Opening, Renovating and Operating a Restaurant
There are many different kinds of restaurants and catering services. Whether you’re interested in starting a café, a bar, family style
restaurant or event catering business, you will be part of the restaurant industry.
Popular types of restaurants and catering businesses include:
- Gourmet and casual dining
- Ethnic and speciality food (vegan, gluten free, organic)
- Pubs, bistros and brasseries
- Coffee shops and cafeterias
Every restaurant or catering business will be inspected and appraised, so restaurant owners should strive to maintain high health
standards. When dealing with health issues, there are several standards that the restaurant owners need to be aware of including:
- Restaurant food temperature control
- Protection of restaurant food from contamination
- Restaurant staff hygiene and hand washing
- Maintenance and sanitation of surfaces and equipment that come into contact with restaurant food
- Maintenance and sanitation of surfaces and equipment that do NOT come into contact with food in a restaurant
- Maintenance and sanitation of restaurant washrooms
- Storage and removal of restaurant waste
- Pest control
The Health Protection and Promotion Act of Ontario requires that every person who intends to commence to operate a restaurant give
notice of intention to the local health unit in which the restaurant is to be located. Every person who operates a restaurant in Ontario
must meet the requirements of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation (Ontario Regulation 562/90).
The Ontario Food Premises Regulation (Ontario Regulation 562/90) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act provides the
minimum requirements for the operation of a restaurant.
A Public Health Inspector (PHI) will review the food premises regulation with the restaurant operator before and during opening,
renovating and operating a restaurant. A pre-opening restaurant inspection must be arranged with a Public Health Inspector (PHI) at
least one week prior to opening of a restaurant.
Ontario Building Code Requirements to Open, Renovate and
Operate a Restaurant
Whether it’s a small deli, food court take-ot kiosk, or a fine dine-in restaurant, a commercial kitchen is a specially designed maze of
directly connected and indirectly connected fixtures and plumbing appliances. The plumbing fixtures required for a restaurant are
found in Parts 3 and 7 of the Ontario Building Code, while the sanitary connection requirements for a restaurant are fully described in
Part 7 of the Ontario Building Code.
Ontario Building Code Div. A –22.214.171.124 Defined Terms
Hub drain means a drain opening for indirect liquid wastes,(a) that does not serve as a floor drain, (b) that has the same pipe size,
material and venting requirements as a floor drain, (c) that has a flood level rim above the floor in which it is installed, and(d) that
receives wastes that are discharged directly into the drain opening.
The directly connected receiving fixture is often deemed a hub drain when located below the floor level and more than one indirect
waste connects to it. The Ontario Building Code only recognizes Floor Drains and Hub Drains. The term Funnel Drain is a manufactured
device to simulate a Hub Drain to be sealed in a concrete floor. Funnel Floor Drains should only be permitted with an open throat so as
to not restrict the flow of indirect liquid waste.
A Commercial Restaurant Dishwasher is a listed fixture in Table 126.96.36.199., requiring a (2”) trap. The discharging of the Commercial
Dishwasher into the grease interceptor can cause issues due to the Hot Water and the Degreasing Chemicals used. Many municipalities
specify that the Commercial Dishwasher connect downstream of the grease interceptor.
CAN CSA B481.4.07states an operator of a restaurant shall not use or permit the use of chemical agents, enzymes, bacteria, solvents,
hot water,or other agents to facilitate the passage of Fat, Oil and Grease through a grease interceptor.
The Health Protection & Promotion Act Reg. 562.75(1)(a) states utensils shall be sanitized by immersion in clean water at a temperature
of at least 77 degrees C for more than at least 45 seconds.
Lighting must be adequate to allow for the sanitary operation and maintenance of the restaurant with shatterproof coverings in areas
where food is prepared and stored. Adequate lighting must be maintained during all hours of operation. Ensure sufficient bright light in
restaurant kitchen, preparation and storage areas to facilitate cleaning. Adequate lighting is required in the Food preparation area to
chop, bake, fry, sauté, as well as any other task that needs to be completed in the kitchen. Food preparation area lighting must meet
Ontario Building Code requirements enforced by the local Building Department. To improve the safety of the kitchen staff and kitchen
efficiency, adequate proper lighting is a must. Protective light covers are recommended for fluorescent lights. The requirements for the
levels of illumination are regulated under the Ontario Building Code. Please contact local municipal Building and Fire Department for
Ventilation in a restaurant kitchen is crucial. The specific ventilation requirements for washrooms and food preparation areas are
regulated under the Ontario Building Code. All restaurant cooking equipment, dishwashing equipment and washrooms require
mechanical ventilation vented to the outside. Mechanical ventilation over restaurant cooking equipment must be equipped with
exhaust fan, canopy, filters, etc. Contact local municipality Building and Licensing Department and the local Fire Department for specific
•A mezzanine shall be treated as part of the main floor area if any exiting from the mezzanine directs people down and through the main
floor level – the occupant load calculated for the mezzanine is included in the main floor area calculation
•The main floor shall support both occupant loads
•A mezzanine that has separate exiting from the main floor area shall be considered as a separate floor area and shall have a separate
maximum occupant loads posted on each level.
Determining Occupant Load for Restaurants
Floor Area (Ontario Building Code Table 3.17.1., Div. B)
•An occupant load of 1.1 sq. m net floor area per person for licensed restaurants (Table 188.8.131.52)
•Occupant load calculations are specific to the use of different areas with the establishment. For example; kitchen areas are calculated
at 9.3 sq. m /person under Table 184.108.40.206.
•Washrooms are not included in the floor area calculation
•In no circumstance shall the required exits from the main building empty into an enclosed patio or a contained exterior space.
Hand Wash & Lavatory Basin,
Ontario Building Code 220.127.116.11.Lavatories, Appliances and Sinks
(1)A separate lavatory for the hand washing of restaurant employees shall be constructed in a location convenient for employees in
each manufacturing, processing and preparation area.
