Helpful ReplyCan you check this out? I don't see how this is legal.

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JustGarlic
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2014/05/25 18:56:51 (permalink)

Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal.

I want to open a place that teaches cooking, and people will eat what they cook. So not exactly a restaurant.  Take a look at the photo, and tell me how this can actually be..... This is in a Strip Mall not all that far from me. Everything is residential, and not commercial.
Oh, I can't post a link..... please google Really Cooking with Robin. And look at her kitchen photo.
 
Thing is, there are 5 places like this within 25 miles of me, and they all use residential equipment. Do you think that zoning for this is different than a restaurant?
 
post edited by JustGarlic - 2014/05/25 18:58:07
#1
FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/25 19:13:19 (permalink)
Have you checked with anyone?  I think a cooking school that is aimed at home cooking is legal, including high quality equipment as long as hygene standards are maintained.  Call you local health dept
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/25 19:26:13 (permalink)
If zoning is your concern just contact your local zoning board and ask. You might have to seek a zoning exemption, but that's not a difficult process -- the seeking, I mean.
#3
JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/25 20:30:41 (permalink)
Yes, I plan to check on Wednesday, when the zoning guy is available to the public all day. But I figured some of you might know / have experience.
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Foodbme
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/26 00:05:14 (permalink)
You didn't say if you'll be doing this in a commercial building or out of your home.
She's in a commercial building running a commercial business and it's legal IF she has all her permits & licenses.
I would think you (And she) would need a business license, a tax number, and possibly other permits etc. including health dept. permits.
If you come under the heading of a "School" you may need other licenses too!  
Here's her web site;
http://www.reallycookingwithrobin.com/
She's doing a lot more than just a cooking school.
You might want to go into her business and see if she's posted any permits, licenses, etc.
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/05/26 00:17:41
#5
JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/26 01:00:22 (permalink)
Yes,I plan to be in a strip mall, with about 1300 SF.

I plan to actually take a class at her place as well as one at another, somewhat local place. Both place are essentially the same. I am just shocked that these businesses are using residential equipment. Even if I am allowed to use residential stuff, I don't think I would. I have a source for quality used equipment..... A real estate agent that I am friends with works with lots of restaurants that have failed, or are upgrading. Plus his family owns 6 pizza restaurants and he said they can help me design my kitchen.

My big advantage is that the area I want to be in has an average income of $119K within a 3 mile radius of the place I want to be in. Lots of big pharma near me.
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bartl
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/26 13:50:28 (permalink)
There's a large kitchen supply store near me (2 branches, "micro-chain"?) that has lots of cooking demos, classes, and tastings. With the exception of the stovetops and the ovens, every cooking utensil and appliance they use is for sale at the store for personal use. If you are going to teach people to cook in their homes, you HAVE to use tools which are available to the home cook.
 
Oh, for those interested (but please note I haven't been to a class/demo there in a couple of years): http://www.chefcentral.com/
 
Bart
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/27 06:30:50 (permalink)
According to my local HD inspector, they aren't concerned with whether we use commercial or home use equipment.  As long as we are meeting the health code, proper temps, proper storage, etc they don't care.  We do have to have commercial hoods/vents, but i could get away with a residential grade stove if i needed to.... but i wouldn't want to.
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Foodbme
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/27 14:03:10 (permalink)
Think about it.
If you cook on regular household appliances it will tell your students that they too don't need commercial equipment to cook great meals.
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/27 22:37:22 (permalink)
Foodbme

Think about it.
If you cook on regular household appliances it will tell your students that they too don't need commercial equipment to cook great meals.

