Common permits for any interior renovation (outside of the health and fire safety requirements discussed above) include those needed for the demolition and reconstruction of walls, restroom upgrades, MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) changes, and more.

If you live in a warmer year-round climate, you may be interested in permanently renovating exterior areas or obtaining additional outdoor dining space as well. Some cities are even allowing restaurants to provide additional seating in public rights of way to better facilitate social distancing standards, which requires restaurants to apply for a permit and adhere to strict standards.

If you live in a more seasonal climate, then you may be considering a structural interior renovation or exterior restaurant updates like new roofing or siding. Since your roofing and siding protect the interior of your restaurant from damage and moisture, it’s important to make sure the entire renovation process is done safely and correctly. Handling all of the necessary submittals is the first step and may cause headaches and holdups for those not working with experts.

Many restaurant brands are shifting their focus and resources to improving drive-thru and pickup window experiences in order to meet increased consumer demand for these services during the pandemic. Larger chains have been making changes in recent years to add additional windows and lanes, which have become even more important to the customer experience in 2020. A notable example is Chipotle’s drive-thru pickup “Chipotlanes.”

A COVID-specific fast-casual restaurant response to social distancing practices is Shake Shack’s implementation of both drive-thru lanes and walk-up windows that they’re calling “Shack Track” stores. These remodel expand upon their previous contactless ordering and pickup options introduced earlier on in the pandemic and are becoming more important as they continue to take a cautious approach to dine room reopening plans, recently announcing that all of their currently open restaurants will be following a to-go only model in response to the recent COVID-19 spike.

As consumers increasingly seek options for a dining experience involving brand trust, customization, and improved convenience from fast-casual restaurants, we expect to see more and more restaurants adopt these kinds of changes.

System Upgrades and Interior Renovation

If you’ll be remodeling interiors, this is also an opportunity to update important systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Here again, approvals will be needed.

As mentioned earlier, HVAC system upgrades have been increasing in popularity during this time as an added measure for air quality and cleanliness. Plumbing and electrical updates often go hand in hand with other interior updates like the installation of new lighting fixtures and restrooms, kitchen space, and all interior renovation. Additionally, when changing the structure and layout of your restaurant, necessary system changes often come up.

Since each individual changed system will require approval, multiple areas of expertise must be applied to ensure all of the permit requirements are in place.

New Builds & Demolitions

If your strategy involves the construction of new locations or even removing existing structures for new builds, permits for restaurant building and demolition will be needed. You’ll have to work with your local Building Department to provide them with the necessary information and documentation prior to starting demolition or construction.

Since new builds and demolition are significant undertakings, you’ll need a permit and a number of approvals before breaking ground. Depending on the complexity and scope of your project, this process can take quite a bit of time.

Again, multi-site projects will complicate this process, as different areas can have vastly different applications, requirements, and rules. That’s why a permit expediting service with a national database of requirements will save you valuable time and money and help keep your project on track.

Suncoast Permits Expedites the Restaurant Building Permit Process

Suncoast Permits expedites and streamlines the process of obtaining a building permit for a restaurant. We handle the entire process for you from due diligence and information gathering to package submission and completion. Our national requirement database eliminates the need to research and navigate requirements for restaurants in different cities and jurisdictions. We identify all necessary approvals and submittals and their requirements upfront, so restaurant projects can gain valuable time and money and be approved as quickly as possible.

Suncoast Permit eases permit-related pain points for architects, restaurant owners, and brands by helping you avoid costly mistakes like following wrong codes, using incorrect naming conventions on plans, not obtaining approvals from all required agencies, missing items upon submittal, lack of follow-through during the review process, and not paying all applicable fees. Our expert team already understands everything that needs to be done and what goes into a permit package so they’re done correctly the first time, saving you time and money.