Ordinance for Operators

September 7th, 2010 comments 0

Last week, we posted the complete shared kitchen draft ordinance, as well as a summary of how it will affect shared-use kitchen users.  That’s just half of the story, though, as the ordinance also affects shared kitchen operators, such as Kitchen Chicago.  Here are the major points:

  • Operators must get a new “shared kitchen license” (previously, operators were licensed as retail food establishments).  Additionally, a “retail food establishment supplemental license” must be obtained to allow in any normal business activities previously falling under retail food establishment.
  • There is also a new “shared kitchen supplemental license” for businesses seeking to operate a shared kitchen in addition to some other primary business activity (e.g. restaurants or bakeries renting off-hours).
  • Shared kitchens will always be classified as a Category I facility, meaning highest risk, and therefore more frequent inspections.
  • Operators are responsible for all municipal code violations that occur on the premise, including any licensing and/or health code violations committed by a user.
  • Operators are required to keep extensive records (e.g. user activity, including dates & times reserved & used, sanitation managers on duty, discontinued use, etc).

Again, this is just our best effort at capturing the main points.  We’re happy with the progress made so far.  The new draft ordinance is an important step in creating an environment with clearer definitions in which shared kitchen operators and users can do business in Chicago.  Based on over 5 years of experience running a shared-use kitchen, and some great feedback from others, we’ve put together comments on the draft and look forward to working with key sponsors of the draft ordinance in the upcoming weeks.

9 Ordinance Pages in 11 Bullet Points

September 1st, 2010 comments 2

Last weekend we posted City Hall’s first draft ordinance for shared kitchen operators and users. We know not everyone enjoys nine pages of municipal code amendments, so we’ve attempted to distill the major points for shared kitchen users below. This is presented as our best effort interpretation of the draft, without commentary.

  • Users need a new “shared kitchen user” business license
    • Two types: long-term (2 yr, $330) or short-term (90 days, $75)
  • You do not need a retail food or wholesale license. The shared kitchen user license allows for business activities covered by those
  • Shared kitchen users must have a sanitation manager on duty during all shared kitchen use (we already require this)
  • The shared kitchen user license can be used at any shared kitchen, including restaurants w/ a “shared kitchen supplemental license”
  • New record-keeping requirements
    • Users must have a signed agreement (“affidavit”) w/ each shared kitchen used
    • Users must maintain a log of dates & times any shared kitchen was used
  • Application process for a shared kitchen user license
    • Submit a menu and a form identifying any special equipment (presumably not already part of the shared kitchen)
    • Must have a consultation w/ a health department official

One area that remains unclear is liability for health code violations. The draft ordinance clearly holds operators liable, but doesn’t detail any responsibilities (or non-responsibilities) for shared kitchen users.

Hope this helps to summarize the nine page draft for users.

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