OSHA Compliance & Safety Checklists for Restaurants

It is exciting to announce that we have completed our restaurant safety and OSHA compliance checklists and are now offering this program to our clients.

Safety Checklist for California Restaurant Insurance ProgramWe don’t just quote insurance and this is proof. What we provide is a valuable service that is beyond what other local insurance brokers do.

Just last week we did an OSHA compliance review with one of our restaurant owners and found violations that would have cost him $11,800 in fines if an inspector came in. We helped him correct the errors and helped him save $11,800.

Not only did we save him the amount of money a fine would cost him, we also helped reduce his workers’ compensation rates by doing the service as well. Invensure offers a complete, holistic approach to risk management that is more than just insurance.

Not only does Invensure provide the right protection for when somethings, we also help to prevent problems and reduce your overall cost of risk.

If you have questions about how we can help with your restaurant safety and insurance in Southern California, call (800) 331-4700.

Why Food Product Liability Insurance Coverage Will Save Your Food Business from Bankruptcy

If you want to protect your food business from the financial damage of a lawsuit, food product liability insurance is essential. Food can easily spoil or become contaminated at many points through its life cycle. From being contaminated at the farm where it grows (as in recent e. coli outbreaks), to its storage, transportation, manufacture, and preparation there are multiple points of contact where a problem can occur.

Food Product Liability Insurance Can Save Your Business if You are Sued

You can use all the care in the world in your process, but if food you receive is contaminated with bacteria, you could be held liable if someone gets sick.

Even when food safety and hygiene is a priority in the operations of your business, there is always a chance for an error that can expose you to a lawsuit. Even if you do everything right, you could receive a shipment of contaminated food and pass on that on to a consumer, in which case you may be liable, even if you did nothing wrong.

Common bacteria that cause foodborn illness are e. coli, listeria, mad cow disease, and salmonella. If the food is not refrigerated or processed properly, the end product can cause illness or even death to those who consume it.

Food labeling is also another serious issue that can lead to lawsuits if it is not done properly. Not only can the food company be sued for improper labeling or mislabeling, the organizations using those food products can be liable for lawsuits as well.

Many people suffer from food allergies, and can become seriously ill or even die if they eat the wrong thing. Common food allergies include: peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, lactose, and wheat gluten. If food is not labeled properly, such as “processed in a plant that contains peanuts,” a lawsuit can ensue.

If a food manufacturer, farm, or restaurant causes a consumer to become ill, they can be sued and be held liable. The cost of legal defense is extremely high, and monetary rewards or settlements out of court can be astronomical. Food product liability insurance will cover costs of a lawsuit, and protect the financial well being of the company sued.

Invensure has experts on staff that can help you determine what amount of coverage you need. We have been serving Southern California for over 35 years, and have agents who work exclusively with restaurants, food manufacturers, and distributors.

Call today to learn more. (800) 331-4700

California Restaurant Fined $239,000 in Wage Theft Violations

A restaurant in San Francisco had to pay 14 employees more than $239,000 for wage theft violations, according to the California Labor Commissioner.

According to California law, employees who work more than eight hours in a day are required to be paid 1.5 times their normal pay rate for the first four hours over eight, and double time after 12 hours in a day. An employee who works more than 40 hours in a week is entitled to receive 1.5 times their normal pay rate for any hours over 40.

However, in the case of the Big Lantern restaurant, employees did not receive overtime pay and some salaried employees did not even receive minimum wage after working overtime, according to attorney David Balter.

Underpaying workers is a large problem in the restaurant industry, and the labor commissioner is getting tougher on restaurants in general. To protect yourself as a restaurant owner, you should get Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

If you are in Southern California, call the restaurant specialists at Invensure to learn more: (949) 756-4100.

Increase in California Restaurant Wage & Hour Violation Citations

Why has there been a recent increase in wage and hour violations for California restaurants?

“It’s a commitment to being more proactive, more aggressive, conducting more meaningful in depth investigations, and having deputies spend more time in the field and getting wages back in workers’ pockets.

“It’s also about letting the good employers who are following the law know that we are there to protect them,” said According to California Labor Commissioner, Julie Su.

Su says most investigations start when workers complain. This may lead to an investigation where the restaurant is visited, employees are interviewed, the restaurant is audited and payroll records are inspected thoroughly.

