Bureaucracy at its Finest


DBDCAICL3TNCALSAC3CCA1KSGLXCA543JD4CA4B5LU0CA95MJ35CAGTFFBLCAZJTRJYCA098E1JCAX9ENMZCAD1BSBECATVWFMXCADAMLV8CAIFIBV3CAFVMIU9CA4OPZUWCASO7G50CA2FC3ODCA3O3LWJI haven’t posted for awhile as its been a big blur of dealing with all the city officials trying to get our restaurant opened!

Driving around the other day, putting out one of the many city hall induced fires popping up over this opening, I passed another new restaurant in our city which proudly had the follwing sign posted…

NOW OPEN……FINALLY!

I understood that sign completely! That poor soul had to deal with the exact same city officials that are now running me ragged. I realize there are laws and rules that must be followed, but this city takes things above and beyond the call of duty and makes new business owners jump through hoops much larger than necessary, which holds up your opening and can be very costly as that clock ticks on your lease payments, etc.

Luckily, we own our property so we aren’t out any lease payments and we haven’t hired any employees at this point, so the only money this city is costing us right now is the money we could be making if they would just speed things up so we could open.

On a lighter note…after seeing the movie, Julie & Julia, my thoughtful hubby…The Deli Dude, bought me the book by Julia Child titled My Life in France. I have been devouring that book like a fine meal. The only problem is that I think I am putting on a few pounds reading it!

Julia talks about meals she had back in the 1940s and 50s with such vivid, delicious descriptions that I am in a constant state of hunger as I read it!

I also took my dreaded CPFM (Certified Professional Food Manager) test last week and am waiting for the results. Here in Florida, its mandatory that we have this certification to open our restaurants. The class and test are all about food safety, which is really a necessary thing today. I don’t remember ever hearing about so many cases of food recalls as seem to come up these days. It makes one wonder just how safe our food supplies really are?

We grow many of our own herbs and vegetables, but draw the line at raising animals for meat, so we are at the mercy of the FDA just like the rest of the country, and I for one, think they are very short handed when it comes to inspectors at the meat factories.

Back to the bureacracy of my city officials…I am waiting, since last week to hear back from the fire department regarding my “egress” situation. No, that’s not a majestic looking bird, it means “the means by which a person can get out of the location in the event of fire”, or something like that!

The most frustrating thing about this several month long process is that the city offices are less than two miles from our place of business and all these weeks of questions via phone calls, emails and faxes could have been answered in one ten minute visit to our place! I have repeatedly asked them to just send an inspector out, to which I get the official reply that “that is not how we do it”.   Here comes an “AHA!” moment…..maybe IF you DID go visit the place, you would SEE everything you need to know and could approve the opening of businesses in a few days rather than a few months!

Of course then they wouldn’t be able to lose my file (which they did), or lose my payment receipt (which they did) and a few other fun things! Luckily I make copies of EVERTHING and could supply them with PROOF that I filed the form and paid the damn fees! 

If anyone else has any horror stories about dealing with their city, please chime in, I know I’m not the only one pulling out my hair!

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About Chef Anne

Chef Anne and her husband Rob, own The Deli Diva which serves divalicious sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and more at 1st Ave SW, in historic downtown Largo, Florida. Chef Anne is a culinary travel writer and book author. She has written weekly columns for AOL/Huffington Post and Tampa Bay Start, as well as many travel and food related articles for numerous publications. Her books are available for purchase here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0080K92OW Rob is a talented metal artist, creating commissioned pieces of all types for his clients. From sculptures and garden art, as seen at the deli, to decorative estate iron gates and fences, he does it all. Stop by and try something fabulous dahling! Open M-F 11am to 3pm
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