Oh, I am not really against using residential gear - mostly - but I would have guessed that zoning boards would not have allowed it. I have a tentative meeting tomorrow with the zoning guy. That said, I would want a 6 burner stove, or maybe even an 8 burner stove just for the ability for multiple dishes from the students.
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/27 22:49:46 (permalink)
Oh, and another thing I was thinking was if you use residential equipment in a commercial venture, you don't have a valid warranty, correct?
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jman
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 10:11:45 (permalink)
 Logic tells me that a cooking school that is aimed at teaching individuals who just want to learn to cook would use equipment that would be found in a typical home kitchen.  It's not like this is a culinary school aimed at people who want to become a chef in a restaurant.  From a personal perspective, if I was someone who just wanted to learn how to cook for my family, my friends, or just for myself, I want to be taught using equipment that is equivalent to what I've got in my home.
 
It seems to me that you've gotten your panties in a wad without really thinking about why your criticisms of this school are based on faulty thinking.
post edited by jman - 2014/05/28 10:13:53
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 11:05:01 (permalink)
jman

 Logic tells me that a cooking school that is aimed at teaching individuals who just want to learn to cook would use equipment that would be found in a typical home kitchen.  It's not like this is a culinary school aimed at people who want to become a chef in a restaurant.  From a personal perspective, if I was someone who just wanted to learn how to cook for my family, my friends, or just for myself, I want to be taught using equipment that is equivalent to what I've got in my home.

It seems to me that you've gotten your panties in a wad without really thinking about why your criticisms of this school are based on faulty thinking.

 
I have no criticisms of the school(s). Show me one time that I showed criticism. You can't. Please show me where I did.
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Foodbme
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 12:01:33 (permalink)
JustGarlic
jman
Logic tells me that a cooking school that is aimed at teaching individuals who just want to learn to cook would use equipment that would be found in a typical home kitchen.  It's not like this is a culinary school aimed at people who want to become a chef in a restaurant.  From a personal perspective, if I was someone who just wanted to learn how to cook for my family, my friends, or just for myself, I want to be taught using equipment that is equivalent to what I've got in my home.
It seems to me that you've gotten your panties in a wad without really thinking about why your criticisms of this school are based on faulty thinking.

I have no criticisms of the school(s). Show me one time that I showed criticism. You can't. Please show me where I did.

Your original post:
"I want to open a place that teaches cooking, and people will eat what they cook. So not exactly a restaurant.  Take a look at the photo, and tell me how this can actually be..... This is in a Strip Mall not all that far from me. Everything is residential, and not commercial."
Implies that you are questioning how residential equipment is being used in a commercial school. That's how everyone is interpreting it.
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jman
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 12:01:46 (permalink)
JustGarlic

jman

Logic tells me that a cooking school that is aimed at teaching individuals who just want to learn to cook would use equipment that would be found in a typical home kitchen.  It's not like this is a culinary school aimed at people who want to become a chef in a restaurant.  From a personal perspective, if I was someone who just wanted to learn how to cook for my family, my friends, or just for myself, I want to be taught using equipment that is equivalent to what I've got in my home.

It seems to me that you've gotten your panties in a wad without really thinking about why your criticisms of this school are based on faulty thinking.


I have no criticisms of the school(s). Show me one time that I showed criticism. You can't. Please show me where I did.

 
It seems to me that your complaint, and your question of legality, with the fact they use home appliances is in itself a criticism. 
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 14:24:43 (permalink)
Well, it is AMAZING that you all can read my mind, when I clearly stated I didn't think it would be legal, and that is all I said. I am shocked that it is because I have worked in kitchens and everything was always commercial grade.I would be happy to use some residential gear and save a ton of money.
 
In any case, the township guy called today and canceled my meeting because he said that every store that opens up in the strip mall I want to be in, must be pre-approved by the landlord of the shopping center. Then the landlord will contact the zoning officer and everything proceeds from there. Seems backwards to me. ( I have twice called the landlord, but have not had a returned call yet )
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jman
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 15:12:55 (permalink)
JustGarlic

Well, it is AMAZING that you all can read my mind, when I clearly stated I didn't think it would be legal, and that is all I said. I am shocked that it is because I have worked in kitchens and everything was always commercial grade.I would be happy to use some residential gear and save a ton of money.