In many cases, workers receive a payout. If you own a restaurant, it’s a good idea to review the wage and hour laws to make sure you are in compliance. Next, employment practices liability insurance can help protect you financially in the event of a lawsuit.

If you have a restaurant in Southern California and would like to know more about employment practices liability insurance, call the restaurant insurance experts at Invensure, (949) 756-4100.

Restaurant Business Insurance: A Basic Outline of Coverage

Restaurant business insurance is so specific that you could be leaving yourself liable for thousands of dollars in damage if you do not work with an agent who specializes in insuring restaurants. Many owners are either too busy or unfamiliar with insurance they do not know how important this is.

Recently, we handled a case where a restaurant owner got his business insurance through a family friend. In an effort to save the owner money, the agent dropped a few vital coverages during the renewal. There were two incidents when the owner had to contact the insurance company because of a loss. Imagine the owner’s surprise when he found out that he was not covered and had to shell out over $100,000!

Restaurant Business Insurance: Most important, work with a specialist!
We cannot stress enough how important it is to work with a qualified agent who is experienced in working with restaurants. Call (949) 756-4100 and ask for our restaurant business insurance specialist.

In the meantime, here is some helpful information about restaurant business insurance. This is by no means a complete list and there are many exceptions and nuances to the brief descriptions supplied below. Your restaurant business insurance specialist can help advise what limits you need and which coverages apply to your restaurant specifically.

Insurance Specific to Restaurants and Food
Several types of insurance coverages are made specifically for the food industry. Depending on the type of restaurant you have and the volume you sell, your insurance agent will help you get the appropriate coverage:

  • Food Product Liability – Protects you in the event that your food causes injury to the user.
  • Food Spoilage Coverage – Covers you in the event that your refrigeration equipment breaks down and you lose your food as a result.
  • Food Contamination Coverage – Covers you in the event of food poisoning or communicable diseases transmitted by an employee.
  • Food Product Recall Coverage – If you sell food products and they are recalled, your expenses are covered.
  • Equipment Breakdown Coverage – If your pizza oven (for example) goes on the fritz and you lose business as a result, this is how you are covered for your loss. Similar to:
  • Business Interruption Coverage

Only a qualified agent can help you determine exactly which policies you need to help protect your business.

Insurance for the Restaurant Building
Like other business insurance policies, you will need insurance coverage for your property.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Even if you only have one employee, in California you are required to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

Valet Coverage – If your restaurant has a valet service, this protects the customers.

Liquor Liability – An absolute necessity if you serve alcohol.

Bailee Coverage – Protects your customers’ property.

Cyber Crime Insurance – If your restaurant offers online ordering with credit card transactions or payment by smartphone, you would need this.

Crime Insurance – To protect yourself from employee theft, among others.

Non-owned & Hired Auto – Do you have delivery drivers? If so this coverage will protect your business in the event they cause an accident on the job.

Employment Liability Practices Insurance (EPLI)
In California, about 60% of restaurant owners face employee lawsuits. California has complicated wage and hour laws and the hours that restaurant employees work is unpredictable and hard to control. Restaurant owners need this coverage to protect themselves financially in the event of a lawsuit.

Only Work with a Restaurant Business Insurance Specialist
You want someone who thoroughly understands the restaurant business. Make sure you only work with an agent who has years of experience in your industry.

Invensure specializes restaurant business insurance for Southern California. Call us if you have any questions or if you would like a no-obligation quote.

Call (800) 331-4700

How Much Does Restaurant Insurance Cost? Restaurant Business Insurance

When new restaurant owners start out, they are always concerned about the cost of business insurance for their restaurant. You may be asking the question, how much does restaurant insurance cost?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Every business is different and so is every restaurant. Insurance is as individual as the business it covers, and only a qualified agent who specializes in restaurant insurance can give you an actual number after they have thoroughly reviewed the operation.

There are many factors that go into the cost of restaurant insurance. To list a few:

1. What are the annual gross receipts?
2. Is alcohol served on the premises?
3. Does the restaurant offer delivery services?
4. What about catering?
5. How large is the building and how is it constructed?
6. Does the restaurant own or lease the building?
7. What type of food is being served?
8. Are there special cooking methods that could be a risk factor, such as table top cooking?
9. Has the restaurant had any claims?
10. How many employees work there?
11. How long has the restaurant been in business?
12. What kind of risk management and safety programs are in place?

These are just a few items that determine the cost of your restaurant insurance. If you would like an accurate quote, please call our restaurant insurance specialists at (949) 756-4100.

