I love restaurants and I love helping restaurant people, owners, employees, and the related professions just to name a few. In fact, I was a restaurant manager for a period of 10 years before my 14 years as a Claims Adjuster.
It made sense when I moved from claims to being an agency owner that I would try and help restaurateurs. In starting this post I Googled, “Why do most restaurants fail in five years.” The result was this,
“According to an Ohio State University study published in 2005 about failed restaurants, 60 percent close or change ownership in the first year of business, with 80 percent closing within the first five years. There are many reasons restaurants fail, from health-related closures to consistently bad reviews.” 
The reasons in the above-referenced article circle around a failure to plan and execute. How can I help with that? First, a good insurance plan can help protect the tremendous investment every restaurant owner makes. It can also fend off some issues that come up once the doors are open.
So what are some of the important nuts and bolts that hold a restaurant policy together?
Most people think of this as the coverage for slips, trips, and falls at the restaurant. It helps with third-party bodily injury or property damage the restaurant may be held legally liable. If the produce person is bringing items in through the back door and trips and breaks his wrist because he tripped on a broken tile your General Liability policy may help.
Property Insurance typically covers business personal property due to a covered loss. A fire in a storeroom and take out dry goods in a matter of minutes. Your business personal property insurance can help ease this burden.
Protects the business in case a customer is overserved and causes bodily injury or property damage. Oregon requires coverage of $300,000 which is not enough coverage for anyone operating a restaurant or bar. See the kind of lawsuits that are generated from these situations here; https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2016/12/12/434900.htm
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
This coverage is provided for situations of wrongful termination or negligent hiring practices. If you have employees you should have this coverage.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If you are in Oregon this is required by the state to cover your employees who are injured while employed. Washington is a monopolistic state, meaning they run the insurance program through the Department of Labor and Industry.
Other things to consider are business interruption insurance, commercial criminal insurance or employee dishonesty, life insurance, and auto insurance.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing an insurance policy is the different ways it can defend a lawsuit. Sometimes the limit to the defense is inside the limits or sub-limits of the policy. This can make a dramatic difference depending on the amount and type of lawsuit you face.
Typical things to think about when opening or making changes;
- Type of building
- Square footage of location
- Percentage of alcohol and food sales
- Number of employees
- Time in industry
- Hours of Operation
- Target Clientele
- Specials offered
All of these things can impact your rate. Sometimes the bottom line can impact a decision and it is best to know this before committing to an idea.
We are here to help.
Visit us at www.lucascole.com or give me a call at 971.303.8508. If you own a restaurant I would love to sit down and see if I can help and if we might be a good fit to work together.