For Immediate Release
September 1, 2004
IRA, City of Chicago Announce New Streamlining Proposals
Meetings between City of Chicago, Illinois Restaurant Association Result in More Efficient Process
Chicago, IL – The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) is excited to announce that after negotiations with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and various city departments, a plan to streamline certain licenses, inspections and permits for restaurants has been agreed upon. These changes will not only allow the city of Chicago to conduct business more efficiently, but will also benefit the restaurant industry and encourage more restaurants to open in Chicago.
“This new process goes a long way in reducing the bureaucracy some have encountered when opening a restaurant in Chicago,” said Ronald DiNella, vice president of finance for Morton’s, The Steakhouse and chairman of the IRA. “The Mayor’s proactive approach to lessen the headache for restaurateurs will make opening or operating an establishment in Chicago easier and more efficient.”
The IRA and the City have agreed to several important changes to the license and inspections process which include consolidated billing, convenient scheduling of inspections during off-peak times and the streamlining of the liquor license application process for restaurants. In addition to streamlining these processes, which are pending approval by the Chicago City Council, the Mayor and the City created a new Web site to address restaurant-related licensing questions, schedule inspections, apply for licenses and track the progression of license and permit applications, found at www.cityofchicago.org/restaurant. There is also an on-line “license wizard” that will walk prospective Chicago restaurateurs through the licensing process to help them determine what licenses, permits or inspections they may need.
The new streamlining process and the increased use of technology will greatly improve efficiency, predictability and communication for the city and Chicago’s restaurants and will also drastically reduce red tape, encouraging more restaurants to open in Chicago.
“Working with Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago has been a very positive experience,” said Colleen McShane, president of the IRA. “This new process will allow restaurant owners to concentrate on serving their customers. We are grateful to the Mayor for understanding the concerns and challenges of the restaurant industry while working to attract new restaurant development, and therefore more jobs, to Chicago.”