If you are among those who have spent several years in the food service industry, you might be ready to strike it out as an entrepreneur. You want to start your own diner and although you are a master chef and have a good working knowledge of the industry, you may be unprepared for that first complaint that leads to an insurance claim or a lawsuit in some cases. If you are new to owning and operating a business, here are some important steps you can take to protect your diner against insurance claims.
Prevention Is the Best Protection
The very best way to protect your diner from insurance claims is to understand the most common claims leveled against restaurants so that you can prevent situations that could lead to such things as slips and falls. To prevent customers or employees from slipping on a wet floor, for instance, you would want to place those “Wet Floor” signs at key places around the area that is wet.
Carry Adequate Liability Insurance
Even though you carry a general liability for food business insurance policy, you really don’t want claims being made against it. The best way to prevent claims is to take proactive steps to avoid them. Other common claims in the food service industry are:
- Injuries from equipment failure
- Kitchen fires
- Foodborne illness
- Hazardous working conditions
If you keep all equipment well-maintained and in good repair, chances are slim that you will experience mechanical failure.
Require Food Safety Certification
Also, train staff well on proper working conditions around open flames, and each of your employees should have a valid food handler’s certificate from a course like ServSafe which can be taken online. In fact, most states now require food safety certification for anyone who handles food in any way from prep to service. Check on the requirements of your state so that you are compliant. An insurance claim against a non-compliant business could be a real nightmare.
The Two Most Common Complaints to Avoid
Even though you are in the food service industry and the types of claims you are trying to protect your diner from are related to food service, you should know that injuries due to slips and falls are one of the leading claims against liability insurance in literally every industry. It may seem like we are whipping a dead horse, as the saying goes, but this is the reason why so much attention is given to this one type of claim. It is common enough that you should find ways to avoid slips and falls in your diner.The other complaint that is altogether too common in the food service industry is foodborne illness. This could come from such things as cross contamination or foods that are beyond their ‘best use by’ date. Perhaps they have been stored at temperatures too low or too high. The point is, that the best way to protect your diner from these most common insurance claims is to avoid situations that can lead to injury. Carry adequate insurance and train your staff well.
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