Food Service Operators

Rules Finalized: Smoking and Vaping Prohibited in Restaurant Outdoor Dining Areas

The NYC Health Department updated its rules to match the NYC Council’s change to the Smoke Free Air Act for outdoor dining. Smoking or vaping any substance is now prohibited in all parts of a restaurant’s outdoor dining areas.

The Health Department will begin enforcing the new requirement on May 12, 2024. A restaurant violating this requirement may receive a summons subject to a monetary fine up to $1,000. View the text of the rule below:

If you have any questions, contact the Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation at or 212 676-1600.

Whether you work in a restaurant, soup kitchen or other food service establishment, the Health Department has important information about operating a clean, safe, healthy and legal business. Use the links provided on the left to find the guidance and information you need.

Customer Service Office

The Customer Service Office for food establishments, temporary food service establishments and mobile food vendors is open to walk-ins and by appointment.

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. 4 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: 125 Worth Street, Room 1020, Manhattan

To schedule an appointment:

  • Email In the subject line, put "Customer Service Appointment".
  • Call 212-676-1650 or 212-676-1651.

New or renewal permitting services are not offered at this location. To find out how to apply for or renew a permit, visit Food Establishment Permits.

Services Offered:

  • Information about compliance with health code regulations
    • Food safety
    • Letter grading
    • Smoke free air act
    • Menu posting requirements (calorie labeling, sodium warning)
    • Consultative inspections
  • Guidance regarding applying for or renewing a permit or license
  • Reopening guidance and recommendations
  • Plan review
  • Replace a letter grade card
  • Provide required signs, posters and other educational materials
  • Review and approval of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans
  • Provide inspection history reports
  • Meet with Ombudsperson (by appointment only)

Requirements for Outdoor Dining Setups

If you plan to participate in the new Dining Out NYC program, review these requirements to make sure your outdoor dining setup is successful:

  • If your restaurant has 20 or more seats, including both indoor and outdoor seats, you must have a customer bathroom.
  • You may not allow smoking or vaping of any substance in any part of your outdoor dining setup. This follows the NYC Council's change to the Smoke Free Air Act.
  • You may allow dogs in your outdoor dining setup if you follow the Outdoor Dining With Dogs requirements (PDF).
  • You must expand your contract with a pest management professional so it covers your outdoor dining setup. For tips on hiring a pest management professional, see How to Reduce Rats Around Outdoor Dining (PDF).
  • You may not process food or store food, utensils or food equipment in the outdoor dining setup.
  • Floors in the outdoor dining setup must be made of durable, nonabsorbent materials that are easy to clean.

If you have questions about the:

Inspection History Report for Your Restaurant

To ensure compliance with all food safety regulations and avoid fines, operators may request a 3-year inspection history report for their food service establishment.

Business Owner's Bill of Rights

Additional Resources