Note: A wall hung basin, a wall hung “sink” or connected bar sink with a “sanitary” barrier have all been considered acceptable.
(2)If equipment and facilities for the cleaning and sanitizing of restaurant utensils are provided, they shall consist of,(a)mechanical
equipment, or(b)drainage racks of corrosion-resistant materials and,(i) a three-compartment sink or three sinks, or(ii) a two-
compartment sink or two sinks, where the first compartment or sink can be used effectively for washing and rinsing and the second
compartment or sink can be used effectively for sanitizing.
Required Number of Water Closets (Ontario Building Code 18.104.22.168., Div. B)
Universal toilet rooms, where required, shall comply with 22.214.171.124., Div. B of the Ontario Building Code.
Dining Rooms, Restaurants, Cafeteria & Alcoholic Beverage Establishments
Ontario Building Code - Table 126.96.36.199.F. Plumbing Fixtures for Assembly Occupancies
Minimum Required Number of Water Closets and Lavatories for Employees
Employees of Each Sex 1 to 9 - Minimum Required Water Closets and Lavatories for Each Sex - 1
Employees of Each Sex 10 to 24 - Minimum Required Water Closets and Lavatories for Each Sex - 2
Employees of Each Sex 25 to 49 - Minimum Required Water Closets and Lavatories for Each Sex - 3
Employees of Each Sex 50 to 74 - Minimum Required Water Closets and Lavatories for Each Sex - 4
Employees of Each Sex 75 to 100 - Minimum Required Water Closets and Lavatories for Each Sex - 5
Employees of Each Sex over 100 - 6 plus 1 for each additional increment of 30 employees
Where a separate employee washroom is provided, the same room may be used by both female and male employees provided that,
(a) the total number of employees is not more than 5, and
(b) the door to the room can be locked from the inside.
Ontario Building Code - Table 188.8.131.52.D. Water Closets for Assembly Occupancies
Persons of Each Sex 1 to 20 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 1
Persons of Each Sex 21 to 70 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 2
Persons of Each Sex 71 to 105 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 3
Persons of Each Sex 106 to 135 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 4
Persons of Each Sex 136 to 165 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 5
Persons of Each Sex 166 to 195 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 6
Persons of Each Sex 196 to 225 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 7
Persons of Each Sex 226 to 275 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 8
Persons of Each Sex 276 to 325 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex- 9
Persons of Each Sex 326 to 375 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 10
Persons of Each Sex 376 to 425 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 11
Each Sex Over 425 - 12 plus 1 for each additional increment of 50 persons of each sex in excess of 425
(7) Except as provided in Sentence (8), in every dining room, restaurant, cafeteria and alcoholic beverage establishment having not
more than 40 seats, patrons are permitted to share the sanitary facilities provided for employees, and the minimum number of water
closets and lavatories shall conform to Table 184.108.40.206.D based on,
(a) a male occupant load of 50% of the number of seats plus the number of male employees, and
(b) a female occupant load of 50% of the number of seats plus the number of female employees.
(8) Where a separate employee washroom is provided, the same room may be used by both female and male employees provided that,
(a) the total number of employees is not more than 5, and
(b) the door to the room can be locked from the inside.
(9) The number of employees in Sentences (6), to (8) shall be the maximum number of employees who are normally present on the
premises at one time and shall include only those who are present for more than 25 per cent of the working day.
Establishments Used Primarily for the Consumption of Alcohol Beverages
Limited or No Food Service
Ontario Building Code - Table 220.127.116.11.E. Water Closets for Assembly Occupancies
Number of Persons of Each Sex and Minimum Required Number of Water Closets for Each Sex
Persons of Each Sex 1 to 70 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 2
Persons of Each Sex 51 to 70 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 3
Persons of Each Sex 71 to 90 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 4
Persons of Each Sex 91 to 110 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 5
Persons of Each Sex 111 to 140 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 6
Persons of Each Sex 141 to 180 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 7
Persons of Each Sex 181 to 220 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 8
Persons of Each Sex 221 to 260 - Minimum Required Water Closets for Each Sex - 9
Over 260 - 10 plus 1 for each additional increment of 40 persons of each sex in excess of 260
Toilets / washrooms must not open directly into kitchen and other areas where food is handled and must be separated.
Exit Capacity (18.104.22.168., Div. B)
6.1mm per person of exit width required (a 36” door may accommodate 150 persons) but shall not be permitted to accommodate more
than half of the required occupant load as per 22.214.171.124.(6)B where 2 exits are required.
Fire Alarm System (126.96.36.199., Div. B)
A fire alarm system is required where the occupant load exceeds 150 persons. Fire alarms shall be designed by a competent person
Exit Signs (188.8.131.52.(8), Div. B)
• Exit signs are required where the restaurant occupant load exceed 60 persons.
• Exit signs shall consist of a green pictogram and white graphic symbol complying with ISO 3864-1 meeting the visibility
specifications and ISP 7010 meeting the dimensional requirements.
• Restaurant exit doors must exit in the direction of travel to be considers an exit.
• Restaurant exits shall conform with all other building code requirements such as emergency lighting, flame spread ratings,
permitted openings, etc.
Door Release Hardware (184.108.40.206., Div. B)
Door release hardware or “panic hardware” shall be provided on exit doors where the occupant load exceeds 100 persons.
Interceptor means a receptacle that is designed and installed to prevent oil, grease, sand or other materials from passing into a
Ontario Building Code 220.127.116.11. Interceptors
(1) Except for suites of residential occupancy, where a fixture discharges sewage that includes fats, oils or grease and is located in an
area that food is cooked, processed or prepared, it shall discharge through a grease interceptor.
(5) Every interceptor shall have sufficient capacity to perform the service for which it is provided.