You still seem to be missing the point. If someone takes cooking lessons for the purpose of learning how to cook for friends and family, they should be taught using the type of appliances they would have in their home kitchen. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
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Foodbme
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 15:13:31 (permalink)
JustGarlic
Well, it is AMAZING that you all can read my mind,

That's the problem--------We can't read your mind.
Your ambiguous comment left us hanging!
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 15:40:58 (permalink)
jman

JustGarlic

Well, it is AMAZING that you all can read my mind, when I clearly stated I didn't think it would be legal, and that is all I said. I am shocked that it is because I have worked in kitchens and everything was always commercial grade.I would be happy to use some residential gear and save a ton of money.

You still seem to be missing the point. If someone takes cooking lessons for the purpose of learning how to cook for friends and family, they should be taught using the type of appliances they would have in their home kitchen. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

No, I understand that point FULLY. My only thought is that the zoning would require commercial equipment based on my experiences working in commercial kitchens. If I can get by with less expensive equipment, why wouldn't I want to? I don't like spending money. I like making it and saving it for retirement.
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jman
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 16:24:55 (permalink)
JustGarlic

No, I understand that point FULLY. My only thought is that the zoning would require commercial equipment based on my experiences working in commercial kitchens. If I can get by with less expensive equipment, why wouldn't I want to? I don't like spending money. I like making it and saving it for retirement.

 
There are huge performance differences between commercial equipment and "home" equipment. Commercial equipment is designed with higher BTU ratings, oven configurations, and recovery times, as well as higher durability standards.  If someone is building a kitchen for purely commercial purposes, they should stick with commercial equipment.
 
Typically, zoning requirements would only be related to the purpose of the business. Equipment requirements would fall under the authority of the codes enforcement and the health department.  They probably require a commercial hood and ventilation system, but if the other free-standing equipment is clean and safe to use, I doubt that either of these entities have any authority to require the use of only commercial equipment.
 
There are plenty of Mom & Pops who have small kitchens equipped with  non-commercial stoves, ovens, and refrigerators. Their decision to equip their kitchen with non-commercial equipment is probably rooted in the cost differential, even though they may have limitations on their menu caused by the fact the non-commercial equipment may not have the capabilities to produce the desired quality for certain types of foods.
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tmiles
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 19:46:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I'm a former planning board member, yet I can't help you. Zoning is local, and enabled by state law. In fact a few major cities still do not have zoning at all. Continue to work with your local public officials, and don't listen to the likes of me.
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JustGarlic
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Re:Can you check this out? I don't see how this is legal. 2014/05/28 21:00:02 (permalink)
jman

JustGarlic

No, I understand that point FULLY. My only thought is that the zoning would require commercial equipment based on my experiences working in commercial kitchens. If I can get by with less expensive equipment, why wouldn't I want to? I don't like spending money. I like making it and saving it for retirement.


There are huge performance differences between commercial equipment and "home" equipment. Commercial equipment is designed with higher BTU ratings, oven configurations, and recovery times, as well as higher durability standards.  If someone is building a kitchen for purely commercial purposes, they should stick with commercial equipment.

Typically, zoning requirements would only be related to the purpose of the business. Equipment requirements would fall under the authority of the codes enforcement and the health department.  They probably require a commercial hood and ventilation system, but if the other free-standing equipment is clean and safe to use, I doubt that either of these entities have any authority to require the use of only commercial equipment.

There are plenty of Mom & Pops who have small kitchens equipped with  non-commercial stoves, ovens, and refrigerators. Their decision to equip their kitchen with non-commercial equipment is probably rooted in the cost differential, even though they may have limitations on their menu caused by the fact the non-commercial equipment may not have the capabilities to produce the desired quality for certain types of foods.

 
See, there ya go..... I know about the differences.... what I didn't know was that mom and pop places were not using commercial equipment. Every restaurant kitchen I have ever been in has had commercial quality gear...... even at the swim club I belong to, and they don't do much more than make nachos, burgers, hot dogs, and chili. Oh, and Philly cheesesteaks..
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