Open or Remodel a Restaurant

According to the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules & Regulations, a ‘Retail Food Establishment’ is defined as a retail operation that stores, prepares, or packages food for human consumption or serves or otherwise provides food for human consumption to consumers directly or indirectly through a delivery service, whether such food is consumed on or off the premises or whether there is a charge for such food.

 The following information outlines processes involved in the construction or remodel of your retail food establishment. Please contact the Building Department in your jurisdiction for building permit requirements. 

1. Fill out a Plan Review Form online or visit us at 136 6th St., 2nd Floor, Steamboat Springs.

2. Submit the completed application and $200 fee made payable to Routt County Treasurer. Include a floor plan, proposed menu, plumbing details, equipment list and specification (cut) sheets so we can verify National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approval.

3. A minimum of two weeks is necessary to review your plans. Construction and/or operation must not begin until your plans have been approved and you have received notification in writing.

4. Schedule a pre-operational inspection. During this pre-operational inspection, you’ll be given a Retail Food Service License Application requesting your State of Colorado Sales Tax License Number, Federal Employer Identification Number, type of ownership, and name of your establishment. The fee for operating a food service establishment is based on seating capacity for restaurants and square footage for grocery stores. Operating fees and applications will be collected at the pre-operational inspection. Food service licenses are not transferable and must be renewed in January of each year. If the restaurant is sold at any time during the year, the new owners must pay for a new license in their name.

Mobile Food Units:

The Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations detail the compliance requirements to receive and retain a retail food license for mobile food units. Plan reviews are required prior to obtaining a retail food license for a mobile food unit, including a Commissary Agreement. Licenses are not transferable upon sale of a facility. There is a plan review fee of $200 due at the time of plan submission.