Insurance and Safety Tips for Family-Style Restaurants

Restaurant owners — are you doing everything you can to make sure your business is protected? Here at Quincy Mutual Group, we understand how difficult it is to build and grow a business. Our goal is to help you protect everything you’ve worked so hard for, which is why we’re sharing some important tips to help you do just that.

No matter what type of family-style restaurant you own, the following are important safety and insurance insights that you should consider when setting up or modifying your insurance program.

Make sure you have the right insurance. 

Restaurants face many unique risks, and thus must make sure their insurance policies are updated and adequate to protect them in case of accidents. Here are a few types of insurance policies and endorsements you should definitely consider — but remember, as your business grows and changes, so do your insurance needs. Make sure to regularly consult your independent insurance agent to keep your policies up-to-date.

  • General Liability: This insurance coverage will protect your business against a variety of things including accidents, injuries, or even claims of libel or slander. This coverage can cover both legal fees and medical expenses resulting from a covered loss.
  • Workers Compensation: If an employee is ever injured on the job, workers compensation will protect your business by covering the medical and legal expenses incurred by the work related injury. In many states, all businesses are required to have workers comp, but check your state’s laws if you are unsure.
  • Liquor Liability: Does your restaurant serve alcohol? Then you should know that you could be held liable for the actions of your intoxicated customers, which is why liquor liability is a must. Check with your independent agent to make sure you are carrying enough to cover any potential risks your business faces.
  • Property Insurance: If your business is impacted by a covered loss such as a fire, windstorm, or act of vandalism, your commercial property insurance cover the damages incurred to the structure of your restaurant.
  • Spoilage Coverage: If your temperature control system fails due to conditions beyond your control resulting in the spoilage of any food items in your restaurant, this coverage will respond to cover the value of the lost property.
  • Equipment Breakdown: Mechanical or electrical breakdowns can wreak havoc on a restaurant, but equipment breakdown coverage can cover the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged equipment along with any loss of income resulting from the breakdown.
  • Utility Services Coverage: This endorsement will protect your business if it is impacted by a loss of electricity due to a covered cause to a property separate from your business (like a utility generating station).

Make safety and cleanliness a priority.

When you’re working with food, hygiene and proper food handling processes are critical. Here are a few things to keep in mind

  • In addition to regular cleaning, consider hiring a professional to degrease your stove and exhaust system.
  • Have your fire suppression system inspected by a professional every six months.
  • Reach out to your local Department of Health to learn about food handling classes for your employees.
  • Consider sending your bartenders or servers to an alcohol awareness training class to minimize the risk of over-serving a customer.
  • Make a policy to ensure your employees all wear kitchen appropriate clothing — including non slip, covered shoes, aprons, gloves and hairnets when necessary.
  • Stock up on important safety gear like fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency lights.
  • Always lay out non-slip weather matts during rain or snow and use ‘Wet Floor’ signs when necessary to avoid slips and falls.
  • Make sure all food storage containers are properly labeled. Include information like the name of the item, use-by-date, and any contained allergens.
  • Store cleaning materials separately from any food or beverage items.
  • Keep your stove and oven clear of any flammable items such as dish rags, plastic bags, or aprons.

You’ve worked hard to build your business — now make sure it’s protected by following these important safety and insurance tips.

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