Owning a restaurant begins with a passion for food. It then takes an investment of money, time and employs the perfect people who will be able to deliver their passion on a platter. Running a restaurant brings with it a unique set of challenges that require different types of insurance policies. No matter how things are carefully planned out, there are risks that are inherent in any restaurant business and here are some of the common types of insurance claims that restaurants face.
1. Slip and Fall Injuries
In the hustle and bustle of waiting tables, taking orders, preparing food, and serving meals, slip and fall injuries are easy to occur. Slippery floors, spills and uneven surfaces increases the chances of someone falling and getting hurt. Slip and fall injuries not only affect employees but also customers.
Cleaning up the spill immediately will help to avoid potential danger, but if you can’t get to the spill right away, put up a sign to warn people that the floor is wet. Then as soon as you can, clean the spill. Once you have cleaned the spill leave the sign up until the floor is completely dry. This will help to ensure that there is no slippery part of the floor is left.
It’s also important to remember that slip and fall injuries are not limited to indoors, so you’ll need to make sure that your parking lot is well lit, and your sidewalks are cleaned and in good condition. Snow and ice must also be immediately removed on all walkways during winter months.
2. Mechanical Equipment Failure
No restaurant business owner would want to come to work and discover that they must throw all the food from their freezer and refrigerator away because it malfunctioned overnight. Equipment failure can happen and here are some quick pointers to help prevent malfunctions:
- Clean all equipment regularly
- Perform routine preventative maintenance (checking refrigerator gaskets, check water levels on the ice machine etc.)
- Make sure the staff is trained properly on how to use the equipment
- Replace equipment if found faulty
- Make sure there is enough ventilation to maximize airflow and to reduce heat
3. Food Poisoning
Bacterial infections such as E. coli and salmonella cause food poisoning. Because many cases are unreported, restaurant owners are not fully aware of the full extent of the problem. To minimize cases of food poisoning in your restaurant, you’ll need to:
- Enforce proper hygiene and strict policies on washing hands
- Follow policies strictly on food preparation such as keeping certain foods on separate containers
- Refrigerate condiments at their recommended temperatures
- Keep meats at proper temperatures
4. Property Damage from Kitchen Fires
On average, there are over 7,400 recorded restaurant fire per year. Materials that are not stored properly, grease build-up, open flames and bad, faulty wiring can be the perfect ingredients (pun intended) for a disaster. Once a fire starts, it can spread quickly causing extensive damage. Here are the things you can do to help prevent fires from occurring and how to minimize damage in case a fire starts in your kitchen:
- Have all your employees have basic fire training
- Clean all equipment regularly. Deep fryers, grease traps, oven hoods and ventilation systems are the common places where grease can quickly build-up
- Install automatic fire extinguishing systems so that if a fire starts, it can be put out quickly
- Install fire alarms in strategic areas of the restaurant
- Keep up with regular housekeeping tasks. Keep oily rags, linens, to-go boxes, and other flammable materials away from open flames
- Inspect your electrical wirings regularly and replace faulty wirings as soon as possible
5. Injuries Due to Working Conditions
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics have recorded 93,800 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in full-service restaurants in 2019. Some of the common injuries are burns, cuts, sprains and strains. To help prevent these injuries, here are some quick solutions you can do:
- Provide your employees all the necessary safety equipment such as oven mitts, splatter shields, aprons, etc.
- Train employees on how to properly handle equipment especially ovens, fryers and hot plates
- Employees should also be trained in handling tools such as knives and cooking utensils to avoid going to the ER to have stitches
- Let plates and food slightly cool down before serving them to the customers. Warn customers of the hot items on their tables
- Store soups and hot drinks in heat-safe containers
- Make sure that food runners do not have too much to carry at a time to avoid spills
At Inszone Insurance, we give you a comprehensive restaurant insurance package that covers your business. If you have questions, let our highly experienced agents help you. Contact us now!
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