Managing Operational Risks

commercial meat slicer Within your restaurant, there are quite a few things to think about when it comes to reducing the risk you inherently face as a manager or owner. You need to provide a safe working environment as well as prepare for the unforeseeable accidents, damages or even disasters that might impact your building or business. Protect your employees and your business by incorporating safety procedures into your daily operations, and insuring your restaurant as much as possible against potential lawsuits or damages.

Operational Safety

As a restaurant manager, you need to know the health and safety risks associated with restaurant operations. Every day, there are plenty of chances for an employee to become ill or injured on the job. From the risks of slipping and falling to the risks associated with heavy-duty cooking equipment, accidents can and do happen. A customer may accidentally become ill or injured while dining at your restaurant. It is your responsibility to make safety an integral part of your operational procedure. Follow these guidelines to reduce the safety risks your restaurant faces:

Define policy and procedures in the employee handbook. Your employee manual is a perfect tool for laying out information pertaining to your restaurant's policies and procedures on everything from safe food preparation procedures to employee conduct and even sexual harassment. The employee handbook should contain as many scenarios as possible so that the staff members know what to expect from their job, how to execute the job safely, and how to react in case of a crises situation. This is an integral part of your business and a great training tool, as well. » Learn More

Train your employees thoroughly. Train every employee in your establishment in correct and safe procedures and behaviors. Use the employee manual as well as frequent demonstrations as tools to support your training. Training is crucial to keep employees from avoiding injury and other risky behavior. » Learn More

Hold regular safety meetings. In order to keep all employees well aware of safety procedures in the restaurant, hold regular safety meetings for the entire staff. Educate staff on the potential hazards of working in the restaurant, including the dangers of slipping, falling and lifting injuries, which account for more than 40 percent of serious injuries in the restaurant. (1)

Make safety part of quarterly evaluations. When safety is integrated in the evaluation criteria for a restaurant manager's quarterly (or annual) review, the manager is more apt to take safety more seriously. Owners can reward managers for low occurrences of injuries and illnesses, or for having safety meetings regularly. This is also a good way to hold managers accountable for keeping safety a priority.

Restaurant Insurance

No matter how responsible your restaurant staff or how thorough your training systems, accidents do happen. It pays to be as prepared as possible. If you have not yet done so, be sure to speak with an insurance expert or attorney to discern how much and what kind of insurance you can afford in order to protect your restaurant against lawsuits or damages. Learn more about some of the insurance types you may want to consider in the list below:

General liability insurance. This type of insurance protects the insured business against personal injury, property damage and advertising injury, including damage from false advertising or slander. Basically, this protects you in case someone slips and falls or becomes ill after eating in your restaurant.

Personal injury. Personal injury insurances protects your restaurant against lawsuits in the event that a guest becomes injured in your restaurant.

Auto liability. This insurance covers damages by an employee driving a vehicle for the company. This is a good idea for restaurants with delivery services.

Liquor liability. This insurance protects the restaurant or bar from law suits in the event that an intoxicated person from your establishment causes damages. Most states require that any restaurant with a liquor license must carry liquor liability insurance.

Worker's compensation. Most businesses are required to provide worker's compensation insurance in the event that employees are injured on the job. » Learn more