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Renting out your kitchen space can be a big money maker

Oct 14, 2021 | Restaurant Reopening Guide

Most hospitality operators don’t use their kitchen space 24/7. And with the current workforce shortage and supply chain disruptions, many establishments have cut back on their operating hours, meaning their kitchens are sitting dormant — and not making money — more often.

But did you know your kitchen space could be making you money while you’re not using it?

Last year, the association’s state government affairs team successfully petitioned the Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB) to allow liquor licensees to rent out their kitchen space while it’s not being used for the primary business. Renting out your kitchen is an excellent opportunity for additional revenue streams while the industry continues through the pandemic.

The other major benefit to this temporary allowance is that it provides access to operational resources for new hospitality entrepreneurs who may not otherwise have the finances to secure their own kitchen space.

This latest kitchen rental allowance extension will be in place until April 2022. Allowing kitchen rentals is a major win for the hospitality industry as it creates new revenue streams for existing operators and opens more doors for the next generation of small business owners. This is a policy we’d like to see as permanent, and we need your help in making that happen!

Are you renting out your kitchen? Or considering it? If so, we’d like to hear from you: governmentaffairs@wahospitality.org.

If you are considering renting out your kitchen, keep in mind the parameters below established by the LCB.

  • The renter does not have ownership interest in any liquor-licensed business;
  • The renter takes the final food product to go and does not serve customers out of the liquor licensed business;
  • The renter cooks and prepares food outside of the public service hours of the liquor licensee;
  • The liquor licensee secures or removes alcohol during the hours the renter is cooking and preparing food.
    • Examples of securing or removing alcohol include:
    • Locking (with a key and padlock) alcohol behind a gate, cabinet or tap lock (if taps are present);
    • Locking access to the part of the establishment that contains alcohol during the hours the renter is present; and
    • Physically removing alcohol from the licensed premise during the hours the renter is present.
  • There is a standard operating contract that excludes any profit sharing between the liquor licensee and the renter;
  • The liquor licensee and renter follow public health and workplace safety guidelines. For more information, licensees and renters are encouraged to contact their local health department and the Department of Labor and Industries; and
  • The liquor licensee must submit a business agreement or contract to the WSLCB Licensing Division prior to execution of the business agreement or contract. This agreement or contract must detail how the preceding requirements will be met. Please submit any documents to Kitchens@lcb.wa.gov.