Restaurants often operate on thin profit margins, balancing between food costs and pricing to attract customers. In the event that a restaurant suffers an unfortunate incident such as a fire or a robbery, there's a good chance that the restaurant will be barely hovering above bankruptcy.
That’s where insurance comes in. Insurance is a means of financial protection where money for compensation is drawn from a pool of funds from other insured entities. The rates that you pay for your policy can be affected by many variables including: fire prevention measures, hygiene, inclusion of deep fryers, and emergency exits. The higher the premium means the higher the risk, so lowering risk in your restaurant could massively decrease premiums. Keeping up with government regulations and codes would increase the overall safety of your business and make it seem more appealing to insurers.
If your restaurant has large cooking surfaces that presents significant risk in the event of a fire, a fixed fire suppression system is required. Examples include oil fryers, griddles, range tops, and more. The suppression system must meet UL300 standards as set by the Alberta fire code. Requirements include semi annual inspections, inclusion of a manual activation switch, and ability to shut off all fuel lines. Having the proper fire extinguisher type located at a proper location is important as well. K class extinguishers are specifically made for putting out grease and oil fires, as such they are commonly found in restaurants. They work by using alkaline substances to absorb vapours. They are to be within 9.1 meters of hazards and staff must know how to operate them.
If your restaurant has an oil fryer, make sure the staff is properly trained on how to use it and how to handle it. Hot oil is dangerous as modern fryers keep it just below their ignition temperature. Safety precautions such as placing a non-slip mat below the fryer and placing partitions in between it and other cooking surfaces can reduce chances of injuries. Regular cleaning and maintenance will go a long way of keeping you, your business and your staff safe.
Hygiene and cleanliness
Proper hygiene protocol should be followed in the kitchen to avoid cross contamination and spreading of foodborne illnesses. Having different cutting boards and aprons for different ingredients should be standard practice. Uniforms and tablecloths should be cleaned after every use. There should be separate preparation areas and freezers for different ingredients, like produce and meats, cooked and raw. Proper tools should be provided to staff for preparing the food and for cleaning. An example would be having knives sharpened on a regular basis and providing mops to staff. Fume removal hoods are to be cleaned on a regular basis by certified professionals. Schedules can depend on the volume of customers and appliances used, ranging from monthly to yearly. Appliances, utensils, bathrooms and floors should all be cleaned daily. Trash should be taken out and worn out items should be replaced. Operating at peak efficiency requires the right tools and proper hygiene. .
Keeping up with safety measures like illuminating emergency signs and dedicated emergency exits can go a long way. If the signs are powered by radioactive isotopes like tritium, they should be checked for their half life date and replaced if broken. Electronically powered signs should have their backup batteries checked for their charge and connections freed of residue.
Property and Liability Insurance
Running a restaurant safely and efficiently requires lots of work. Mistakes are not an option when you are handling sensitive ingredients. Insurance can help mitigate the repercussions in the event of an unforeseen accident. Property insurance and liability insurance can both help to reduce the harm done.
Property insurance will cover claims involving property damage. It will cover incidents from a wide range of causes, including fires, lightning and theft. Liability insurance will cover claims involving third parties. It too can cover a wide range of accidents, from bodily harm to reputation damage. When you are operating on a thin profit margin, insurance can mean the difference between closing permanently to staying open for the next generation.
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