How to Open a Restaurant

Chef cooking in KitchenThe Environmental Health Division of the LaSalle County Health Department protects public health through the Food Sanitation Program. The goal of this program is the reduction of foodborne illness through the education of food service operators and consumers regarding safe food handling practices.

By following the steps below, opening a restaurant can be a smooth process. The Environmental Health Division will provide the information and assistance to assure the highest standards of sanitation and food safety for your establishment.

Step One - The Initial Inquiry

Contact the LaSalle County Health Department for a plan review form, and food ordinance and for any questions regarding your project.

Step Two - Submit Plans

Provide the LaSalle County Health Department with a set of building plans for new or extensively remodeled facilities.

Step Three - Review Process

The Environmental Health Practitioner for the area of the county where your facility will be located will review the plans to determine compliance with all applicable rules and regulations of the food service code.

Step Four - Approval Process

After reviewing the plans, the Environmental Health Practitioner shall contact the applicant in writing regarding the status of compliance of the plans to the food service code. A request for a plumbing inspection will be forwarded in writing to the appropriate authority. Additional information or changes may be necessary before approval.

Step Five - Inspections

The Environmental Health Practitioner or the applicant may request a walk-through survey of the establishment during construction. If you are re-opening a food service establishment a walk-through survey will be needed to determine that the establishment meets all requirements of the current food service code. An inspection report will be filled out indicating all violations of the food code. No facility, whether new or existing, will be allowed to open with an existing High-Risk violation.

Step Six

At the time of the opening inspection, a determination will be made regarding the status of other permits; an occupancy permit and a plumbing inspection. Upon conclusion of the survey, the inspection report shall be completed with a notice that all existing violations are to be eliminated within thirty (30) days. An application for the Health Permit and fee shall be submitted at this time. The completed and signed plan review must also be submitted. "FACILITY ALLOWED TO OPEN" shall be written on the inspection report if appropriate.

Step Seven - Follow-Up Inspection

A routine survey will be conducted on all new, remodeled, or re-opening facilities thirty (30) days after opening or shortly thereafter. The establishment will then be inspected according to its risk assessment.

Environmental Health Division Restaurant Opening Checklist

Remember to:

  • Submit Complete Plans and Appropriate Fee
  • Contact the Environmental Health Practitioner for your area LaSalle County Health Department.
  • Enroll in a Food Service Sanitation course for your Certified Manager's Certificate.