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New build in existing FL restaurant. - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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New build in existing FL restaurant.

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  • New build in existing FL restaurant.

    I may have an opportunity to lease a small space in an existing hotel/bar kitchen. I wanted to build a small wfo in a corner and sell pizza. Does anyone have any experience with the state of Florida with regards to installing/building a WFO in an existing kitchen facility? My thought is that any other item can just be rolled and plugged in without the need for a seperate inspection. A wfo may need a building code/zoning inspection. But restaurant inpsections are only needed for a new opening, a reopening, or substantial remodel. I do not believe I fit into any of those categories. Also if I do need a restaurant inspection. And I have built oven myself, does Florida know codes about these? Obviously they would not want anything built with asbestos or such. But are ther any guidelines? Or does any one have any experience with installing a wfo in Florida?

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Btw. I've been in the pizza biz for 23 years. If anyone has any pizza questions I would be more than happy to try to answer them.

  • #2
    Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

    You would need to see about zoning requirements for a WFO, when they try to tell you that you need a fire-suppression system worked into the oven, just tell them it is an oven, not a deep-fryer so it does not produce grease-laden vapors.

    Is the kitchen you will be working out of already compliant with their licensing? are they currently operating? or are you trying to resurrect the place. Call your county health Dept to check on licensing fees, and if you need a food manager certification to get licensing.

    My annual license fees are a little over $1,000.00 and insurance may be up there too.


    • #3
      Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

      For health department and insurance reasons you may need a UL certified oven, which would rule out a self-build. Also, if you're paying commercial rent, you'll want to get up and running as soon as possible.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

        Thanks for the responses.

        It's a up and running, licensed kitchen. I would basically rent a spot in the back part that is unused.

        The UL certification I was wondering about also. How do custom units get installed and approved?

        I have done pizza all my life in some form or fashion. Got started in college as delivery driver/cook. Wound up as manager. Liked the biz and eventually bought two franchise units. Did that for several years. Got burned out. (divorce killed my passion) Sold and switched careers. But would occasionally work and help friends with their pizza places. Part time only. Still have the bug.

        Now I think I see a small and cost effective opportunity to get back into the pizza biz. If I can set up in this kitchen (low rent/overhead) and just sell at bar, hotel and do some delivery I can do a small scale test. Kind of the Papa John's start...lol.


        • #5
          Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

          if the place is up and running, you should have it real easy.

          Call your zoning guy, make a call to the county Health dept. and get it going.

          I would be very concerned about renting kitchen space from a core business that is not yours. I tried that route once, and it turned into a very stressful nightmare for me.
          I rented the entire kitchen in a bar-grill setting, so the kitchen was all mine to serve my product from for the dining room and my catering biz..

          I had theft issues, Lots of theft issues. So I put in a hidden surveillance system and found it the owner of the place who was the thief!!
          I would find my henckels knives out at the bar, there was zero respect for my things.

          Then what was my dining room started missing tables each week, and had pool tables and video games showing up instead. I asked why they are doing that and the reply was " although I do make money from you, but I make more from the games" and I said "How am I supposed to make money if my diners cannot sit anywhere to eat, and if they do find a spot they have loud obnoxious video games ruining their experience.

          Please be careful, get everything on paper and have it looked over by an attorney.


          • #6
            Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

            Call you code enforcement office for some guidance. Also check this website, it leads you to many answers about the state of Florida. MyFlorida.com - Home
            Good luck with your new venture !
            Inverness, FL


            • #7
              Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

              where in fl are you located?


              • #8
                Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

                I'm in Volusia county.


                • #9
                  Re: New build in existing FL restaurant.

                  We have a second home in Port Orange over by Circle K on Black Duck. Let me know if you get it up and running.