Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ?

Author
Ailynda
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 2
  • Joined: 2014/03/21 21:53:00
  • Location: Salem, NH
  • Status: offline
2014/03/21 23:41:54 (permalink)

Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ?

Hello everyone,

I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible. I have done some search on the internet if I need to redo/remodel the restaurant to be accessible by the handicap after I take over the restaurant, but I couldn't really find the answer.

So I really appreciated if you guys could please give me some advice or information about this. I don't want to purchase the restaurant and then realize after that I have a big expense waiting for me to take are of in order to not against the law.

Please advice. thank you !!
#1

12 Replies Related Threads

    Midnights
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 225
    • Joined: 2013/10/13 11:26:00
    • Location: Denver, CO
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/22 00:09:35 (permalink)
    The short answer: yes, you do. Any grandfathering of the existing establishment won't transfer to you.
    If I were you, I'd read the actual law:
    http://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm
    #2
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10359
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/22 01:39:37 (permalink)
    Ditto to Midnights answer. You will not be "Grandfathered " on ANYTHING!
     Call your local Health Dept. and/or the Building Codes Dept.  and ask them to come out and give you a survey of what needs done, then get some estimates of how much that will cost BEFORE you sign any papers.
    It could cost you more than you have to spend and eats into your working capital!
    I bought a business that was "Grandfathered" and it cost me over $100,000.00 to bring it up to specifications which eventually led to Bankruptcy because I ran out of working capital.
    You're looking at Wheelchair Ramps, Restroom size and Plumbing Upgrades, Door Width Sizes, etc.
    Not to mention, once they get in there they'll look at the kitchen and I'm sure they'll find things that will need to be changed and upgraded - Hoods & Vents, Sinks, Lighting etc.
    BUYER BEWARE! 
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/03/22 01:52:26
    #3
    Ailynda
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Joined: 2014/03/21 21:53:00
    • Location: Salem, NH
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/22 15:11:03 (permalink)
    Thank you both of you very much for the advices. I will have to be very careful now when looking at the business for sale.
    #4
    MetroplexJim
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4284
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 09:04:44 (permalink)
    Ailynda

    Thank you both of you very much for the advices. I will have to be very careful now when looking at the business for sale.


    Indeed, especially these days when unelected bureaucrats, to justify their existence, are incentivized to dream up new regulations with no reference to cost/benefit.
     
    I recall that during the construction of the Washington D.C. Metro System a colleague of mine did a study that revealed (that) for only 10% of the marginal cost of making the system 'accessible' the government could have established an endowment that would provide free cab rides to the handi-capable in perpetuity!
     
    It never ceases to amaze me how the tail wags the dog in most things 'public' these days.
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2014/03/23 09:05:57
    #5
    MetroplexJim
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4284
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 09:16:26 (permalink)
    This topic reminds me of one of my experienes as a restaurant owner.  My GM told me that customers were complaining about burning themselves on the hot water in the restrooms.
     
    True enough, the health regulations required a hot water temp of 180 to sanitize the dishes.  My GM, on her initiative, solicited several bids for a separate hot water source for the restrooms.  They ran $10 - $12,000. 
     
    My solution: turn off the hot water in the restrooms.
     
    Worked great.
    No lawsuits. 
    No complaints.
    #6
    bartl
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1344
    • Joined: 2004/07/06 23:33:00
    • Location: New Milford, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 16:44:18 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
    I recall that during the construction of the Washington D.C. Metro System a colleague of mine did a study that revealed (that) for only 10% of the marginal cost of making the system 'accessible' the government could have established an endowment that would provide free cab rides to the handi-capable in perpetuity!

    That's pretty much what they ended up doing in New York.
     
    Bart
    #7
    edwmax
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2111
    • Joined: 2007/01/01 15:42:00
    • Location: Cairo, GA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 20:32:09 (permalink)
    Ailynda

    Hello everyone,

    I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible.   ...

    Please advice. thank you !!

     
    You need to go over this with your local Building Code Inspector.    Generally, if the building was in-use & in-compliance at the time you buy it, then you should not have to make code specified 'up-grades' to be in-compliance with 'current' or new standards.     ... Now any time you start remodeling the building, then you MUST meet the new requirements as long as doing so will not be an 'undue expense'.   ... From the ADA link above in reference to existing buildings, ' ... easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."   ... New construction must meet ALL requirements by design.
     
    The ADA code requirements have been in existence for 25 to 30 years, so why does the building not meet the requirements or have not already been retrofitted to the ADA standards?    ... I suspect those reasons will be the same reasons you can not do it now and you should be able to use the building 'as is'.   
     
