Restaurant Operating Guide
If you are considering operating a food establishment located in Williamson County or one of its member cities, then a plan review and a pre-operational inspection are required before a permit can be issued. This applies to new construction as well as a change of ownership establishments.
A food establishment means an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption. This does not include the sale or giving away of whole produce or prepackaged foods that do not need temperature control for safety, such as unopened bottles of water or bags of chips if the food is from an approved source.
As a restaurant owner of an existing business, constructing a new building/finish-out of space or remodeling/restoring a structure you must follow all guidelines put into place by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
- Complete a Plan Review Application
- $250 application fee - paid by check, credit card, or cash
- Supporting documents for application
- Full menu, including beverages and prepackaged food
- Manufacturer description/specifications for equipment.
- Plans must include information about plumbing, mechanical/ventilation, and a finishing schedule that describes walls, floors, and ceilings, such as, color and texture
- Plans must include a site plan and floor plan to scale with labeled equipment and fixtures -- Construction plans are preferred
If a variance request is made from the original application submission
- Complete a Variance Request Form
- An additional fee of $100 is required
- Supporting variance documentation
Submissions can be sent through email, mail, or in person at our office.
Once you receive an approval letter for your plan review and preparation for the inspection is complete which includes a thorough cleaning of the establishment, the applicant may contact the plan reviewer to schedule an inspection.
When the pre-operational inspection is passed, the license will be issued once payment is made
Licenses are NON-TRANSFERABLE
NOTE: You must notify local building officials in the area you plan to operate and follow their separate procedures for plan review and permitting to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. You may not conduct any part of foodservice operation which includes food storage without a food license even if issued a Certificate of Occupancy (C/O), Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) or TABC license.
Useful linksDSHS - FAQ for Texas Food Establishment Rules
DSHS - Starting a New Retail Food Establishment
DSHS - Statutes and Laws for Retail Food Establishment
DSHS - Regulatory Clarifications, Guidance Documents & General Publications
How to make a payment
Cash - Deliver to 355 Texas Ave, Round Rock, Tx 78664
Credit Card - Payments can be made in person or over the phone. There is a convenience fee through Certified Payments of 2.95% payment total.
Check - Checks are made payable to Williamson County and Cities Health District, 355 Texas Ave, Round Rock, TX 78664
What is a New Owner?
A person or company has purchased a food establishment and is keeping everything the same about the estabishment.
Ex: Mr. Smith buys "Burger Restaurant" from Mr. Jones. Everything is staying the same including the food, the building, menu, etc. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THERE WILL BE A NEW OWNER. This is also called a CHOW or CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP.
What is a New Establishment?
This is a brand-new restaurant or food establishment. There can be different circumstances for this option.
Example 1: Burger Restaurant corporation is building a new Burger Restaurant in Williamson County.
Example 2: Burger Restaurant has taken over a vacant or new building to set up a new Burger Restaurant in Williamson County.
Example 3: Mrs. Michaels bought a Chicken Restaurant from Mrs. Jeffery and is turning it into a Chinese Restaurant.
What is a Remodel?
Any food establishment making changes to its establishment that typically requires city permits to be pulled.
Example: Seafood Restaurant is knocking down a wall in their dining room and building a new drive-thru station.
What is an Amended Permit?
This is when a food establishment is making a change to the wording on their actual permit.
Example 1: Bread Bakery wants to change its name to Bread Bake Shop. THERE IS NO OWNERSHIP CHANGE, ONLY A NAME CHANGE.
Example 2: Mr. Brown and Ms. Kelly own a Coffee Shop. Mr. Brown is no longer part of the ownership, but Ms. Kelly will be the main owner. THIS IS NOT A CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP, ONLY TAKING SOMEONE'S NAME OFF THE PERMIT AND KEEPING THE OTHER ORIGINAL OWNER ON THE PERMIT. The amendment would be for the permit to now only show Ms. Kelly as the owner.