Leasing a kitchen from a church

Joined Jan 19, 2011
Does anyone currently lease a commerical kitchen from a church?  My church is considering letting me rent the kitchen from them for my new caterin business, but they would like some examples and some of the ground rules that people have set when this type of agreement has been done.  Any help or insight would be appreciated.
Joined Jan 21, 2011
They are trusting you will not trash their facility, violate health regulations or disrupt other church business that's happening during your kitchen hours. They are expecting you to make an agreement on what your rent pays for: Will their hazzard insurance cover you in a non-church-related injury situation? Do you have insurance that will cover damage/fire/casualty risks?

The basics are easy: Understand the church schedule and make sure there are no conflicts. Fix what you break. Agree to an area for your stuff. Agree to who may help you/have access to the facility/etc...

Start there and hammer-out an agreement that works for you and the church.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
The practice is often prohibited by health codes.  Start by checking there.  Assuming it's permissible and permittable, you and the church can agree about which hours are yours, and so on, get an actual lawyer to write the contract. 

Everyone's happy as long as everyone's happy, and as long as everyone's happy a contract is no big deal.  It's what happens when someone's unhappy that the contract becomes important, and non-lawyers are usually clueless on how to plan for it.  

Joined Jan 1, 2001
We do so for our business. We pay an hourly rate for use and have a designated area for the storage of our raw materials and supplies. We keep in email contact with the parish hall coordinator about scheduling our production time around the church's event and rental schedule. Sometimes this can be tricky when we have a lot of prep to do and they have a cluster of other rentals.

As long as the kitchen is a health dept approved kitchen, you should have no problem with them,

HOWEVER, you must get a separate permit from the HD approving you for running whatever kind of food business you are running from there. They will need to inspect the kitchen and check how you are storing and transporting all your raw materials and finished goods for sale. Also, depending on what kind of food business you are running and the state and county in which you are operating, your business might come under the jurisdiction of the state dept of agriculture.

You will also need to supply the church with a certificate of your business's liability coverage naming the church and the parish hall as an additional insured. Most times they will require coverage for $1,000,000 per incident/$2,000,000 aggregate. This is standard-don't let the numbers scare you. We purchase ours through a state organization that helps farmers, farmer's markets and small entrepreneurs for about $375.00 per year, though depending on your business, this might not apply. Do not forgo this business expense-plenty of jobs and venues for your skills will be closed to you without this insurance.

On issue that we find with sharing space in this manner is the mess that other caterers and parishioners leave in the kitchen. We find ourselves cleaning up the kitchen pretty often before we can even start work. We deduct that time from the number of hours be pay rent and ALWAYS leave the place in a better condition than we expect it should be in when we come into it. That's not hard, just leave it how you would want it and organize a drawer or cabinet or two. Don't forget to wash down the fronts of cupboards and cabinets, leave the sinks scoured out and the floor clean enough to eat from and you'll be golden. 

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