Questions about for restaurant permits and one that is on many minds is “Are getting fast casual restaurant permits different than sit-down restaurant permits?”
The short answer is: maybe. In this article I will be pointing some ways getting the permits are the same and the ways they are different. One important note that I want to make is that depending on whether you plan to sell liquor also plays a role in the permit expediting process.

Seating and Fire Department Requirements

Hopefully, you understand that the size and scope are an important factor in getting your restaurant permits. The other pieces connected to size and scope are seating and fire department requirements. Seating pertains to how much seating you will be providing, how will the seating be built out, and the elevations/calculations you plan on using. One more important factor in seating worthy of note is if you plan on offering outside seating. Will there be a patio? Fast casual establishments also like taking advantage of patio seating which may require intensification checks by the planning department. If there will be built-in booth then mounting, ADA, and structural calculations will be required to ensure safety for consumers.
Related to the seating requirements is the Fire Department requirements, and fire reviews (especially in Southern California) are crucial to obtaining your restaurant permit. Sprinkler systems in restaurants, especially kitchens, differ from the sprinkler systems in other developments. Additionally, there needs to be specialized fire exits in case of emergency. Some cities require fire approvals to be routed through the county while others have city fire departments conduct the review.


Every development needs to adhere to the region specific American’s with Disabilities Act codes, and all the more under the microscope are restaurants. Fast casual restaurants are no exception to the rules when getting restaurant permits. Similar to International Code Council (ICC) codes each jurisdictions has the authority to modify codes and regulations to fit their specific needs. Most jurisdictions have an ADA, or sometimes called Disabled Access Services, department that will conduct the plan check for their specific codes. Again, getting a local ADA expert (see above advice) can help cut down review times, not to mention costs, while you proactively seek to be ADA compliant. Additionally, with respect to ADA fast casual restaurant permits do not differ from other restaurant permits. Both have to adhere to code the same way.


The other review specific to eating establishments and hospitality are the health department reviews, and in this regard fast casual restaurant permits are also not different than restaurant permits. Ensuring that proper sanitation, grease trap intercepts, and overhead exhausts are compliant to code doesn’t differ from project to project. Getting an expert with local health department knowledge is imperative to getting your concept approved.
When thinking of the three components of Fire Department Requirements, ADA, and Health reviews fast casual restaurants and other restaurant permits don’t differ that much. Having the right team is always going to be the key to success. If you are in doubt give me and my team a call, and we will ensure you have the right folks on your team.

About Permit Advisors: Permit Advisors Inc. is a complete permit, entitlement consulting, and expediting firm based out of Beverly Hills, Ca. We go beyond just submitting plans, as you may have experienced with previous expediters. We have established strong relationships with officials of many municipalities and have numerous time and cost saving strategies that we implement to efficiently complete projects. We aim to secure all permits as quickly as possible! We keep track of all the different aspects of the permitting process and make sure that the project is being given full attention by everyone on the team. We responsibly update clients and ensure that lines of communication are open between the Jurisdiction, the consultants and the client at all times. Contact us today for a consultation