(8) The flow rate through a grease interceptor shall not exceed its rated capacity
Ontario Building Code 18.104.22.168. Interceptors
(3) Where a grease interceptor is required by Sentence 22.214.171.124.(1), the interceptor shall conform to,
(a)CAN/CSA-B481.1, “Testing and Rating of Grease Interceptors Using Lard”, or
(b)CAN/CSA-B481.2, “Testing and Rating of Grease Interceptors Using Oil”.
CAN/CSA B481 Series 12 Grease Interceptors
The second edition of the CSA B481 Series of Standards, Grease interceptors consists of the following Standards:
(a) CSA B481.0, Material, design, and construction requirements for grease interceptors;
(b) CSA B481.1, Testing and rating of grease interceptors using lard;
(c) CSA B481.2, Testing and rating of grease interceptors using oil;
(d) CSA B481.3, Sizing, selection, location, and installation of grease interceptors;
(e) CSA B481.4, Maintenance of grease interceptors; and
(f) CSA B481.5, Testing and rating of grease interceptors equipped with a grease removal device.
Grease Interceptors are to be either CSA B481.1 or CSA B481.2 certified as per the Ontario Building Code (OBC)
Ontario Building Code (OBC) also requires a properly sized interceptor. CSA B481.3 Standard specifies sizing and installation
requirement and includes calculations for peak flow rates. It also states that when a grease interceptor is required to service a
dishwasher, it shall be a dedicated grease interceptor.
CSA B481.4 Standard is explicit with maintenance requirements
Gravity Grease Interceptors and Grease Recovery Devices (GRD) are acceptable devices in place of Hydro mechanical Grease
Interceptors. GRD is covered in CSA B481.5
CSA B481.4 - Maintenance Highlights
Grease interceptors shall be serviced before the volume of Fats, Oil and Grease and solids exceeds 25% of the liquid volume of the
Grease interceptors shall be serviced at least once every four weeks.
The servicing frequency shall be determined by monitoring the Fats, Oil and Grease accumulation in the grease interceptor to ensure
that it does not exceed the maximum containment capacity (see Clause 5.1.1)
CSA B4126.96.36.199.3 Chemical or other agents - An operator of a restaurant shall not use or permit the use of chemical agents, enzymes,
bacteria, solvents, hot water, or other agents to facilitate the passage of Fats, Oil and Grease through a grease interceptor.
Ontario Building Code 188.8.131.52.Interceptors
(1)Every interceptor shall be designed so that it can be readily cleaned.
(2)Every grease interceptor shall be designed so that it does not become air bound.
Ontario Building Code 184.108.40.206.Connections to Sanitary Drainage Systems
(1)Every fixture shall be directly connected to a sanitary drainage system, except that,
(d) the following devices shall be indirectly connected to a drainage system:
(i) a device for the display, storage, preparation or processing of food or drink,
Ontario Building Code 220.127.116.11.Direct Connections
(4)Every waste pipe carrying waste from a device for the display, storage, preparation or processing of food or drink, shall be trapped
and have a minimum diameter equal to the diameter of the drain outlet from the device.
Note: Since the smallest certified trap available is 1 ¼”, most traps are made out of pressure fittings to maintain the minimum 38mm trap
Ontario Building Code 18.104.22.168.Indirect Connections
(1)Where a fixture or device is indirectly connected, the connections shall be made by terminating the fixture drain above the flood
level rim of a directly connected fixture to form an air break.
(2)The size of the air breaks hall be at least 25 mm
Ontario Building Code Div. A –22.214.171.124 Defined Terms Indirectly connected means not directly connected.
Air break means the unobstructed vertical distance between the lowest point of an indirectly connected waste pipe and the flood level
rim of the fixture into which it discharges
Ontario Building code 126.96.36.199.Restricted Locations of Indirect Connections and Traps
(1)Indirect connections or any trap that may overflow shall not be located in a crawl space or any other unfrequented area.
Ontario Building Code 188.8.131.52.Traps for Sanitary Drainage Systems
(5)A grease interceptor shall not serve as a fixture trap and each fixture discharging through the interceptor shall be trapped and
Ontario Building Code - 184.108.40.206.Interceptors\
(7)A grease interceptor shall be located as close as possible to the fixture or fixtures it serves.
(9)All grease and oil interceptors shall have an internal flow control ….…. and where the head will exceed five feet, a secondary flow
control shall be required.
Ontario Building Code - 220.127.116.11.Cleanouts for Drainage Systems
(8)A cleanout shall be provided to permit the cleaning of the piping immediately downstream of an interceptor.
(9)Every indirect drainage pipe carrying waste from a food receptacle shall have a cleanout access at every change of direction of more
Ontario Building Code 18.104.22.168.Venting for Traps
(4)A trap need not be protected by a vent pipe,
(b) where it forms part of an indirect drainage system.
Ontario Building Code 22.214.171.124.Venting of Interceptors
(6)Every grease interceptor shall have a vent pipe that is not less than 1 ½ in. size connected to the outlet pipe, that connects to the
plumbing venting system.
(7)A vent pipe shall be provided within 1 500 mm of the inlet to a grease interceptor complete with a cleanout o provide the vent pipe.
Ontario Building Code 126.96.36.199.Lengths for other Vent Pipes
(1)When sizing an additional circuit vent, offset relief vent, relief vent, yoke vent and the vent pipe for an interceptor, dilution tank,
sanitary sewage tank or sump, or manhole, length is not taken into consideration.
Basic Restaurant Requirements
RESTAURANT BUILDING MAINTENANCE
• A restaurant shall operate and be maintained in such a manner that it does not pose a health hazard. Sneeze Guards are required for
salad bars, steam tables, dessert carts etc., which are used in public areas. If bulk ice cream is served, a running dipper-well for the
scoop should be provided.
• Storage space for employee personal belongings must be provided and must be away from the restaurant's food preparation area.
