Opening a restaurant can be a challenge. Ask any restaurant owner and they will tell you just how important their business is. Just like you wouldn’t serve an entrée without a side dish, you shouldn’t operate a restaurant without having the best insurance coverage. There are over 18 million visits to restaurants every day and 1.2 million people are directly employed by the restaurant industry in Canada. Unfortunately, there are just as many things that can go wrong in a restaurant that can result in an insurance claim. Incidents can include any scenarios, from property damage to customer slip-and-falls, and employee injuries. Luckily, isure is here to help you with nine restaurant insurance ingredients to help your business be successful.
1. The kitchen
When it comes to the restaurant and hospitality industry, your employees are the heart of your business. Generally, they are your first point of contact with customers. On top of this, they are the ones helping create wonderful dishes in the kitchen and making sure everything served is top-tier. From the front-of-house to the back-of-house, they are not only essential to your business, but also the biggest risk exposure. Due to this, it is important for restaurant owners to provide employees with proper training. Additionally, it is crucial to have coverage to protect your business from lawsuits, equipment breakdown, and liquor liability (to name a few!)
2. The dining room
When a guest visits your restaurant, they want to enjoy a wonderful meal and exceptional service. Slip-and-fall accidents are all too common in restaurants. In fact, they are the leading cause of restaurant insurance claims and lawsuits. Ensure that your entrances and exits are well-lit, clean and hazard-free. Especially in the winter months, mop up any excess water that forms to prevent slipping. When spills occur, do your best to clean them up as quickly as possible. If any old carpeting begins to lift, have it fixed right away to prevent tripping. It is a good idea to also invest in some wet floor signs!
3. The parking lot
Similar to your home, you are responsible for your guests before they even walk in the door. Parking accidents and dangerous parking areas are the second-most common form of traffic incidents. Unfortunately, this is often due to unkept parking lots. Keeping your parking area cluttered, unplowed and unsalted can increase the amount of accidents or falls. On top of this, the risk increases with the involvement of parking valets and the possibility of liquor consumption, though it is illegal to drink and drive.
4. Food safety
Everyone knows that delicious food is key to your restaurant’s success. At the same time, food that has spoiled or not been cooked properly can be detrimental to your guest’s safety and the status of your restaurant. This is why it is important to have the best food safety practices and insurance protection from food contamination claims. The best way to approach this is by being extra cautious with how food is cooked, handled and stored. Be diligent and thorough when it comes to hiring chefs and kitchen staff. Furthermore, it is important to work with your insurance provider to understand and prevent potential risks.
5. Business Property Insurance
As technology constantly improves, so does the quality of restaurants and similar businesses. Brand new equipment, locations and services can all impact your restaurant coverage. Business property insurance is important because it protects the most expensive and crucial parts of your restaurant. Kitchen equipment, furniture, and other property will all be covered in case of a fire, windstorm, vandalism or other covered events.
6. Fire safety
Unfortunately, we’ve all seen it on the news, the devastating event that is a restaurant fire. With food constantly cooking on stovetops and in ovens, restaurants are a hot liability for fires. This is why it is of the utmost importance to make sure your business property insurance covers all aspects of fire prevention. The top causes for fires in restaurants are electrical-related, cooking-related, and unclean equipment. Practicing fire safety and cleanliness with your staff members is also crucial when it comes to preventing accidents that cause fires.
7. Business Interruption Insurance
Let’s face it, sometimes things happen that you simply cannot control. When your restaurant closes, even for a day, it can be a huge loss of income. This is why Business interruption insurance is important coverage to invest in. It will help you when your business is closed due to an insured loss. On top of this, the coverage will pay for your loss of income and help you and your business get back on your feet.
8. Umbrella Liability
Umbrella liability comes in handy in many situations such as catastrophic events and lawsuits. Though not always used, it is extremely handy to have in case of an emergency. When it comes to employee issues, you as a restaurant owner may want to consider Employment Practices liability within their coverage.
9. Liquor liability
While a liquor licence can be very profitable for restaurants, there are some things you should keep in mind before applying for one. Standard liability insurance does not cover liquor-related claims. This includes intoxicated patrons who injure themselves or others while in or outside your restaurant. Liquor liability insurance is not only recommended for restaurants that wish to serve alcohol, but any business that sells, serves, or facilitates the purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Opening and running a restaurant can be confusing and stressful, but it doesn’t always have to be! If you are a current restaurant owner or someone who has plans to open a restaurant in the future, consider isure for all of your insurance needs. Request a business insurance quote today!