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Old 04-16-2009, 12:50 AM   #7
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 05-31-05
Location: Northern California

ASUBBQ, I think that he's trying to 'do it right'. Go easy.

I would also point out that, depending on his state and local laws, he may NOT need everything you've outlined:

Many jurisdictions do not require SERVSafe. In CA, as a personal chef, I am NOT required to be SERVSafe certified. I have it, but it is NOT required. I do suggest that anyone who operates a food service company get SERVSave certified; required or not.

Depending on the situation, he may be able to rent time in a certified commercial kitchen. (Some jurisdictions even allow people to build a separate kitchen in their home and have that certified by the state.) Owning a commercial kitchen is not required for this business. Most of my professional peers start by renting time in a commercial kitchen before ever thinking about buying or building one. I personally get access to one by donating services to the local schools. They grant me access to their kitchens pretty much as I need it. (Yes, my ServSafe certification allows this to happen, and without it, I could NOT use their facilities.)

Private functions do not always require a 'special events permit' in CA, and many other states. In CA, if you are not using a public facility or public lands for the private event, there is no need for a special events permits. Other states may be different.

In CA, Workers Comp is only needed IF you have employees. All of the people who I hire to assist with my events are 'contract workers', and viewed as independent contractors. They are thus NOT employees of my company, so no WC requirement. Again, this works in CA, and may not be the case in every state.

Each state and each business is different. Being a part of a nation wide professional organization has enlightened me to some of the differences in how this industry is regulated across the US. I STRONGLY recommend that everyone thinking about becoming a caterer or personal chef join one of these professional groups. IME they provide value well beyond the limited annual membership fee.

I'm more than willing to share my own experiences. That said, I KNOW that the rules I have to operate under do NOT apply to everyone, and make every effort NOT to portray these as default guidelines. Always check with your state and local regulatory agencies.
"The StrikeEagle"
When You Care Enough to Send the Best
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