• Restaurant floor and floor-coverings must be tight, smooth and non-absorbent (includes kitchen, storage area, washrooms, behind
bar). Examples: vinyl flooring, ceramic tile. Floors in the food preparation and dishwashing areas must be constructed of materials that
are easily cleaned. Carpeting is allowed in dining area only. Walls and ceilings must have an easily cleanable finish. Acoustic tile is not
acceptable in a restaurant food preparation area. A painted surface must withstand frequent cleaning. Walk-in cooler/freezer floor must
covered with a smooth, non-absorbent and washable surface
• The walls and ceilings of rooms and passageways in a restaurant shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.
• Garbage must be stored in a separate room, compartment or bin. The garbage area for the restaurant must be constructed and
maintained in such a manner to exclude insects and vermin and to prevent odours and health hazards on the interior and exterior of
the premises. Garbage containers or facilities must be provided inside and outside the establishment. The containers or facilities must
be durable, easily cleanable, rodent proof and must be provided in sufficient numbers and located at convenient locations both inside
and outside the restaurant.
• Any article or piece of equipment used in the restaurant kitchen shall be of sound and tight construction, kept in good repair and made
of such material that it can be readily cleaned and sanitized.
• Restaurant equipment and utensils that come in direct contact with food shall be corrosion-resistant, non-toxic and free from cracks,
crevices and open seams.
• All restaurant food shall be stored on racks, shelves or pallets no less than 15 cm (6”) above the floor. Stainless steel or pre-finished
shelves are recommended for food storage. Shelves must be at least 15cm (6") off the floor.
• All restaurant food shall be protected from contamination and adulteration. Enclosed protective containers, cabinets or shields shall
be provided to protect all food displayed for sale or service. Food storage containers must be made of food grade plastic or other non-
corrosive food grade material.
• The restaurant dispensing scoop handles must extend well above the water line so that the server’s hand does not come in contact
with the water. If ice cream, frozen confections or desserts are served, a dipperwell with potable running water shall be provided for
storing dispensing scoops.
• An adequate supply of potable water must be provided for the operation of a restaurant. Potable water means the absence of total
coliform and E.coli in the source of the water.
• Hot and cold running water under pressure must always be available in areas where food is processed, prepared or manufactured or
where equipment and utensils are washed.
• Handwashing Sink - Separate handwashing sinks with liquid soap in dispenser and paper towels must be conveniently located in
each food preparation area in a restaurant kitchen. There must be at least one handwashing sink in each restauarant food preparation
area. This sink must be provided with its own supply of potable hot and cold running water under pressure, liquid soap in a dispenser
and single use paper towels. Adequate sanitizer (i.e. Bleach, Quaternary Ammonium or Iodine) and sanitizer test strips should be
• Dishwashers and Sinks for Washing and Sanitizing Equipment and Utensils - Separate Two-compartment sink with a drain rack is
required where only single service utensils are provided for the service or sale of food in a restaurant.
If multi-service equipment and utensils (i.e. reusable forks, plates, etc.) are used by restaurant patrons, one of the following is required:
a) A three-compartment sink of adequate size for the manual wash, rinse and sanitization procedure. Adequate size means that all
equipment and utensils can be immersed in each of the sinks;
b) A commercial-style mechanical dishwasher equipped with a temperature gauge, either a high temperature machine (capable of
reaching 82°C) or a low temperature machine with chemical sanitizing rinse.
For restaurant equipment and utensils that are too large to fit into that mechanical dishwasher, a two-compartment sink of adequate
size must be made available for the manual wash, rinse and sanitation procedure. There must be a supply of test strips to accurately
determine the effectiveness of the sanitizing agent.
• Vegetable / Food Preparation Sink
In addition to a handwashing sink and sinks for washing and sanitizing equipment and utensils, a food preparation sink may be required
in a restaurant kitchen for washing vegetables, produce, emptying pots, etc.
• Janitorial/Slop Sink
A separate mop-sink is required in a restaurant kitchen to prevent contamination of food and dishwashing areas. A janitorial/slop sink
must be provided for the sanitary disposal of liquid, floor and chemical wastes.
Temperature and Thermometers
• Restaurant refrigerators must be capable of keeping cold foods cold at 4°C or below and restaurant freezers must keep frozen foods
frozen at -18°C or below. Ensure to provide enough space for storing ingredients, raw foods, foods being chilled, leftovers, etc.
• Adequate hot holding equipment is required in a restaurant kitchen to keep hot foods hot at 60°C or above (i.e. steam table, etc.).
• An accurate, visible and conveniently located indicating thermometer is required in each cold, hot and frozen unit that is used for the
storage of hazardous foods in a restaurant kitchen.
• An accurate indicating probe thermometer that can be easily read is required to measure the internal temperature of hazardous foods
(i.e. whole turkey, chicken, hamburger, etc.) in a restaurant kitchen.
• Commercial Dishwashers - All restaurant dishwashers must be provided with accurate temperature gauges. High temperature
dishwashers must reach a temperature of 82° C (180° F) in the final rinse cycle. Low temperature dishwashers must be provided with
approved sanitizing chemicals.
Restaurant Sanitary Facilities / Washrooms
• At least one restaurant sanitary facility shall be provided for each gender and must have a sign clearly indicating the gender for which
they are intended.
• All restaurant washrooms must be equipped with liquid soap in a dispenser and paper (single use) towels for proper hand washing.
Every sanitary facility shall be equipped with a continuous supply of: potable hot and cold running water under pressure, toilet paper,
liquid soap in dispenser, single use paper towels and a durable, easy to clean receptacle for used towels and other waste material.
• The number of handwash sinks, urinals and toilets required in restaurant washrooms is regulated under the Ontario Building Code.
The Ontario Building Code may require that separate facilities be provided for staff and customers. Contact local municipal Building and
Licensing Department for information about washroom requirements. Restaurant washrooms must not open directly into any food
processing, preparation, handling, distribution, selling, manufacturing, or serving areas.
