Late night takeaways and burger vans in Midland entertainment districts are set to shut up shop because of the cost of new licences.
They are refusing to pay up to £1,000 to comply with new laws designed to stamp out anti- social behaviour, a Birmingham solicitor has warned.
It means late-night drinkers and clubbers will find it more difficult to buy food after an evening out.
The costs are a result of the Government's Licensing Act, which comes into force in November.
Councils, which administer the Act, have warned that thousands of pubs, clubs and restaurants are failing to apply for licences because they have not realised it applies to them.
They face six months in prison or fines of up to £20,000 if they continue trading after November.
But many traders are choosing not to obtain a licence once the law is explained to them, according to Peter Adkins, head of licensing at Birmingham solicitors Putsmans.
Instead, they are simply planning to close their doors at 11pm, so they will not need a licence.
He said: "There has been a lot of publicity about this Act, but mainly about the sale of alcohol. In fact, the humble take away will also need a licence now, if it is selling food after 11pm.
"This applies to a chip shop, a van selling burgers, or even a garage which sells pies and provides a microwave for customers to heat them up.
"The message has not got out, and a lot of traders don't know they need one of these licenses."
But even when the law was explained to them, some traders were reluctant to apply, he said.
"The basic fee is usually £190. But something like a kebab shop also needs to provide full plans of the site, which can be £350.
"They need to place a formal legal notice in the local paper, which is another £60. And there can be legal fees of around £500.
"So it is around £1,000 just to continue doing what they are now. Some traders are saying it is not worth it, and planning to close at 11pm."
The new laws had targeted food outlets, he said.
"The Government wants to target bad behaviour, and sometimes the trouble has shifted from pubs to the takeaways where drinkers go afterwards."