Monthly Archives: February 2015

Properly Insuring Your Restaurant

Restaurant ownership is a highly rewarding career if you choose the best options to ensure that the business runs smoothly at all times. Be sure to protect your assets and yourself from damages by purchasing the right insurance policies to suit your needs! Insurance is often one of those things that people know they need, but would rather not deal with. We understand that insurance jargon can be confusing, as well as boring and daunting. At Joy Insurance, we make it our mission to not only offer you the highest quality of products, but to also explain very simply why our product is the most suitable for your specific needs and desires.

Protecting Your Business

General Liability – You should discuss the appropriate coverages with your agent; however we recommend no less than $1 million/$2million in coverage. Liability will cover your business for the everyday hazards associated with a restaurant. For example, if someone chokes on a piece of food at your establishment, this coverage will protect you against any lawsuit or settlement that may arise. You will also be protected for both products and advertising liability, and customer property damage.

Workers Compensation – The State of New York requires that all businesses with employees maintain mandatory coverage.

Property and Contents Coverage – If you own the building you are using for the restaurant, you must maintain an appropriate amount of coverage in the event of a loss when a bank holds a mortgage on the property. If you own the building outright it is highly recommended that you obtain this coverage. Restaurants have a variety of heat sources and other equipment that can pose serious risks for fire and other hazards. Be sure to protect your investment. Keep in mind that if you opt for the cheapest coverage on the market without doing research and educating yourself on the coverage you need, you may end up paying penalties from co-payments or find out that certain losses are not even covered at all.

**One of the many benefits of choosing Joy Insurance is our astounding President, Christopher Joy’s thorough assessment of your individual business needs. He travels all around the State of New York to meet with clients at their business location, where he will perform a walk through, and offer a variety of recommendations and coverage options for your business. Chris prides himself on serving his community and delivering a personal level of attention to each commercial account.**

Liquor Liability – When a restaurant serves alcohol, many scenarios can occur in which the business is held liable for another’s actions based upon their level of alcohol consumption. Not only is it important to ID everyone who appears to be under the age of 35, but also train your staff on how to handle a customer who has consumed too much alcohol and be knowledgeable of how to make that assessment. To maintain your liquor license the state requires that you obtain this insurance.

Equipment Breakdown Coverage – This is very important when a business relies on particular machines or equipment to handle everyday business matters. For example, let’s say you use your grill to cook all meat products and the machine break downs during one of your most anticipated busy weeks of the year. Without this coverage on your policy, you will be paying for the cost to repair or replace this out of pocket. By opting for this coverage, you can assure yourself that you have the proper coverage in case of a kitchen-type emergency.

Spoilage – It seems as though the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. With all of the many storms and power shortages, you must protect your food inventory investment. Not only is this additional coverage very affordable, but also we feel it is necessary for a restaurant owner. For example, your Sunday inventory just came in off the truck, fruits, vegetables, and high end cuts of steak valued at $6800. What happens if a power outage on Monday causes the loss of the entire refrigerator? If you didn’t choose this optional coverage then you could be paying for this completely out of pocket.

Some of our great A-rated companies have BUILT-IN optional coverages or add-ons you may want to consider:

Business Income and Extra Expense

Electronic Data Recovery/Protection

Valuable Papers Protection

Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Utility Service Interruption

Sewer and Drain backup

Lock Replacement

Identity Fraud Coverage

Food Contamination Coverage

Exterior Signs Coverage

And much more!

Suggestions for Consideration

Safety – Accidents most often happen when an owner is neglectful in some way. Be sure to maintain a safe environment for yourself, your employees, and your customers at all times. The easiest ways to prevent serious accidents are to maintain proper lighting, keep walkways clear, enforce regular equipment inspections in house or from an outside agency, and posting any necessary warning or advisory signs when a hazard is present.

Proper Training – It is absolutely vital that each and every member of your staff be properly and extensively trained. Training should consist of proper use and storage of cleaning supplies and equipment, all exit routes, your specific safety manual guidelines, and emergency reactive procedures (such as a fire or choking procedures). There should be multiple people on staff each shift who are educated in Heimlich maneuvers in case one of your guests is choking.

Knowledgeable Staff – The kitchen staff is arguably the most crucial hires in any restaurant. Even if you have a superior wait staff coupled with a five star decorated dining room, if the food isn’t up to par than a restaurant can easily fail. The kitchen staff must be educated on proper food storage and cooking practices that are in accordance with health safety standards. Food should not be kept between 41-145 degrees Fahrenheit unless it is freshly prepared food that is about to be served to a guest. This temperature range is when bacteria will begin to grow. Kitchen staff should check temperatures regularly throughout their shift in various parts of the kitchen to ensure every piece of equipment is holding an adequate cooling or heating temperature.

Preparedness – As an owner, you should keep an up-to-date execution plan for emergency-type situations. For example, power outages, service delays, inventory issues, etc. You should always back-up your inventory and POS system on an outside server so that you don’t physically lose any information. If you prefer, you may also keep paper records to assist in any claim matters or other such problems that may arise.

Protection – Make sure you maintain the proper amount of insurance for all aspects of your business. At an absolute minimum, you should have general liability, workers compensation, property coverage, liquor liability (if you possess a liquor permit/license), equipment breakdown coverage and spoilage of contents. *If your restaurant offers some form of a delivery service, you must also maintain commercial auto coverage.

At Joy Insurance Agency, each of our agents take the necessary time with you to go over our coverage recommendations, while offering you complete individualized attention. If you own a restaurant or are looking to get into the business let us ease your mind and give you one less thing to worry about with a no-obligation quote today!