Nos Conseils au restaurateurs - Quelles sont les conditions nécessaires pour ajouter une terrasse à son restaurant - Les Grappes

What are the conditions to add a terrace to your restaurant?

Updated on December 6, 2022

Spring is approaching and it's almost time to think about opening or reopening your terrace, which is a definite asset for attracting customers during the summer months. Whether it's the first or the umpteenth time you've installed one, a little reminder of the rules doesn't hurt to avoid trouble and to let your customers enjoy a pleasant terrace.

What legal authorizations are required to open a terrace?

To set up a terrace, you first need a permit: this is mandatory, regardless of the size of the terrace, as long as it encroaches on a public space.

The request for authorization is made to the town hall, or even to the prefecture in certain situations where it is necessary to request an AOT (Authorization for Temporary Occupation of the Public Domain). This authorization takes the form of an order.

There are two types of authorization :

  • a parking permit which authorizes occupation without a footprint, where no element (table, furniture, etc...) is fixed to the ground.
  • a road permit which is necessary when there is a footprint, such as for a closed terrace.

In all cases, the terrace must not interfere with pedestrian traffic in the public space, nor interfere with the residents, especially their entrance doors.

Once your request has been made, you should allow a maximum of 2 months to obtain it. After this period, if you have not received a response, the request is considered to have been refused.

What are the conditions and obligations for opening a terrace?

The authorization issued is necessarily temporary: in fact, the city hall may decide to issue a seasonal or annual renewable authorization. It may also mention the hours at which it can be opened. This type of time restriction often applies in the evening: in order not to disturb the residents, the city council may prohibit the opening of the terrace after a certain time, for example.

Once the authorization expires, you will have to reapply.

The authorization must be posted inside the establishment so that it is visible from the outside.

It is important to note that the permit is personal and cannot be transferred, sold or rented to someone else or to another establishment, even in the case of a transfer. The new owner must in turn apply for authorization.

Moreover, this authorization is revocable, which means that it can be withdrawn without notice or compensation for work on the public highway or during a demonstration. It can also be withdrawn if the conditions of the authorization are not respected or if the fee is not paid. The authorization may also not be renewed, which will oblige the restaurant owner to free the space that was dedicated to his terrace.

How much does it cost?

The amount of the annual fee, set by the city hall, varies according to the city, the district and the number of m2. In Paris, for example, it varies between 18 and 406€/m2 depending on the district. However, it should be noted that outside of Paris, prices are much lower.

It is also important to know that the amount of the fee is revisable at the end of each period of occupation. When you ask for a renewal of your authorization, it is therefore possible that the amount is re-evaluated and changes.

You now have all the information you need to set up your terrace and know the constraints. You must therefore anticipate, especially for the renewal of authorization, to ensure that you have a terrace permanently on the desired periods. You must also respect the possible constraints requested by your city for the durability of your terrace.

All that's left is for you to design your terrace and make it welcoming and attractive for your customers and strollers looking for an outdoor table. To find inspiration for the design of your terrace, we have selected the10 blogs and media to follow when you are a restaurant owner.

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