Reservation Restaurant floor drain

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circlehlodge's picture
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08/13/2013

we have a scenario we are trying to resolve with our B&B restaurant.
We converted a 3 car garage to a commercial kitchen over a year and a half ago. We wanted to not only offer lunch and dinner to our guests staying, but to have a reservation restaurant, as well. After spending all of the money we did, we were told that we could offer lunch and dinner to guests staying, but not to the public. Which didn't make sense to us, but we went with it. They said it was because we didn't install a floor drain.
A week and half ago I go to a reservation restaurant at a B&B and asked the owners if they had a floor drain, they said no and had been doing this for a very long time. The owner said this was nonsense. 
I'm not sure where to search, for this seemingly ludicrous law for Llano county to resolve this question one way or the other? I've google so many different things pertaining to Llano County Health inspection laws, but can't find the information.  We are constantly denying people that want to make reservations and it's income we're loosing. Does anyone have any input?

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circlehlodge's picture
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08/13/2013

Wow!! I really appreciate all of the input! The builder we worked with was referred to us and supposedly specialized in restaurant renovations. We had a very definite time line for the remodel because of a wedding we had coming up. We spent in the neighborhood of $100k to have all of the right surfaces, sinks, refrigeration, vent hood, fire system, and found out after wards that we needed the floor drain. When we confronted the builder, he said there wasn't enough time, that we would have to go under the driveway to tie into the septic, etc. etc. Then one of our couples that's getting married here happened to be in the restaurant construction business. We showed it to him and he said that was all nonsense. And that he can put one in for a fraction of the expense and doesn't have to do all this crazy stuff this builder told us. We are going to move that direction, but it is very strange to me that you can't look up the county regulations on line?! If there so insistent in being by the book, why can't you find the book to begin with?

Thank you for all of your insight!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Before we did any kitchen work, I had in writing from our county health dept exactly what we needed to do. Then we had to submit a sample menu, again by e-mail and everything is in writing. If we vary from the type of meal I submitted, we have to get approval from them. They want to make sure we're not deep frying, etc.

We then had a pre-inspection and a post-inspection after about a week of receiving our restaurant license.EVERYTHING in writing!

Write an e-mail to your county HD asking them exactly what you need to do and have them respond in kind so you have a written trail. I wouldn't even put in the drain unless they back it up with an e-mail!

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05/22/2008

Check your state building regs. They surely must be on line. Then see how they compare to the county's.  You NEVER trust the builder!!! You should have done the homework first and confirmed everything in writing. That is your job as an owner. 

Can't tell you how many cases I know of where folks bought a house , sunk in a fortune and then went to get a business license for B & B only to find out they are not allowed in their location Sad  OH YES>>>TRUE!!!  Now that is just DUMB!

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10/07/2008

Sorry to side track I am... not sure about European countries but in Australia all bathrooms and laundry rooms (and those with water heaters) must have a floor drain. I shake my head here in the USA why this is not a requirement. It only makes sense.

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Bommelhoeve's picture
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08/14/2009

We have the same rule, the authorities believe you need to use buckets of water to keep a commercial kitchen floor clean......  Perhaps obvious, but I would install the floor drain..... First get in writing that once you have done this you are fully compliant and can be open for outside reservations. Put you drain out of the way in a corner, close to an outer wall and connect it outside to your main drains. Make a nice cover for it. You only need to use (see) it when you are cleaning.......

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10/07/2008

You are only as strong as your weakest link...in this instance it means the health department get to make the call and control the situation. Go in person and speak to someone. That is what I would do.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I know how frustrating it is. We wanted to serve dinners to our guests and were told by county health dept that we would have to have a commercial kitchen. Another b&b in the area was doing it and their kitchen was not commercial but had been grandfathered in from years before. It makes no sense. We spent the money to fix our kitchen and were then ok'd by the health dept. One thing I learned in the process is that the county health department has their own rules and regulations and there's no list I could see that gave specifics. Also, what I'm now able to do wouldn't be ok'd in the next county.

Do you have a modified B&B food license or do you have an actual restaurant license? Have you been dealing with the head of the department or just an inspector?

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06/24/2008

My comments are DITTO to Empty Nest in every respect.  Laws are different in every city/county and before you spend any money remodeling for any business you should have all the legalities in writing as to what is required.

Best of luck to get this resolved.  Go into the office, get the law in writing and then see if there is any leeway or workaround as sometimes they will.  

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05/22/2008

You need to go to your health department / and ask for the state/ county/ local regs that apply to restaurants/ food service. The others may have been "grandfathered in"....you just never know what went on in the past. 

Who did you talk to before you even remodeled it?  Didn't the inspectors come and check it out before giving you the ok.. A case where you need to ask first and get it in writing BEFORE you do anything.

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