A traditional catering business provides food for private events such as parties, family gatherings and wedding receptions at a location other than a permitted restaurant. Food is prepared at an approved commercial kitchen for service to a predetermined number of invited guests at a catered event.
There are two types of traditional Catering business permits:
- Shared Kitchen Permit: For a catering business that sublets space from an already permitted kitchen for small scale delivery type service only.
- A Caterer Permit: A catering business that prepares food at a commercial kitchen for limited food preparation service elsewhere based on a predetermined number of meals.
*If you are starting a new Catering business at a kitchen that has never been used for retail food service, a plan review submittal may be required.
Please visit our Fixed Food Facility Plan Review page for more information.
If you already own and operate a restaurant approved for food preparation, you may expand your operation to include catering with no additional fees or permit requirements. However, it is necessary to review and discuss the operational aspects of your catering operation with Environmental Health to ensure food safety standards are maintained.
A Restaurant, Market, Shared Kitchen or Caterer Permitted business can apply for a separate Hosted Caterer Permit to vend food by the order at a permitted Host Facility.
Interested in Starting a Catering Business?
Before starting your catering business, complete the following documents.
Catering Operation: Requirements and Permitting
The following documents will also be required during your inspection:
- Business card or photo of business sign
- Valid registration for catering vehicle
- Valid Driver’s License
- Food Safety Certification 60 days after permitting
- Food Handlers Cards for all employees 30 days of start of work or hire
*The above listed documents are required to be completed for initial permitting inspection, and for annual renewal inspection.
Breweries, wineries, commercial buildings, and other approved locations that meet, or can be modified to meet, infrastructure and operational requirements can become a Host Facility for permitted Hosted Caterers. A plan review is required for businesses that have never been used for retail food service. This Host Facility Permit allows a permitted Hosted Caterer to serve food, with limited preparation, at the Host Facility for 4 hours within a 12-hour period.
Interested in Becoming a Host Facility?
Before you begin operating as a Host Facility, a plan review may be required to ensure the host facility location meets minimum structural and equipment standards to support a Hosted Caterer. This is required if the facility has never been under a Food Facility Permit with Environmental Health. Get started by completing the following:
If your facility is currently permitted by Environmental Health or if it has everything it needs to support a Hosted Caterer, you can apply for a Host facility Permit.