Formula Business Restriction – Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Date: 9 Dec 2008 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This small city in the mid-1980s became the first town in the country to enact a formula restaurant ban, which prohibits fast food, drive-in and formula food establishments. In Carmel a business is considered a formula restaurant if it is “required by contractual or other arrangements to offer standardized menus, ingredients, food preparation, employee uniforms, interior decor, signage or exterior design,” or “adopts a name, appearance or food presentation format which causes it to be substantially identical to another restaurant regardless of ownership or location.”


Excerpt from 17.06.036

Restaurant – Full Line. A business selling a full line of prepared food and drinks using nondisposable plates, glasses and utensils for immediate consumption on the site. The business provides tables and chairs, table service, and is available to persons of all ages.

1. A use permit shall be required in the CC and SC Districts. The use is prohibited in other Districts.

2.The use shall not exhibit the characteristics of a drive-in, formula or fast food establishment as defined in Section 17.06.040.

3.The business shall, be consistent with a primary classification as a Restaurant – Full Line and any sale of alcoholic beverages shall be subordinate to this primary use.

4. Substantially all foods from the standard menu shall be available for purchase during the hours that alcoholic beverages are being served except for the first hour and the last hour of each business day.

5.The applications, menus and plans indicate that the business will primarily be a Restaurant – Full Line and that no more than 20 percent of the total number of seats are at a bar or in a separate bar room. If the use does not meet this standard, the standards for Drinking Places shall also apply to the use.

6. Customers shall be provided with individual menus while seated at a table or counter.

7.Outside seating may be allowed subject to an approved design review application in accordance with the standards contained in Section 17.12.086.

8. Food sold for consumption off the premises shall be incidental to the primary use. Such food shall be placed in covered containers or wrappings, and all housebrand labeled Food Store goods such as vinegars, oils and salad dressings shall be prepackaged and sealed.

………

17.06.040 Definitions

E. Food Uses (5812).

1.Drive-In Establishment: A business which (a) prepares food intended for consumption in vehicles that may or may not be parked on the site; or(b) provides for the ordering of food while the customers are seated in vehicles.

2. Formula Food Establishment: A business which: (a) is required by contractual or other arrangements to offer standardized menus, ingredients, food preparation, employee uniforms, interior decor, signage or exterior design; or (b) adopts a name, appearance or food presentation format which causes it to be substantially identical to another restaurant regardless of ownership or location.

3. Fast Food Establishment: A business where food is consumed on or off the site and (a) food is pre-made and wrapped before customers place orders, and/or (b) food is served with disposable tableware for on-site food consumption. A Fast Food Establishment also exhibits two or more of the following characteristics:

  • Food is ordered from a wall menu at a service counter.
  • Food consumed on the premises is ordered while customers are standing.
  • Payment is made by customers before food is consumed.
  • The service counter is closer to an entry/exit than is the seating/dining area.
  • The business interior is brightly illuminated (greater than 8 candlefoot power as measured in a horizontal plane three feet above the floor).

4. Take-Out Food Establishment: A business that offers ready-to- eat, prepared snack food and full meals for immediate consumption off the site while patrons are walking or standing in the public right-of-way or are seated in vehicles.

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Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which partners with a wide range of allies to implement policies that counter concentrated power and strengthen local economies.