How to Increase Your Restaurant’s Profitability with a Good Prevention Plan

Attention all Restaurant Owners and Managers:
Increase Your Restaurant’s Profitability with a Good Prevention Plan

Running a successful restaurant is a balancing act of hiring the right employees, keeping a consistent supply of quality, fresh food, and drawing a steady crowd of hungry customers. Aside from the obvious, there are additional items you can adjust in your operations to help increase your profits.

Review Your Fixed Expenses
It may seem that you have less control over these items, but it may be more important to your bottom line than you think. In the arena of litigation, risk management, safety, and insurance expenses, you have a lot of control and your diligence and actions can make the difference between a profitable restaurant and a bankrupt one.

Beware the Salad BarSalad bars are a liability and result in higher restaurant insurance premiums
While many customers may compliment the variety and freshness of the items in your salad bar, you should be aware that your salad bar is a huge liability. Thousands of slip and fall accidents occur every year because of salad bars and some result in lawsuits and higher insurance premiums.

Slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of accidents in restaurants and the number two cause of workers’ compensation liability claims. Most slip and fall accidents are easily preventable when proper procedures are in place.

If you don’t want a customer to take a header in your establishment and sue you for their injuries, reconsider the salad bar. If it must stay, implement strict employee procedures to monitor the area and keep the floors around it debris free and dry at all times. Install non-slip mats or surfaces. Those tomato slices may look beautiful on a plate, but when a customer slips on one and sues, you are the one who will be seeing red.

Employee Safety Training Pays For Itself

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “for every $1 spent in safety programs, businesses can save between $4 to $6 from costs associated with injuries and fatalities.”

Because the cost of your workers’ compensation rate is directly affected by the number and severity of claims, a good safety program is the first step in lowering the cost of your workers compensation premium. One out of 20 employment related injuries occur at eating and drinking establishments, and the most common injuries are cuts, burns, strains, and eye injuries.

Make sure all employees are trained in the proper safety measures of handling knives and power equipment. Make sure equipment is in good working order and properly guarded.

Save on Restaurant Insurance with Fire Prevention Measures
Restaurants have a high risk of firesThere are thousands of restaurant fires each year, and cooking equipment is the cause of half of all fires in restaurants. Restaurant fires are particularly dangerous because the number of patrons and workers who are exposed to potential fire danger.

Insurance companies are well aware of the risk fire imposes in restaurants, but did you know that you will get better rates if you comply with certain safety measures? A sprinkler system will help decrease the amount you pay for fire insurance as well as reduce damage when it’s really needed. The average loss for a fire with a sprinkler system was $6,500, compared to $18,800 for those without a automatic suppression system, according to NFPA Fire Analysis and Research.

Maintain a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule in your kitchen. Some carriers will give you credit for regular maintenance, cleaning and/or removing grease from your hoods, flues and chimneys because it helps to prevent fires.

Additionally, when considering fire safety, keep fire extinguishers charged and accessible, and make sure employees are trained how to use them.

Your Location is a Factor in Saving as Well as Making Money

Anyone who has studied business understands how important location is to the success of a business, but did you know your neighbors have an influence on your insurance premium? If your restaurant is near a business with potential hazards, such as a woodworking or chemical facility, your insurance will be higher than if you have general offices nearby. Choose your location wisely.

The Moral of the Story
Finding ways to save on your fixed expenses can help increase your bottom line. A good prevention plan that includes safety measures can not only reduce the cost of your insurance premium, it can also prevent problems and increase employee morale. Implement a good prevention plan that includes keeping your establishment clean and tidy, training employees in safety, and keeping your fire protection up to code, you are on the way to an accident-free workplace with low restaurant insurance rates!

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Invensure offers specialty insurance and safety services for restaurants.

Call (800) 331-4700 to sign up or learn more about the restaurant insurance program.

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.

Safety Training for California Restaurants

Restaurant Safety Training to Lower Workers' Compensation CostsSafety training is vitally important for restaurants. Common restaurant injuries such as cuts, burns, slip & falls, and ergonomic injuries can cause your workers’ compensation premiums to go sky high. However, if you initiate a good safety program and stick to it, you can reduce the number of injuries and keep your workers compensation premiums as low as possible.

The following materials came from the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation and The Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP). Originals are located here and may be updated in the future.

Download the Restaurant Safety Training Guide  (English)  (Spanish)
Download the Restaurant Safety Tipsheet  (English)  (Spanish)