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August 21, 2019

The WCIRB is often asked how to classify eateries and dining establishments. Many, but not all, businesses where you can buy a meal or a quick bite are classified as restaurants. Classification 9079(1), Restaurants or Taverns, states:

This classification applies to the preparation and serving of hot or cold food items for consumption on or away from the premises or the preparation, pouring and serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.

 

Hot foods items are foods that are cooked to order and served hot to customers or foods that are cooked in advance and served from a warming tray or similar device.

Classification 8078(1), Sandwich Shops, states:

This classification applies to the preparation, serving or sale of cold food items such as sandwiches, salads and side dishes that are prepared for consumption by the walk-in trade. This classification shall apply to each separate location at which the sale of prepared cold food items for consumption on or away from the premises equals or exceeds 50% of gross receipts.

 

Cold food items are foods that are prepared and served cold or cooked in advance of orders and allowed to cool. This classification includes the incidental warming of cold food items using microwave ovens, toaster ovens or heat lamps and the preparation of sandwiches with meats that are kept warm in a steam table.

While restaurants assigned to Classification 9079(1) generally serve a combination of hot and cold menu items, sandwich shops assigned to Classification 8078(1) are restricted to selling cold food items that are prepared and served cold or cooked in advance of orders and allowed to cool. In addition, restaurants assigned to Classification 9079(1) may serve alcoholic beverages, but shops assigned to Classification 8078(1) may not. It is not uncommon for 8078(1) businesses to be reclassified as 9079(1) if they expand their menu to include hot food items or to serve alcoholic beverages. Classification 8078(1) includes a directive footnote:

Sandwich shops that pour and serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises or prepare and serve hot food for consumption on or away from the premises shall be assigned to Classification 9079(1), Restaurants or Taverns.

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