Published On: December 4, 2017

Running your own restaurant or bar is an exciting endeavor full of challenges and puzzles to solve. Figuring out what your liabilities are and how to prevent them from hurting your business is one of those puzzles. Having the right commercial insurance or liability insurance can protect you, but what’s really most important is understanding your risks in advance. Here are some of the most common liabilities that can be held against you as a restaurant owner.

Food Safety Procedures

liquor liability insurance cost

Food safety is your number-one priority as a restaurant owner. It’s also your primary liability when it comes to potential cases held against your business. Training your kitchen staff in the ways of proper food storage, handling, and preparation is the best way to prevent your customers from taking legal action. Some states and worker unions mandate training courses in food safety, but this isn’t true for every area.

You should always ensure your employees know the proper sanitation and food preparation techniques, even if your state or area doesn’t legally require you to do so. Prevention isn’t always enough, unfortunately, and it could be a matter of time before an accident happens. General restaurant insurance will help protect you if a customer gets sick due to poor food safety practice and many other damages done by your products and services.

Hazards on Company Grounds

Cleaning your place of business isn’t just an action you take to draw in more customers; it impacts safety, too. Keeping a clean and obstacle-free workplace and restaurant floor will minimize or remove potential dangers to customers and employees.

Conversely, having a crowded floor full of tables makes it easier for customers to bump into others, or waiters to trip over chairs and spill food or drinks. Unsafe company grounds are one liability, but the potential medical expenses are another can of worms.

Accidents happen enough on their own; don’t add more liabilities to your business because of cluttered floor plans or slippery surfaces.

Medical Payments

Not all customers or employees that suffer injuries on your premises will press charges or request payments for their medical bills. Most injuries that happen in restaurants happen to the kitchen staff in the form of cuts and burns and are taken care of with just Band-Aids or a bit of aloe vera, but that doesn’t mean these events don’t constitute a liability. You should still prepare for accidents in advance, with general liability plans that keep potential medical bills covered.


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Commercial insurance typically comes in packages that will cover many of the above scenarios, but it rarely covers alcohol. Instead, most states require that you purchase liquor liability insurance if you want to sell alcohol at your restaurant or bar. This is a must-have and should never be considered just an option.

Remember: Selling alcohol may be profitable, but it does increase your risk of liabilities. Liquor liability insurance costs are worth it and the insurance will cover most, if not all, cases that affect your business, whether the cases are about patrons who got drunk at your business and got in a car accident or about your business inadvertently selling alcohol to a minor with a fake I.D. card.

Need help figuring out what kind of insurance plans you need to keep your small restaurant or bar safe? Call Tabak Insurance Agency today. We’ll help you find the right plan that meets both your business and budget needs.

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