    Now you didn't state why the building "is not handicap accessible" and what it would take to make it so.   ... Usually it doesn't cost a lot to add a ramp at the curb; enlarge a couple of parking spaces; ensure the entrance door is has 32" clearance min. (these are already usually 36"); ensure the aisle from the door to the service counter is proper width for wheelchair; designate a couple of tables for HC access with proper clearances. The restrooms can be a problem, but changing the 'women' to HC/Women and remove any partitions & add grab bars might be the only thing you can do.  ... Most of these should have been done years ago???? ...
    post edited by edwmax - 2014/03/23 21:06:27
    #8
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10359
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 22:08:40 (permalink)
    edwmax
    Ailynda
    Hello everyone,
    I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible.   ...
    Please advice. thank you !!

    You need to go over this with your local Building Code Inspector.    Generally, if the building was in-use & in-compliance at the time you buy it, then you should not have to make code specified 'up-grades' to be in-compliance with 'current' or new standards.     ... Now any time you start remodeling the building, then you MUST meet the new requirements as long as doing so will not be an 'undue expense'.   ... From the ADA link above in reference to existing buildings, ' ... easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."   ... New construction must meet ALL requirements by design.
    The ADA code requirements have been in existence for 25 to 30 years, so why does the building not meet the requirements or have not already been retrofitted to the ADA standards?    ... I suspect those reasons will be the same reasons you can not do it now and you should be able to use the building 'as is'.   
    Now you didn't state why the building "is not handicap accessible" and what it would take to make it so.   ... Usually it doesn't cost a lot to add a ramp at the curb; enlarge a couple of parking spaces; ensure the entrance door is has 32" clearance min. (these are already usually 36"); ensure the aisle from the door to the service counter is proper width for wheelchair; designate a couple of tables for HC access with proper clearances. The restrooms can be a problem, but changing the 'women' to HC/Women and remove any partitions & add grab bars might be the only thing you can do.  ... Most of these should have been done years ago???? ...

    She's in NH, you're in GA - Every state and local Bureaucrat reads it differently.  
    #9
    edwmax
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2111
    • Joined: 2007/01/01 15:42:00
    • Location: Cairo, GA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/23 22:51:29 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    edwmax
    Ailynda
    Hello everyone,
    I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible.   ...
    Please advice. thank you !!

    You need to go over this with your local Building Code Inspector.    Generally, if the building was in-use & in-compliance at the time you buy it, then you should not have to make code specified 'up-grades' to be in-compliance with 'current' or new standards.     ... Now any time you start remodeling the building, then you MUST meet the new requirements as long as doing so will not be an 'undue expense'.   ... From the ADA link above in reference to existing buildings, ' ... easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."   ... New construction must meet ALL requirements by design.
    The ADA code requirements have been in existence for 25 to 30 years, so why does the building not meet the requirements or have not already been retrofitted to the ADA standards?    ... I suspect those reasons will be the same reasons you can not do it now and you should be able to use the building 'as is'.   
    Now you didn't state why the building "is not handicap accessible" and what it would take to make it so.   ... Usually it doesn't cost a lot to add a ramp at the curb; enlarge a couple of parking spaces; ensure the entrance door is has 32" clearance min. (these are already usually 36"); ensure the aisle from the door to the service counter is proper width for wheelchair; designate a couple of tables for HC access with proper clearances. The restrooms can be a problem, but changing the 'women' to HC/Women and remove any partitions & add grab bars might be the only thing you can do.  ... Most of these should have been done years ago???? ...

    She's in NH, you're in GA - Every state and local Bureaucrat reads it differently.  

     
    And you are in Arizona!
    That is why I stated she needs to meet with her Code Enforcement Officer.   ... The ADA Code is a Federal Code.   ... And I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut it is copied 'word for word' into her local Building Code if it is not simply referenced.
    #10
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10359
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/24 03:56:19 (permalink)
    edwmax

    Foodbme

    edwmax
    Ailynda
    Hello everyone,
    I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible.   ...
    Please advice. thank you !!

    You need to go over this with your local Building Code Inspector.    Generally, if the building was in-use & in-compliance at the time you buy it, then you should not have to make code specified 'up-grades' to be in-compliance with 'current' or new standards.     ... Now any time you start remodeling the building, then you MUST meet the new requirements as long as doing so will not be an 'undue expense'.   ... From the ADA link above in reference to existing buildings, ' ... easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."   ... New construction must meet ALL requirements by design.
    The ADA code requirements have been in existence for 25 to 30 years, so why does the building not meet the requirements or have not already been retrofitted to the ADA standards?    ... I suspect those reasons will be the same reasons you can not do it now and you should be able to use the building 'as is'.   
    Now you didn't state why the building "is not handicap accessible" and what it would take to make it so.   ... Usually it doesn't cost a lot to add a ramp at the curb; enlarge a couple of parking spaces; ensure the entrance door is has 32" clearance min. (these are already usually 36"); ensure the aisle from the door to the service counter is proper width for wheelchair; designate a couple of tables for HC access with proper clearances. The restrooms can be a problem, but changing the 'women' to HC/Women and remove any partitions & add grab bars might be the only thing you can do.  ... Most of these should have been done years ago???? ...

