Most business owners will tell you that a business can live or die by its reputation. This statement is rarely better embodied than in the case of a successful restaurant.
Even someone new to the world of running a restaurant would surely agree that a restaurant attracts its customers based on a reputation of quality food, served in a stylish setting, and with exceptional customer service.
It is no wonder then that restaurant owners invest heavily in interior design, to create the right ambiance, installing top of the range equipment and employing highly skilled staff before the doors even open. So, by the time the first customers cross the threshold, much time, effort and money has already been expended to ensure everyone has the best possible experience.
After all the careful planning; what if the unexpected should happen? What if some unforeseen incident sees the restaurant facing a huge bill that could result in the doors shutting for good?
That is where restaurant insurance comes in to play. Although it might not be one of the first things a budding restaurateur thinks of when setting out on their Michelin-starred journey, it should be a top priority for the protection of the business.
Why is restaurant insurance so important?
Even high profile, well-established restaurants make mistakes that end up costing them financially. Some well-known examples include:
A three Michelin-starred restaurant faced a barrage of complaints, and costly no-win-no-fee claims from some 240 customers, after a severe outbreak of norovirus. Unbeknown to the restaurant, the oysters they served had been handled by a member of kitchen staff who had been infected with norovirus and it spread like wildfire. Luckily for the restaurant, its insurer was there to pick up the compensation bill.
In another case, a well know top-rated Italian restaurant found itself in deep trouble after serving normal pasta to a diner with coeliac disease. Despite alerting the management to her gluten intolerance when booking the table, the menu advertising the pasta meal as gluten-free and the assurances of the member of waiting staff, less than an hour after eating the woman suffered and extreme reaction and was rushed to the hospital.
Many apologies were issued by the restaurant but the authorities obviously thought this was not enough and it was subjected to a hefty legal bill. Although there would certainly have been reputational harm done to the restaurant, the insurer was once again there to cover the costs and fees incurred allowing the restaurant to continue running.
These cases might be rare but hopefully, illustrate that even establishments with the very highest standards can suffer the unforeseen.
Could your restaurant survive thousands in legal fees and damage rewards? Can you take the risk and not protect your business with the right insurance? JMP are experts in food industry insurance and can provide specialist covers for pubs, restaurants and cookery schools.
Whether you are running a Michelin-starred restaurant, a takeaway, pub, café or cookery school there are certain covers you should consider to adequately protect your business including:
- Public Liability – if a customer is injured at your premises, and you are found to be liable, you could be facing a personal injury compensation claim and other costs. Public Liability cover will provide you with a first line of defence, and meet the compensation costs if you are found to be responsible.
- Product Liability – covers claims that relate to the products you sell, such as food poisoning claims.
- Employers’ Liability – if you have employees, you are required to have this by law. This cover will protect you if an employee injures themselves during the course of their employment, and will pick up the compensation awarded as a result.
- Business Interruption – if your premise had to shut temporarily following a major incident such as a fire or flood, this cover would protect your income whilst you were unable to trade as a result of an insured event. It can provide cover for additional expenses such as staff wages that you would still have to pay.
- Loss of Licence – providing protection for your business following loss of your liquor licence for reasons beyond your control
- Deterioration of Stock – if your freezers stop working due to a power cut or breakdown, this cover provides financial protection for damaged stock and perishables
Contact our restaurant and cookery school experts today on 01242 898387 to discuss your insurance requirements and how we can help protect your business.