Should Restaurants Have Coverage for Food Spoilage and Burns?
By Pekin Insurance · May 8, 2019 ·3 min read
You’re smart. You know the answer to the question asked in the blog title.
It’s “yes.” Restaurants should have coverage for food spoilage and burns.
Find more answers below, including tips for reducing food spoilage, fires, and burns at your restaurant.
- Prevention Tips (Not a Sales Pitch)
- The 75% Turnover Rate
- Burn Prevention and Orientation
- Money Makes Safety Meetings More Exciting
- Burns Lead to Fires, and Fires Lead to Losses
- Coverage Recommendations for Burns and Fires
- 5 Quick Food Spoilage Tips
- Coverage Recommendations for Food Spoilage
- Why You Should Work With an Independent Agent
1. Prevention Tips (Not a Sales Pitch)
Restaurant owners hear pitches from sunup to sundown.
Companies flood your inbox offering "revolutionary" point-of-sale software. Your liquor rep swears a new brew will bring in customers.
If you’re lucky, a vendor will send you a nice bottle of wine on your birthday.
We’d rather share our knowledge than sell to you. Before we dive into the reasons for having coverage, we want to help you prevent burns and food spoilage at your restaurant.
2. The 75% Turnover Rate
You’ve worked with brilliant chefs. These culinary superheroes could create mouth-watering meals out of SPAM,® spaghetti, and soy beans.
Even when you find a cooking genius, you shouldn’t let them walk all over your rules. Everyone from the new server to the head chef should follow the same safety guidelines.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the restaurant industry turnover rate was nearly 75% in 2018. Accidents happen when new and veteran employees don't have safety processes to follow.
This could be why the food service industry claims more documented burns than any other line of work.
3. Burn Prevention and Orientation
Burns come from many sources, including:
- Equipment that hasn’t been properly maintained.
- Hot plates.
- Steam from opening pans.
- Stoves, grills, ovens, and other hot surfaces.
- Splattering oil and grease.
When you onboard employees, show them where you store the following safety equipment:
- Fire extinguishers (you should have more than one).
- First aid kit.
- Freezer gloves.
- Oven mitts.
- Wet floor signs.
During the orientation, share these tips for avoiding burns:
- Don’t hurry when draining pasta or pouring liquids.
- Keep your distance from hot liquids, including water and grease.
- Never touch the stovetop with your bare hands.
- Stand back from a hot pan when you remove the lid.
- When pans are on the stove, tilt the handles inward.
- Always use oven mitts.
Give your employees instructions for using fire extinguishers and putting out grease fires, too!
4. Money Makes Safety Meetings More Exciting
Post your rules in a highly visible place for everyone to see. If you want to sweeten the pot, offer employees a small bonus for every accident-free month.
This gives your staff a reason to celebrate. If an accident happens, review prevention tips and rules in safety meetings.
5. Burns Lead to Fires, and Fires Lead to Losses
It's tough to succeed in the restaurant world and even harder to recover from a fire. Here’s a quick example to show what we mean.
Grease splatters on a cook’s hand. She turns her back to the stove and doesn’t notice the flames growing.
In restaurants with poor safety training, employees won’t know what to do or where to find fire extinguishers.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking causes about 30% of nonresidential building fires. The average restaurant fire leads to a $23,000 loss.
That’s why a fire suppression system is a great investment!
Here’s how a fire suppression system works:
- It connects to two places: the gas line and the hood above your cooking station.
- The gas line shuts off when the system is activated.
- The hood contains a ventilation system with nozzles that shoot a fire suppressant.
- The hood will also suck up smoke from the fire.
6. Coverage Recommendations for Burns and Fires
Fast-paced restaurant work can lead to mental slips and accidents.
Workers compensation insurance helps you take care of an employee’s medical bills and lost wages in the event of an accident. This coverage goes a long way in curbing potential lawsuits.
Business property insurance helps protect your building and business personal property, along with loss of income and damage from covered losses.
7. 5 Quick Food Spoilage Prevention Tips
Food in the trash is money in the trash, and you don’t like throwing away profits.
These best practices will help you cut down on food spoilage in your restaurant.
Limit Your Menu
If you have a large menu, you keep more ingredients on-hand. Experiment with rotating menus, and create dishes from seasonal ingredients.
Don’t add items to your menu just because customers ask for them.
Check Every Vendor Order
Everyone makes mistakes. However, if you pay for 20 bell peppers and get 19 moldy peppers on delivery, ask for replacements at no cost to you.
Label and Date Everything
You don’t have to do this yourself, but your restaurant staff should label and date ingredients so everyone knows which ones to use first.
Use Controlled Storage
Use containers with air-tight seals.
Store Meat Low in the Fridge
If you put meat higher up in the fridge, its juices could drip on other food and contaminate it. That’s why you should store meat in a low spot with no other ingredients beneath it.
Coverage Recommendations for Food Spoilage
Store meat in a low spot with no other ingredients beneath it. When you put meat higher up in the fridge, its juices could drip on other food and contaminate it.
Why You Want to Work With an Independent Agent
Our independent agents are businesspeople, too. They serve restaurant owners like you and create coverage plans to fit your needs.
Your Pekin Insurance agent will find coverage to help protect your restaurant’s profitability.
Contact your local, licensed agent today!