    She's in NH, you're in GA - Every state and local Bureaucrat reads it differently.  


    And you are in Arizona!
    That is why I stated she needs to meet with her Code Enforcement Officer.   ... The ADA Code is a Federal Code.   ... And I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut it is copied 'word for word' into her local Building Code if it is not simply referenced.

    Yep, I do business consulting in AZ and I have worked with small businesses on issues like these and I can tell you different Local "Officials" interpret the ADA Codes differently despite what the "Word for Word" document says. Some are strict, some are lenient. Some are just plain Stupid!  
    #11
    MetroplexJim
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4284
    • Joined: 2007/06/24 08:45:00
    • Location: McKinney, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/24 07:28:27 (permalink)
    bartl

    MetroplexJim
    I recall that during the construction of the Washington D.C. Metro System a colleague of mine did a study that revealed (that) for only 10% of the marginal cost of making the system 'accessible' the government could have established an endowment that would provide free cab rides to the handi-capable in perpetuity!

    That's pretty much what they ended up doing in New York.

    Bart


    Same with the Metro in Paris.  It is extremely convenient and user-friendly, but mosty definitely not "handicap accessible".
     
    DC's Metro was incredibly expensive and all about politics.  Silly decisions were made, notably the absence of a Georgetown station.  The snotty NIMBYs there didn't want one in their toney 'hood.  The 'influentials' there already had publicly-provided limo service so it didn't matter to them.  As a result, commercial development was stunted and the business area has become seedy.  Unintended consequences: the primary product of WDC! 
    #12
    edwmax
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2111
    • Joined: 2007/01/01 15:42:00
    • Location: Cairo, GA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Do I have to make my restaurant handicap accessible ? 2014/03/24 08:50:55 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    edwmax

    Foodbme

    edwmax
    Ailynda
    Hello everyone,
    I'm planning to open my own restaurant by purchasing the existing one. The restaurant that I'm looking and very interested in right now is not handicap accessible.   ...
    Please advice. thank you !!

    You need to go over this with your local Building Code Inspector.    Generally, if the building was in-use & in-compliance at the time you buy it, then you should not have to make code specified 'up-grades' to be in-compliance with 'current' or new standards.     ... Now any time you start remodeling the building, then you MUST meet the new requirements as long as doing so will not be an 'undue expense'.   ... From the ADA link above in reference to existing buildings, ' ... easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."   ... New construction must meet ALL requirements by design.
    The ADA code requirements have been in existence for 25 to 30 years, so why does the building not meet the requirements or have not already been retrofitted to the ADA standards?    ... I suspect those reasons will be the same reasons you can not do it now and you should be able to use the building 'as is'.   
    Now you didn't state why the building "is not handicap accessible" and what it would take to make it so.   ... Usually it doesn't cost a lot to add a ramp at the curb; enlarge a couple of parking spaces; ensure the entrance door is has 32" clearance min. (these are already usually 36"); ensure the aisle from the door to the service counter is proper width for wheelchair; designate a couple of tables for HC access with proper clearances. The restrooms can be a problem, but changing the 'women' to HC/Women and remove any partitions & add grab bars might be the only thing you can do.  ... Most of these should have been done years ago???? ...

    She's in NH, you're in GA - Every state and local Bureaucrat reads it differently.  


    And you are in Arizona!
    That is why I stated she needs to meet with her Code Enforcement Officer.   ... The ADA Code is a Federal Code.   ... And I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut it is copied 'word for word' into her local Building Code if it is not simply referenced.

    Yep, I do business consulting in AZ and I have worked with small businesses on issues like these and I can tell you different Local "Officials" interpret the ADA Codes differently despite what the "Word for Word" document says. Some are strict, some are lenient. Some are just plain Stupid!  

     
    And I am an Engineer/Designer who have worked through these problems many times before.  Yes, some of these Code Enforcement Officers are 'plain Stupid' (your words) and have their own interpretation of the Codes; but their feet can be held to the literal 'words of the Code'.   ... I have never lost a point to a Code Enforcement Officer and his erroneous interpretation.    ... Again this was why I stated the OP needs to meet with her local Building Officials and go over these requirements.
     
    The point I stated above was the ADA Code have been in existence for about 30 years. There is no such thing as being 'grandfathered' under these requirements, so why haven't the building/business ready been made ADA complaint by the previous owners (long before now)?     ... Those same reasons will be the same reasons she can't do so now without 'great' expense.
     
    This issue certainly can effect the selling price (reduction) of the property/building.
    #13
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1