Restaurants rely on employees to serve food to the satisfaction of customers. Servers, cooks and cleanup are integral parts of the business. However, they often pose liability risks to the operation.
Let’s say that an employee spills hot coffee on a patron, sending the person to the hospital with severe burns. Or, let’s say that your kitchen staff doesn’t practice appropriate sanitation. This could lead to serving spoiled food or the transmission of food-borne illness.
These mistakes or negligent practices could harm diners. They may mean medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation or ongoing medical issues for the injured diner.
The injured party may decide to sue the restaurant for negligent serving practices. You may be able to use liability insurance to compensate third parties for the damage.
Nonetheless, as a restaurant owner, attempt to reduce risks employees may pose to diners. Analyze your restaurant’s:
- Food buying storage and preparation practices
- Employment practices and employee qualifications
- Sanitation practices
- Doing so can help you pinpoint areas of risk, and mitigate them appropriately. After analyzing risks, put in place practices to reduce the chances of employee mistakes.
- Follow strict hiring practices. Make sure that all new employees have the skills to work in food service. If employees, such as chefs or bartenders, need special training, make sure they have qualifications and licensing.
- Also make sure that new employees receive job-specific training. For example, if hiring a new server with no food-service background, ensure they receive guidance in workplace practices. Allow the employee time to adjust to his or her new environment. Address questions and issues up front.
- All states require strict sanitation rules for food service establishments. Follow these regulations at all times. This may include requiring protective gear for employees, hand-washing regulations or other safety practices. Make sure the state’s sanitation authorities can inspect the business regularly.
- Respond to any complaints by patrons about employees. Address the problems in a respectful manner. Ensure that both parties receive polite, fair treatment.
Should an employee inadvertently harm a patron, immediately take steps to document the injury. Your state authorities or your restaurant insurer may require specific reporting practices in the event of these injuries. Work with the injured party to understand their needs. Take steps to prevent further mistakes. Never wait too long to file a liability claim.
Need restaurant insurance? Let Buschbach Insurance Agency, Inc. help. Call 708.423.2350 for a fast, free quote right now.
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