Mayor creates team to smooth process of opening restaurant

Here’s a phrase that local restaurant owners never hear: free of charge.

They are strapped with increasing fees, health care mandates and minimum wage restrictions, making it harder and harder to do business in San Francisco.

Now, Mayor Gavin Newsom is attempting to throw the industry a bone. He announced a new initiative that will streamline the cumbersome permitting process, making it easier to open a restaurant locally.

Using his executive powers, Newsom established an interagency restaurant consultation team to focus on the permitting and approval needs of restaurants. This interagency restaurant consultation team will consist of representatives from the Office of Small Business, Department of Building Inspection, Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Department of Public Health, Planning Department, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Police Department. They will meet with qualified restaurateurs to review — free of charge! — pre-application plans. The inter-agency restaurant consultation team will help resolve all conflicting interdepartmental permit, code, fee and licensing issues and provide clear permitting instructions and directions, in writing, to the restaurateur.

Restaurants account for more than 3,000 businesses with 46,000 employees, making them one of  The City’s largest employers.

“San Francisco restaurants have stepped up to support their employees’ health and economic well-being, and The City in turn can provide greater certainty and support to entrepreneurs going through the process of opening a restaurant,” Newsom said.

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