Get a health permit to operate as a caterer in San Francisco

Get approval to provide food and drink services to public or private events.

What to do

1. Check if your kitchen is approved

Check that the kitchen you want to use is on the City's approved list.

If your kitchen is not on the city's list, fill out a zoning referral form to include with your catering application. There's an extra fee.

2. Register your business

Use your kitchen's address when registering. It should be the same address you'll use on your permit application.

Register your business.

3. Fill out the kitchen verification form

Ask the owner of the kitchen you're using to fill out this verification form that confirms you're allowed to use it.

Kitchen verification form for caterers

4. Write an operational plan for your catering business

A written operational plan and menu must be submitted with your application for a health permit. 

The plan must include your business name, address of the catering facility or approved kitchen, business telephone number, and days and hours of operation. Provide all specific and detailed food safety procedures for your operation. Address the questions in the provided linked document to help you develop your plan.

5. Gather other documents

You'll also need to have ready the following when you apply online:

  • A copy of your catering menu
  • A floor plan of your kitchen that shows equipment, sinks, and storage
  • A safety guide (or standard operation plan) that describes how you'll keep food safe, from cooking to delivery
  • A copy of your food safety certificate

6. Apply online

Complete the application online and upload all your documents.

Your catering permit does not transfer. If you change locations, you need to apply for a new health permit.

Get help

Uzziel Prado

Senior Environmental Health Inspector


Environmental Health

49 South Van Ness Avenue
Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103
View location on google maps

Last updated April 24, 2024