Invensure is located in Orange County, CA and insures restaurants in Southern California.

Restaurant Business Insurance

Restaurant business insurance is a lot like insurance for other businesses with the addition of coverages that are specific to the food industry. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any old insurance agent can help you get the right policy. As a restaurant owner or manager, you should only work with an agent who specializes in restaurant insurance. That way you can be confident that you have the right coverage to protect you financially.

A common problem in the food industry is that restaurant owners go through an insurance broker (or agent) who does not have any food industry experience. They use a friend of the family or some other broker and wind up in a mess of trouble when something goes wrong.

Recently, there was a case where a restaurant owner allowed a general business insurance agent look into policies for them. When it was time to renew, the agent promised them low rates, and managed to lower the premium. The restaurant owner was happy about this until two loss events occurred. When these losses happened and the owner went to the insurance company, it turns out the restaurant was not covered because the agent had dropped the coverages on renewal! An agent with restaurant would have never dropped these coverages, which ended up costing the owner over $100,000!

A few basic things you should know about California Restaurant Business Insurance:

Employment Liability Practices Insurance
In California, about 60% of restaurant owners will face employee lawsuits this year. In the restaurant industry, the hours that wait staff works can be irregular and unpredictable. California has tough wage and hour laws and new rules make them even more confusing. Restaurant owners need Employment Practices Liability Insurance to protect themselves financially against employee lawsuits.

Food Specific Insurance Coverages
Several types of insurance coverages are made specifically for the food industry. Depending on the type of restaurant you have and the volume you sell, your insurance agent will help you get the appropriate coverage:

  • Food Product Liability
  • Food Spoilage Coverage
  • Food Contamination Coverage
  • Food Product Recall Coverage

A qualified agent can help you determine exactly which policies you need to help protect your business.

Insurance for the Restaurant Building and Equipment
Like other business insurance policies, you will need insurance coverage for your building and equipment, as well as

California Workers’ Compensation Insurance
All employers in California are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Other Types of Business Insurance
Business interruption coverage, valet coverage, auto, liquor liability, bailee coverage, and cyber crime insurance policies are just a few of the other products available. Work with your agent to determine which insurance you need for your business.
In sum, speak to an expert who works with restaurants in California for their insurance. You want someone who knows your industry inside and out who can help you best protect your business.

Invensure specializes in insuring restaurants in Southern California. Restaurant business insurance experts are available.
Call (800) 331-4700

Restaurant Safety Tips to Lower your Workers’ Compensation Premiums

There are certain types of injuries that are common to restaurants and the food industry. If someone is injured and Workers’ Compensation Insurance handles the claim, the cost of your premium may go up.

In order to keep your Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums as low as possible, it is a good idea to develop a safety plan for your restaurant and train all employees in safe practices.

Here are some common injuries in restaurants and what you can do to prevent them.

Preventing slips, trips, and falls.

  • Mop up spills right away
  • Clean up dropped ice immediately
  • Put caution signs on wet floors
  • Put non-slip matting in areas that are constantly wet
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes

Rushing around in a busy restaurant can lead to avoidable accidents.

  • Slow down when you are entering swinging doors
  • Be extra careful around blind corners
  • Windows in doors, carefully placed mirrors, and a system to announce “coming in” or “coming out” can prevent unnecessary collisions
  • Keep walkways clear at all times
  • Don’t carry too many items that may block your view.

Burns are very common in the restaurant business.

  • Carry hot plates with trays, hot pads, or dry cloths
  • Provide safety training for hot beverage machines and other heated equipment

Cuts from sharp objects can be prevented.

  • Clean up broken dishes with a broom immediately. Do not use your hands
  • Be careful while washing dishes, there may be broken glassware or knives hidden beneath objects
  • Train employees to NEVER leave knives or broken glasses in the sink

Strains and sprains can be prevented by following some ergonomic advice and never overloading yourself.

  • Making multiple trips instead of carrying everything at one time
  • Carry heavy loads at waist height
  • Carry full coffee pots and pitchers with two hands
  • Hold heavy objects close to your body a with straight wrists
  • Don’t reach too far. Walk around the table to serve and keep commonly used items off the top shelf
  • Use neutral posture and vary your positions and tasks frequently.
  • Stretch and briefly rest every 15-20 minutes

Preventing violence in the workplace.