OTHER CONSIDERATION BEFORE OPENING AND OPERATING A RESTAURANT
• If the restaurant water supply is from a private well, then the well water must be free of Total Coliform and E. Coli bacteria. The food
premises may also be classified under Ontario Regulation 319/08 as a Small Drinking Water System.
PRIVATE SEWAGE DISPOSAL
• If the restaurant does not have municipal sewers then it must have a sewage disposal system which complies with Part 8 of the Ontario
• An application must be submitted to the Municipal Health Department to verify that the performance of the existing private sewage
disposal system is satisfactory. A permit may be required for a change of use, alteration, repair or construction of a new system. If you
are not the owner of the property, a letter of authorization from the owner to release information to Municipal Health Unit is required.
RESTAURANT FOOD HANDLER TRAINING
It is strongly recommended that there is an on site Certified Food Handler. We encourage that all restaurant staff who handle food be
certified in safe food preparation and handling. Education of both restaurant employees and managers is probably the most effective
method of obtaining compliance with the regulations. Food handler training enables restaurant staff to do their jobs well. Food handler
training improves restaurant staff efficiency, gives them a sense of pride and promotes professionalism.
ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION WHICH MAY APPLY TO A RESTAURANT INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO
a) Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (Liquor License)
b) Ontario Building Code (Local Building Department)
c) Ontario Fire Code (Local Fire Department)
d) Local Municipal Bylaws (i.e. Zoning)
e) Smoke Free Ontario Act
Before Opening, Renovating and Operating a Restaurant
ˇ Contact local Public Health Inspector for food premises requirements
ˇ Review Food Premises Regulation online (O. Reg. 562/90)
ˇ Contact municipal Building and Zoning Departments for any bylaw requirements
ˇ Provide owner/operator name, name of business, business address and telephone number when established to municipal authorities.
ˇ Submit and review the restaurant floor plan and menu with a Public Health Inspector
ˇ Notify a Public Health Inspector for a pre-opening restaurant inspection
The above Restaurant Checklist does not exclude other requirements that may be necessary after the review process. Review all
requirements with the Public Health Inspector before opening, renovating and operating a restaurant.
Fats, Oil and Grease Generated from Normal Operations of Restaurants
Grease is commonly washed into the plumbing system during clean-up via restaurant kitchen sink. As it cools, it congeals & decreases
pipe capacity both inside the restaurant and in municipal sewers. Fats, Oil and Grease blocks restaurant drain and can overflow into
Toronto Sewers By-law 681-10B(1) states:
Every owner or operator of a restaurant or other industrial, commercial or institutional premises where food is cooked, processed or
prepared, which premises is connected directly or indirectly to a sewer, shall take all necessary measures to ensure that oil & grease
are prevented from entering the sewer
Toronto Sewers By-law 681-10B(2) states:
The owner or operator of a restaurant as set out in Subsection B(1) shall install, operate, and properly maintain a grease interceptor in
any piping system at its premises that connects directly or indirectly to a sewer. The grease interceptors shall be installed in compliance
with the most current requirements of the Ontario Building Code
A grease trap/interceptor is a plumbing device designed to intercept/reduce the amount of Fats, Oil and Grease from entering the
Grease trap/interceptor functions to separate Fats, Oil and Grease‘s (~90% of weight of water) by gravity & coalescence and contains a
separation chamber which allows Fats, Oil and Grease to rise to the surface. The most common type of Grease trap/interceptor is a
hydromechanical batch-flow grease interceptor with a flow rating of 26 L/min (7 gpm) to 380 L/min (100 gpm). These are small and often
are found under the sinks. A Grease Removal Device automatically removes the grease to an outside vessel. Gravity grease
interceptors are large in-ground interceptors that are 1,000 gallons or more and have a longer retention time compared to the
hydromechanical grease interceptor.
A grease interceptor is often referred to as a grease trap. A grease trap should be connected to any fixture or drain that discharges
wastewater containing oil and grease, including sinks for washing dishes, floor drains, drains serving self-cleaning exhaust hoods and
cooking equipment. Wastewater enters the grease trap. The water cools & the grease and oil harden and float to the top of the trap. The
rest of the wastewater flows through the trap and out the exit pipe to the sanitary sewer. Solids settle to the bottom. The Fats, Oil and
Grease and solids remain in the trap. When warm fats, oils and grease make their way into the plumbing system, over time they build up
and cause a number of problems, including blocked sewers.
Blocked sewers can lead to a sewage backup into the restaurant, neighbouring properties or even local creeks and rivers. Blocked
sewers can also lead to increased vermin and contact with disease-causing organisms, all of which pose serious health risks to anyone
working in or visiting the restaurant.
Issues caused by blocked sewers could ultimately lead to a temporary or permanent closure of the restaurant by Municipal Public Health
Unit. Costs incurred by the municipality as a result of a grease-blocked sewer or damage to the sewers will be charged back to those
Following steps can help reduce costly maintenance of a restaurant and boost environmental protection.
- Never pour liquid food (e.g. milkshakes, grease) down the drain.
- Always scrape dishes before washing.
- Dispose of liquid food (e.g. dairy products, milkshake syrup, condiments, batters, gravy) in the trash.
- Pour used deep fryer or cooking grease into a grease recycling container for collection by a certified rendering company.
- Use basket strainers in drains to collect residue for proper disposal.
Good Restaurant Kitchen Management Practices
Indoor Restaurant Practices:
• Use rubber scrapers and/or paper towel to remove food solids and grease from pots, pans and wares before washing. Dispose of food
solids in the Green Bin.
• Install and maintain screens over all sinks and floor drains in the restaurant kitchen to capture food solids. Dispose of collected food
solids in the Green Bin.
• Keep cooking oil out of the drains. Waste oil can be sold to rendering facilities.
