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In conjunction with RIDOH, CommerceRI and the Department of Business Regulation have created a general overview and road map of how to navigate entrance into the restaurant industry, including guiding users through obtaining necessary local and state permits and licenses. Access the information at 'How to Open a Restaurant in Rhode Island'.
You need a food service license if your business serves food. Follow our license guidelines for new food establishments. The specific license(s) you need depend on your business.
If you prepare food through processes such as cooking or hot-holding, you must employ at least one full-time on-site food safety manager. If you employ ten or more full-time equivalent people to prepare food you need at least two food safety managers. Establishments who primarily serve the elderly or individuals with diminished immune systems must have a food safety manager certified in food safety present whenever hot food is prepared. The certificates for the food safety managers must be prominently posted next to the license to operate. (Certificates must be removed if the person longer works there).
After you submit your Food Mobile Service application call us at 401-222-2749 to schedule your required inspection. You will need to schedule at least two weeks for the inspection, and cannot open your business until you pass.
If your restaurant moves to a new location you need to reapply for a license.
This pre-application should be completed by applicants who want to start a business that is not serviced by a municipal water system and/or a public sewer system. Staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) or Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will contact you to provide further guidance regarding what steps may be necessary to get your business approved. The purpose of this pre-application is to provide general guidance about the scope of your project and the requirements under current regulations and laws.
Make sure all Food Safety Managers fulfill their training requirements.
All businesses that serve food are expected and required to keep that food safe. These businesses are diverse and include: restaurants, caterers, retail food establishments, cafeteria, healthcare and residential facilities. Though the licensing requirements vary all business must ensure that: