Guidelines issued on new dining concept

Issued by Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, the guidelines for the new catering model cover licensing, venue and facility requirements, and management.

Shanghai has issued a set of guidelines for an emerging new dining concept called “shared restaurant.”

Issued by Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, the guidelines for the new catering model cover licensing, venue and facility requirements, and management.

In “shared restaurants,” consumers order meals from a restaurant on an app, but the food is picked up by a “third party” — the shared restaurant. The consumer then makes the trip to the “shared restaurant” to have the meal.

The “shared restaurants” do not necessarily have kitchens.

The first such “shared restaurant” will start business next month in a shopping mall, Sun, Moon and Light Center, in Huangpu District.

The administration said it had to come up with the new guidelines as the business fell in a gray area.

It said if the “shared restaurant” decides to offer its own meals or sell prepackaged food, it will also require a food operation license.

The latest catering concept is filling the needs of workers in offices that do not have its own pantry, or complexes and companies that do encourage eatables on their premises.

The guidelines demand that the dining venue, or “shared restaurant” should be in the same building as the restaurant, or at least within 800 meters.

The food delivery boxes should follow food safety standard, and disinfectant procedures must be ensured.

The “shared restaurant” has to be clean and must have disinfectant facilities. Oil-water separator is also a must.

If the dining venue has a capacity of more than 75 seats, a dishwasher is required, the guideline states.

The apps where people can order meals should be registered by the FDA or district market watchdogs.

“I like the idea of shared restaurant because there is no dining space at my working unit if I order food online. This works fine for me,” said Jane Chen, a white collar worker in Hongkou District.

Earlier this month, a convenience store in Xuhui District was given a license to process food supplied by central kitchens, enabling them to serve the dishes to customers.

“We want companies to be innovative and are willing to help them if their business operations benefit the public,” said Zhang Zhunmin, deputy director of the administration.

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