• Use absorption material to soak up Fats, Oil and Grease spills on the kitchen floor and under fryer baskets. Dispose of soiled material
in the Green Bin or garbage (depending on the absorption material used, e.g. paper towel, rag, etc.).
• Fats, Oil and Grease from restaurant exhaust system filters and hoods should be recycled or soaked up using absorption material and
disposed of in the Green Bin or garbage (depending on the absorption material used, e.g. paper towel, rag, etc.).
• Clean the restaurant grease trap before the grease and solids combined reach 25% of the trap’s liquid volume. A minimum cleaning
frequency of once per month is generally recommended.
• Maintain a frequent cleaning schedule of complete pump-outs of the grease interceptor and include inspections to confirm the grease
trap is operating properly.
• Use a certified Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) waste hauler to pump-out and clean the grease trap. These
companies can provide operational information on the grease trap, including efficiency, possible weaknesses (i.e. warping or
corrosion) and helpful upgrades/devices.
• Do not discharge hot water into the grease trap as this may melt the Fats, Oil and Grease or displace the contents of the grease
interceptor, where it can harden and block your drain line.
• Do not add any enzymes or other additives into the grease trap, they will only move Fats, Oil and Grease down the restaurant sewer
pipe where it could harden and block the pipe.
• It is recommended that not to use garbage disposers/grinders as liquefied food waste will fill up the grease trap quicker leading to
Outdoor Restaurant Practices:
• Ensure recycling barrels and containers for transporting oil are covered and secured from spillage or tipping over.
• Ensure Fats, Oil and Grease and wastewater does not enter the catch basin/sewer grate outside. This includes:
✓ Wastewater from inside the restaurant (e.g. mop water)
✓ Wastewater from outdoor cleaning
✓ Leakage from waste/oil bins
✓ Anything other than rain water or melted snow that enters a catch basin can cause damage to the sewer system, pollute the
environment, harm aquatic habitat, create a public health concern and generate unpleasant odours.
• Storage areas shall be kept clean and tidy.
• A minimum clearance of 18 inches from sprinkler heads and heat/smoke detectors shall be maintained.
• Never block fire exit doors.
• Fire extinguishers shall remain accessible and in open view.
• Electrical panels and sprinkler system controls shall be kept clear of obstructions.
• Never store combustibles within 3 feet of refrigeration equipment, electrical equipment or in the furnace/ boiler room.
Flammable & Combustible Liquids
• All flammable liquids shall be stored in approved containers or cabinets.
• Flammable/ combustible liquids are to be stored in accordance with the Ontario Fire Code Part 4.
• Shall be kept a minimum of 3 feet away from electrical or heating equipment.
• If applicable, shall be stored in approved containers.
Commercial cooking equipment exhausts and fire protection systems shall be installed and maintained in conformance with NFPA 96
Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. Install an automatic built-in hood fire-suppression system in
the kitchen. Built-in hood fire-suppression system automatically dispense chemicals to suppress the flames and also have a manual
switch. Activating the built-in hood fire-suppression system automatically shuts down the natural gas and electric supply to nearby
cooking equipment. Built-in hood fire-suppression system requires regular inspection and maintenance by a distributor / installer
authorized by the built-in hood fire-suppression system manufacturer.
Portable wet chemical, alkali-based chemical or Class K fire extinguishers are required for kitchen fires involving grease, fats and oils
that burn at high temperatures. Portable Class K fire extinguishers are only intended to be used after the activation of a built-in hood
fire suppression system. Class ABC fire extinguishers are required elsewhere for all other fires (paper, wood, plastic, electrical, etc.).
The restaurant kitchen exhaust system should be inspected regularly for grease buildup. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly
inspections of systems in high-volume operations and semiannual inspections in moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are
required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like wood- or charcoal-burning ovens.
Check cylinder gauges to ensure pressure is in operating range (within green area).
Check to ensure seal (tie) has not been removed from pull out security pin.
Hoods, grease removal devices, fan, ducts and other equipment shall be checked and cleaned at frequent intervals, prior to surfaces
becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.
Every 6 Months
Trained and qualified persons in conformance with the Ontario Fire Code, Section 188.8.131.52, shall perform inspection and servicing of fire
Inside the restaurant kitchen a lot of heat is produced, and wasted. Restaurant ovens are constantly on and being opened. The heat
gets sucked up an exhaust stack and released into the air. Meanwhile, under a separate process, natural gas is used to heat up
municipal water and, in the winter, the fresh air coming into a restaurant through an intake vent. Why buy gas to heat a restaurant when
thousands of dollars of that heat is sent up an exhaust stack every month? Install a system that captures otherwise wasted kitchen heat
and uses it to pre-heat water and restaurant air which will drop gas consumption for building heating and hot water by 75 to 80%.In the
summer, when building heat isn't required, all of the waste heat goes toward pre-heating water. Systems vary in size and cost
depending on the restaurant. But energy savings on a $75,000 retrofit, for example, have translated into a payback period ranging from
two to three years. If the heat recovery system is built into a new restaurant as it's constructed, the payback time can be as little as one
year because both the exhaust and makeup air unit they would have to purchase anyway. Contact Martin Air Systems (4380 South
Service Rd Burlington L7L 5Y6 905-681-0440) for further information.
