law on the ban on smoking in public places, there are nevertheless strict rules to be observed to open a shisha bar.

Are you planning to set up a hookah bar or vape store? Do you want to open an E-cigarette kiosk in the mall? Find on this page all the information you need, including an inventory of current legislation.

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#1, Carry out the market research of a vape store

To open a shisha bar, it is essential to carry out a market study, which will allow you to verify the commercial viability of your project and define the best commercial strategy to put in place for your shisha bar. the market research of a shisha bar should contain:

  • An in-depth analysis of industry trends
  • A detailed study of the competition
  • Precise targeting of your potential customers

#2. The Local shisha bar (vape bar)market


Coming from the East, the Hookah is an Arab-Persian-style water pipe used to smoke tobacco. We know of many different names: Hookah or narghile, chicha or shisha, or even Hookah. Since the 1980s, its consumption has grown, and today it is estimated that more than 100 million users worldwide.

Often considered an exotic practice and an invitation to travel, shisha is appreciated for its friendliness: in 84.4% of cases, people smoke it together. Moreover, it is a social activity; we meet with friends around a hookah, in 87.2% of subjects in the late afternoon or evening.

The first consumers of Hookah are young people and students: in the survey cited above, the average age of hookah smokers is 21.2 years. We also note that half of those under 16 have already smoked shisha.

The sweetness and fruity taste of shisha tend to mask its potential dangers. The smoke of shisha is not more toxic than that of tobacco, but its users inhale much more: 30 to 50 puffs taken with a shisha is thus as much as the smoke of 40 cigarettes. However, consumers tend to ignore the toxicity of Hookah: only 39% say that it is a practice " undoubtedly toxic to health. "

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Typology of the hookah bar market

74% of shisha consumers smoke it in the private sphere, whether at home or with friends. Shisha bars represent only 26% of places where it is smoked.

Future trends of the hookah bar market in France

As a result of the law prohibiting smoking in public places, many shisha bars are experiencing severe difficulties. Therefore, it is likely that the public authorities' fight against the health dangers of tobacco will only intensify in the years to come.

We can also note the arrival of hookah pens, equipped with a function similar to electronic cigarettes, which could further democratize hookah consumption and reduce the number of visits to hookah bars.

Some aspects of shisha bar regulation

The sale of tobacco is a highly regulated sector: tobacco is a state monopoly in France (established by the decree of 29.11.1810 and amended by law 76-448 of 24.05.1976). The sale of tobacco is thus generally reserved for tobacconists, who must follow specific regulations.

An exemption is possible by being the holder of a 3rd or 4th category liquor license or a restaurant license proper. Shisha bars offering shisha tobacco must therefore obtain this license.

On the other hand, the law on the prohibition of smoking in public places of January 1, 2007, obliges hookah bars to have a smoking room to remain legal. A "smoking room" is an enclosed space dedicated to the sole consumption of tobacco, having to meet technical standards (ventilation system, opening) and conditions of use (maintenance, surface area, location, signage) defined by the decree of November 15, 2006.

Finally, when you want to open a shisha bar, it is necessary to respect the same regulations for any restaurant or drinking establishment.

Therefore, any hookah bar must have at least one individual in its workforce who has completed training in food hygiene. During installation, it is also necessary to register with the Departmental Directorate in charge of the Protection of Populations (DDCPP).

Concerning safety and hygiene, a multitude of standards must be respected: health standards (regulation 852/2004 of April 29, 2004, on food safety, the decree of December 21, 2009, on the conservation of perishable products), and safety standards for establishments open to the public (layout of premises, electrical installations, cooking appliances, etc.).

#3. Find a location for your hookah bar.

Once the French shisha bar market study has been completed, you must now find a local. And This is an essential step because the location of your hookah bar will be critical to the success of your business.

It is advisable to set your sights on premises not far from your target customers: setting up not far from a university or a campus will be ideal for targeting students. Setting up in the city center can also be interesting.

You can also choose to take over a hookah bar: you will thus benefit from an already equipped room and an existing clientele.

#4. Resolving the legal construction of your hookah bar

After you find a local, you will need to decide on the legal status of your hookah bar.

This is a choice not to be taken lightly, as it will influence your social system as a manager, your responsibility for the company's debts, and the tax system. of the latter.

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#5. The Workers and Inventory Needs 

Now that you have found your location and decided on the legal structure of your hookah bar, it is time to take a look at the estimated budget for your business.

The first step will be to fit out and decorate your room while respecting the regulations in force. The principal investment will be the furniture. It will also be necessary to plan the development of the smoking room according to standards, hookahs and crockery, stocks of products (tobacco, teas, coffees, pastries, etc.), and the necessary management equipment (computer station, the terminal of payment, etc.).

Also, think about marketing investments: brand, website, menus, etc.

The recruitment of staff is not to be neglected either: the atmosphere of your hookah bar will strongly depend on the hospitality of your employees. Therefore, you will need to list the necessary employees according to the opening hours planned for your shisha bar and set up a recruitment plan.

Finally, setting up a hookah bar requires taking out insurance and hiring an accountant for administrative management.

#6. The marketing plan of a hookah bar

For your hookah bar to be a success, you will need an effective marketing plan to make it known during the launch and retain your customers.

There are many means of communication and promotion at your disposal. For example, you can consider:

  • To distribute flyers in neighboring districts
  • To create a showcase website
  • Advertise: in local media or on the internet
  • To communicate on social networks
  • Promote your hookah bar on Google Maps and online review sites

The important thing here is to identify the most relevant actions to place given the target clientele and anticipate the cost of these actions in your estimated budget.

#7. The business plan of a hookah bar

The penultimate step is to write a business plan for your hookah bar.

The business plan of a hookah bar is a document containing:

  • A written part presenting in detail the project, the leaders, and the commercial strategy of the company
  • A quantified part highlighting the profitability potential and the need for financing of the project

This detailed document will be essential to you when looking for funding and ensuring that the project is financially profitable.

#8. Fundraising to open a hookah bar

Once you've drawn up your shisha bar business plan, you can start looking for funding.

The amount of investment required will depend on the size of your premises, the work to be done, and the furniture to be financed.

As an indication, it is estimated on average that the initial investment for a hookah bar is between 20,000 and 80,000 €.

To raise such an amount, different financing options are available to you. You will first need to have a personal contribution. To constitute it, you will have to draw on your savings, call on your relatives, or find partners.

In addition, you can contact banks and other credit institutions to obtain a loan to finance part of the work of fitting out the premises or your equipment.

Finally, you can consider reaching out to your future customers by launching a crowdfunding campaign or getting help to start a business.


There you go, now you know how to open a hookah bar! We hope you have found this helpful article, and if you want to buy customized vape store fixtures or bar counters or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.