Assembly Bill 626:
Legalizing Home Restaurants

History

Home restaurants were legalized in the state of California in September 2018, after the passing of Assembly Bill 626 (AB 626). The bill’s main two sponsors included Eduardo Garcia (CA District 56 Assemblyman) and the nonprofit COOK Alliance (Creating Opportunity, Opening Kitchens). AB 626 is an extension of the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616), which allows people to make and sell certain “low risk” food products such as jam and other non-perishable foods. AB 626 expands the list of allowable foods to include all but a few foods, now making it possible for people to open legal restaurants in their home.

Opportunity

Until now, starting a restaurant has required a lot of money. This large barrier to entry has excluded thousands of passionate cooks from starting a food business. By eliminating these high start up costs, AB 626 brings economic opportunities back to the people, allowing folks to make their own menus, work their own hours, and earn a steady income. Opening this new food marketplace will spur real economic growth throughout the state of California, particularly in areas with limited job opportunities.

Specifics

AB 626 sets guidelines on how a home restaurant cooks and sells food:

  • Food is prepared, cooked, and served or delivered on the same day.
  • Food sales are limited to 30 meals per day or 60 meals per week (or equivalent meal components)
  • The restaurant has no more than $50,000 verifiable gross annual sales (adjusted annually for inflation).

To read the full text of the bill, Click Here.