Most restaurant kitchens have refrigerators,walk-in freezers, coolers, ice machines, etc. Heat can be extracted from the condensing
units of this refrigeration equipments and used to pre-heat water and/or air during the heating season. If the restaurant refrigeration
equipment is air cooled and their condensers are located within the restaurant kitchen, heat is recovered whenever the equipment
runs—summer and winter. In summer this increases the cooling load and probably negates any wintertime energy savings. If the air-
cooled condensers are located near an outside wall, it may be possible to locate them within an enclosed area and provide dampers
and a fan to cool the enclosure with outside air in summer. In winter the dampers could be reset to close off the outside air and
circulate the warm air into the kitchen. Another way to recover heat from refrigeration systems is through a desuperheater—a small
refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger designed to recover heat from the outlet of the refrigeration compressor. Desuperheaters can
provide up to 140°F water, but since they are not a standard option on refrigeration skids, they must be field-installed, which increases
their cost and reduces their economic viability considerably. Restaurants—with their open flames, hot equipment, electrical
connections, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals and paper products—have all the ingredients for a fire to flame out of control. A fire can
devastate restaurant business, leading to lost revenues and even permanent closure.
- Install an automatic fire-suppression system in the kitchen. This is crucial because more than half of restaurant fires involve
cooking equipment. These systems automatically dispense chemicals to suppress the flames and also have a manual switch.
Activating the system automatically shuts down the fuel or electric supply to nearby cooking equipment. Have the fire-suppression
system professionally inspected semiannually.
- Keep portable fire extinguishers as a backup. You’ll need Class K extinguishers for kitchen fires involving grease, fats and oils
that burn at high temperatures. Class K fire extinguishers are only intended to be used after the activation of a built-in hood
suppression system. Keep Class ABC extinguishers elsewhere for all other fires (paper, wood, plastic, electrical, etc.).
- Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment, and watch for hazards like frayed cords or wiring, cracked or broken
switch plates and combustible items near power sources.
- Have the exhaust system regularly inspected for grease buildup.
Signage Requirements for Restaurants
- Business License (municipal requirement)
- Liquor Licence (Liquor Licence Act)
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Warning Poster (Liquor Licence Act)
- No-Smoking Signs (Smoke-Free Ontario Act)
- Occupational Health and Safety Poster (Occupational Health and Safety Act)
- Employment Standards Poster (Employment Standards Act)
- Food Premise Inspection Sign (where required by local public health unit)
- WSIB Poster (Workplace Safety and Insurance Act)
- Pay Equity Poster (Pay Equity Act, either by legislative obligation or director order from Pay Equity Commission)
Restaurant Staff Training
Train Restaurant staff to:
- Find and use a fire extinguisher appropriately. An acronym you may find helpful is PAST – pull out the pin, aim at the base, make a
sweeping motion, (be) ten feet away
- Clean up the grease. Cleaning exhaust hoods is especially important, since grease buildup can restrict air flow. Be sure to also
clean walls and work surfaces; ranges, fryers, broilers, grills and convection ovens; vents and filters.
- Never throw water on a grease fire. Water tossed into grease will cause grease to splatter, spread and likely erupt into a larger
- Make sure cigarettes are out before dumping them in a trash receptacle. Never smoke in or near storage areas.
- Store flammable liquids properly. Keep them in their original containers or puncture-resistant, tightly sealed containers. Store
containers in well-ventilated areas away from supplies, food, food-preparation areas or any source of flames.
- Tidy up to avoid fire hazards. Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat and cooking sources. Properly dispose
of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.
- Use chemical solutions properly. Use chemicals in well-ventilated areas, and never mix chemicals unless directions call for
mixing. Immediately clean up chemical spills.
Be prepared: Have an emergency plan
If a fire breaks out in a restaurant, restaurant staff must take control of the situation and lead customers to safety.
Be prepared to power down. Train at least one worker per shift how to shut off gas and electrical power in case of emergency.
Have an evacuation plan. Designate one staff member per shift to be evacuation manager. That person should be in charge of calling
911, determining when an evacuation is necessary and ensuring that everyone exits the restaurant safely. Ensure restaurant staff know
where the closest exits are, depending on their location in the restaurant. Remember that the front door is an emergency exit.
Offer emergency training. Teach new employees about evacuation procedures and the usage of fire-safety equipment. Give veteran
staff members a refresher course at least annually
Restaurant Fire Safety Plan
The Ontario Fire Code, Division B, Section 2.8, requires the establishment and implementation of a Fire Safety Plan for every building
containing a Group A or B occupancy, and to every building required by the Building Code to have a fire alarm system. Any restaurant
with more that 30 seats is classified as Assembly Occupancy and should have a Fire Safety Plan as per the Ontario Fire Code. The
implementation of the Fire Safety Plan helps to ensure effective utilization of life safety features in a building to protect people from
fire. We design Fire Safety Plan to suit the resources of each individual restaurants. Restaurant Fire Safety Plans are intended to assist
the restaurant owners with the basic essentials for the safety of the restaurant patrons and restaurant staff, to ensure an orderly
evacuaion at the time of an emergency and to provide a minimum degree of flexibility to achieve the necessary fire safety for the
restaurant. The Restaurant Fire Safety Plan is required to be acceptable to the Chief Fire Official. It is the responsibility of the
restaurant to ensure that the information contained within the Restaurant Fire Safety Plan is accurate and complete. The Restaurant Fire
Safety Plan is to be kept readily available at all times for use by the restaurant staff and fire officials in the event of an emergency. A
Restaurant Fire Safety Plan is required to be reviewed regularly and any changes submitted to the municipal Fire Department. Typical
restaurant fire safety plan which includes restaurant owner's responsibilities, restaurant building audit, restaurant building resources,
emergency contacts, what to do in case of fire, alternative compliance, fire drills, evacuation for endangered occupants and Fire Code
requirements in regard to restaurant fire safety equipment. Our fee for a typical Restaurant Fire Safety Plan is $795
The Fire Protection and Prevention Act 1997 states that 'every person' who contravenes any provisions of the Fire Code; and every
Director or Officer of a Corporation who knowingly concurs in such Contravention, is guilty of an offence and on a conviction is liable to
a fine of not more than $50,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a Corporation or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year or
both. Directors and officers who know the company has committed a violation of the fire code are guilty of an offence; and on conviction
is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000. Failure to comply with an inspection order can result in a fine of $20,000 per day.