  • Learn how to handle customers and complaints calmly
  • Keep the cash register closed
  • Limit cash in the restaurant
  • Keep back doors closed and locked at all times
  • Develop and train employees in a safety action plan for robberies or violence

By implementing a good safety program, you can lower your Workers’ Compensation rates. If you have any questions, speak to an industry insurance specialist at (949) 756-4100.

California Restaurant Insurance

Restaurant Insurance in California can be a bit tricky. California has many laws to protect employees and strict OSHA regulations. In order to reduce your liability and protect yourself, as a restaurant owner, from financial disaster, you must purchase the right insurance for your restaurant.

A common problem in the restaurant industry is that owners use a friend of the family or their personal insurance broker to get them insurance. However, someone who does not specialize in insuring restaurants in California would not know the specific risks that restaurants face.

A few things to know about California Restaurant Insurance:

Employment Liability Practices Insurance
In California, 6 out of 10 restaurants have faced employee lawsuits. Because of the nature of the restaurant industry, it is difficult to control the hours that wait staff works. They may work overtime if the restaurant is busy, or may not take their meal period within the first 5 hours that they work (as what is stated by California law).

Many of the recent lawsuits have to do with overtime pay and the new “Wage Theft Protection” act that passed recently. In order to protect yourself from employee lawsuits, it is imperative that you get Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

Food Specific Coverages
In a restaurant, you feed the general public. There have been cases where food is contaminated and causes illness. A restaurant must have insurance that will protect them in the event that the food they serve causes people to become sick.

There are several types of coverages that apply directly to food safety. Depending on the type of business you have, they type of food you serve, and the volume of food you produce, one or more of these coverages can help protect you.

Product Liability, Food Spoilage Coverage, Food Contamination Coverage, and Food Recall are all coverages to consider for your restaurant business. A qualified agent can help you determine exactly what coverages can help protect your business.

Insurance for the Restaurant Building and Equipment
Restaurants in California have specific risks that are different from other kinds of businesses. It is possible that there can be a flood inside of the restaurant because of a water main or sewer break.

Leaks in the walls or a fire can damage adjoining businesses. If the building burns down and zoning in the area has changed, you could face additional challenges when rebuilding.

Restaurants have expensive equipment and a loss of power can result in all the food in the cooler or freezer spoiling. If a pizza oven breaks down and a business is unable to serve food for several days because of it, you could stand to lose a lot of business. Did you know there is coverage for that?

In sum, speak to an expert who works with restaurants in California for their insurance. You want someone who knows your industry inside and out who can help you best protect your business.

Invensure specializes in insuring restaurants in Southern California. Speak to an industry expert at (800) 331-4700.

Food Liability Insurance. What is it and why do you need it?

When you are producing food for the public, it doesn’t matter if you serve it in a restaurant, a café, or plan to sell it in stores or at a farmers’ market. If someone gets sick from the food you make, you could be liable for the cost of their medical expenses, or worse, if you get sued on a mass scale by a number of individuals who became ill.

To protect yourself, food product liability insurance is a must. There are several different forms of this type of insurance including product liability insurance, food contamination coverage, and food recall coverage, to name a few. These forms of coverage would be in addition to your regular liability or umbrella insurance policies.

Even if you do not have your own restaurant, kitchen, or bakery, and are producing food in a facility that you rent, most commercial kitchens will require you to have insurance. Also, if you are manufacturing food for distribution, most major retailers will require that you have suitable insurance before they will make a deal with you. Farmers’ markets generally require vendor liability insurance.

Food liability insurance is relatively inexpensive, and will vary depending on the type of food you are producing and how you plan to distribute it. For example, most baked goods and items that do not require refrigeration are generally considered lower risk. On the other hand, food products that are considered specialty health products (gluten-free, organic, etc.) can be a higher risk.

In general, the cost of your insurance will be related to the risk you are assuming and will be affected by the following factors:

• the amount of products you sell or supply
• quality control and safety measures in the manufacturing process
• where the manufacturing is located
• type of product and the specific market for that product
• your insurance history and any loss claims

Food product liability is a complex subject and you should only work with an expert who has a lot of experience in the food industry. A common mistake made by food producers is to try and find the insurance they need for themselves, or worse yet, use a friend who has little experience insuring for the food industry.

Invensure has a complete program for the food industry in Southern California. Call (800) 331-4700 and ask for Vicki, the food industry specialist.