Getting a Restaurant Permit Orange County is a prerequisite for serving food to the public. Although it does involve filling in paperwork, it provides reassurance to the public that restaurateurs are acting responsibly and that their kitchens are as clean as their table cloths.
Permits are required to allow for regular inspection
Part of the reason why Orange County insists that restaurants obtain permits is that the Health Department organizes regular inspections of them. How often these inspections take place depends largely on the type of restaurant. Essentially, the simpler the processes used to prepare the food, the less possibility there is that something can go wrong and so the less need there is for inspection. By contrast, restaurants which run complex processes with extensive cooling and reheating of food, need to take great care to ensure that all relevant safety and hygiene processes are followed and consequently are subject to more frequent inspection.
Permits are required to ensure safety
The other reason why Orange County requires restaurants to obtain permits before they open is because they want to ensure that staff and diners are kept safe as well as healthy. To this end, they require all new restaurants to submit floor plans and specifications for the kitchen equipment. These specifications are inspected not only from the perspective of health and safety but also from the perspective of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which basically requires all businesses to take all reasonable steps to make their products and services accessible to disabled people (which includes staff as well as diners). It should be noted that the interpretation of reasonable depends very much on circumstances. For example a restaurant operating out of the top floor of a historic building might not be able to install an elevator due to the nature of the building, whereas a restaurant opening in a modern, purpose-built building might well be expected to include an elevator if certain facilities were only made available on an upper floor, but not if all facilities could be accessed from the first floor.
It will also take into account basic facilities such as plumbing, lighting and air conditioning and will require evidence that these are of a suitable standard. This is all in addition to meeting basic environmental health requirements (such as the need to dispose of rubbish without attracting vermin) and also in addition to the need to ensure that all staff have appropriate training regarding food hygiene and any other relevant safety practices.
If this seems like a challenge then it may be worth enlisting the services of a restaurant-design company, which can help to ensure that any potential restaurant meets all the relevant criteria and which will be thoroughly familiar with completing the necessary paperwork.
If you need help with completing the paperwork for a restaurant permit, or with any other aspect of restaurant design, then talk to the people at Orchid Construction. They will be happy to provide friendly and knowledgeable advice. You can call them on (714)-744-2446 or visit their website www.orchidconstruction.com