Plans and specifications to establish, build, change a restaurant or significantly renovate, require approval by a Public Health Inspector.
The layout of the restaurant is important for good sanitation. Poorly arranged equipment may create health hazards and affect the
economic viability of the restaurant.. Good planning should allow for the smooth and orderly flow of work from receiving to serving and
the return of soiled dishes and utensils to the dishwashing area. The design, construction and installation of restaurant equipment are
important to the sanitary operation of a restaurant. An important issue to consider in the planning stage is the size of the restaurant
kitchen to ensure it is large enough to accommodate the number and types of meals you intend to prepare and the number of staff
required to work in the area. It is also important to consider the number of sinks required and the most appropriate location for each
sink in order to allow for the plumbing to be roughed in the proper location. We advise and assist you in preparing plans and
Municipal building permits must be obtained for new restaurant, remodeling to freshen up, or to rebrand an existing restaurant.
Renovations to an existing restaurant provide an opportunity to examine industry trends and to see where the restaurant fits in, while
also differentiating from other restaurants in the neighbourhood. Periodic remodeling and/or rebranding of an existing restaurant to
strategize ways to keep the restaurant relevant in a changing marketplace is not only important, it can be vital to success in the ever-
changing restaurant industry.
All the required building permit drawings should be in compliance with the applicable Ontario Building Code and municipal by-laws. Our
expertise and guidance can save a great deal of time and money while also providing an attractive and functional restaurant.
When it comes to renovation of your restaurant, stay ahead of the curve. If you wait until your restaurant looks like it’s time for
renovation you’ve waited too long for renovation of your restaurant. We are well experienced in dealing with the unique challenges of
renovation of restaurants, sports bar & grille, buffets, steak houses, coffee shops, and cafes. We pride ourselves on work diligently to
create real value for each and every client. Having vast experience in engineering design, we offer effective, innovative and cost
efficient concept designing, design detailing and construction drawings to our clients. Our team's proficiency in conceptualizing
designs and plan in accordance with our clients' requirements has made us very successful.
Our fee for preparing the necessary drawings obtain municipal building permit for non-structural renovation of restaurants is as follows:
Up to 999 sqft $ 1,295
1,000 sq ft to 1,499 sq ft $ 1,795
1,500 sq ft to 1,999 sq ft $ 2,295
2,000 sq ft to 2,499sq ft $ 2,795
2,500 sq ft to 2,999 sq ft $ 3,295
3,000 sq ft to 3,499 sq ft $ 3,795
3,500 sq ft to 3,999 sq ft $ 4,295
Any restaurant with more than 30 seats may require an Architect Review which may cost additional $ 2.475
If required, structural drawings, heat loss/heat gain calculations, ventilation calculations, kitchenhood design, makeup air design, duct
sizing, sprinkler drawings, electrical drawings, fire alarm drawings, etc may cost extra.
Call 24/7 – 416 332 1743
Text Messages – 416 727 8336
BUILDING EXPERTS CANADA LTD
5215 FINCH AVENUE EAST TORONTO ON M1S0C2
Professional Engineers Ontario - Certificate of Authorization # 100205934
We prepare building permit drawings for restaurants in Ontario including City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region
and York Region (Ajax, Aurora, Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Etobicoke, Halton Hills, Maple, Markham, Milton, Mississauga,
Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Whitby,
Burlington, Clarington, Georgina, Milton, and Woodbridge).
Having vast experience in municipal engineering design, we offer effective, innovative and cost efficient concept designing, design
detailing and construction drawings to our clients. Our team's proficiency in conceptualizing designs and plan in accordance with our
clients' requirements has made us very successful.
Our licensed professional engineers prepare thorough, detailed, and clear Engineering Drawings and plans to suit the client's needs
while also adhering to design requirements of the municipality and submit to municipality for review and approval to obtain site plan
approvals and building permits.
Combining our knowledge in Building Science, extensive experience in Structural & Municipal Engineering and expertise in innovative
unique, distinctive cost effective designs, our engineers offer perfect solution to our clients.
Since our licensed Professional Engineers certify the plans and drawings they are filing for building permit are in compliance with
Ontario Building Code, Municipal By-laws and Regional Government Authority Requirements, municipal plan review process for the
building permit is always much faster. Feel Free to Contact Us Anytime. Our cost-effective, inviting and attractive designs are
configured for future expansion. Customer-friendly layouts are very easy to navigate.
Our attractive, practical, multifunctional, environmentally friendly gas station designs increase cash flow and profit margin.
Unique energy efficient cost effective clear span elegant banquet hall designs are not only attractive; they very much reduce the
operational expenses as well.
Our office building designs are simply awesome absolutely amazing astonishing beautiful serene really inspiring office building designs.
We also design efficient and elegant medical office design for a very successful practice. We create the best possible setting for the
medical practitioner, the staff and the patients by optimizing efficiency and patient care.
We design the true site specific design to build our client's dream custom build home. We creatively and cost effectively try our best to
incorporate everything possible on our client's dream custom build home wish list. We pride ourselves on work diligently to create real
value for each and every client.
Our service area includes Toronto, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Clarington, Brighton, Port Hope, Cobourg, Trenton, Belleville,
Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Port Perry, Uxbridge, Stouffville, Sutton, Georgina, Keswick, Newmarket, Bradford, Barrie, Innisfil, New
Tecumseth, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan, Woodbridge, King City, Bolton, Caledon, Orangeville, Brampton, Mississauga,
Milton, Georgetown, Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Woodstock, London, Brantford, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby, St.
Catharines, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Welland, Burlington and Oakville.
Call us Anytime - 24 Hours a Day - 7 Days a Week
416 332 1743
BUILDING EXPERTS CANADA
5215 FINCH AVENUE EAST TORONTO ON M1S0C2
Professional Engineers Ontario - Certificate of Authorization # 100205934
Text Message: 416 727 8336