For the latest information on coronavirus, or COVID-19, including service and program impacts in Chatham County, please visit the coronavirus webpage.

Opening a New Restaurant

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Plan reviews

Buying an Existing Facility

When purchasing an existing facility, the new owner must obtain a food service permit, as the permit does not transfer with the sale of an establishment between people or locations. The new owner must obtain a food service permit from the Chatham County Department of Environmental Services before operating. The new owner will need to apply for a Transitional Permit.

Building or Remodeling a Facility
Whether you are Building a New Facility or remodeling an existing one, Chatham County Environmental Health staff will need to review all facility plans for approval prior to construction. Chatham County Environmental Health will review the plans simultaneously with the building inspections department.

To obtain a Food Service permit, complete the following steps:

Complete and submit the food service application
2. Submit a completed floor plan indicating the location of food service equipment                   
3. Submit equipment listing with equipment specification sheets correspond to floor plan
4. Submit the food service menu
5. Submit site plan indicating location of dumpsters, recycling, can wash, grease storage

All plans must be fully approved by this office before a county or city building permit can be issued.

All chain or franchise facilities must have approval from NCDHHS, Division of Environmental Health, Facility Plan Review Unit (919-707-5854) prior to construction.

Once all necessary information has been submitted, the Environmental Health preliminary plan review process will be complete within 30 days of application submittal.


Food Service Plan Review Resources

Food Service Application

Guidelines for the Design, Installation and Construction of Food Service Establishments

Catering Application  Outdoor Cooking Application

Food Service Plan Review Checklist

Water Heater Sizing Calculator
Tankless Water Heater 
Recovery Rate
Dishwasher Specs Sheet

Refrigeration Sizing Calculator

Dry Food Storage Calculator

 Are you ready to open? Pre-opening checklist  










For more information about plan review contact:
Lisa Morgan, Food and Lodging Program Supervisor       









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