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Liquor Liability Insurance: Not just for Restaurants

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 04, 2018

Do You Need Liquor Liability Insurance?It will soon be that time of year when many businesses will offer their employees a chance to celebrate the season with a holiday party. At some of these parties, alcohol will be served, and, as we all know, too much alcohol can make people do crazy things!

But how much is too much alcohol?

The answer to that question is entirely different if you’re talking about a 110-pound woman who hasn’t eaten all day and a 210-pound man who has been eating from the buffet for hours.

Be Careful - You Can Be Held Liable

What happens if one of your employees drinks too much and gets into a car accident on the way home? What if a vendor who stopped by your party drinks too much and breaks a leg falling down your steps? What if one of your managers drinks too much and gets into a physical altercation with a colleague?

The truth is that your business could be held liable or responsible because you served him or her too much alcohol. That means that you might have to pay for damages to your employee’s car and the car he hit, plus any injuries. That means that you may have to pay for your vendor’s medical expenses. And it means you could be sued for any injuries sustained in the altercation. That's where liquor liability insurance comes in, but more about that later.

Dram Shop Laws Also Apply to Private Events

Pennsylvania is one of 43 states that have Dram Shop Laws. That law states that any business or individual that serves alcohol in any form – wine, beer, spirits - to a visibly intoxicated person is legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the serving of alcoholic beverages. This law applies to not only businesses like bars and restaurants that are in the business of selling alcohol, but also to businesses that provide alcohol at private events. It can also apply to a business giving alcoholic beverages as gifts to clients, vendors, or employees.

Liquor Liability Insurance 

The good news is that there is a way to protect your business: Liquor Liability Insurance. This insurance won’t keep you from getting sued, but it will help cover the cost of your legal defense and any settlements you may be required to pay if you are sued. 

Host Liquor Liability Insurance

While businesses with a liquor license are required to have Liquor Liability Insurance as part of their restaurant insurance coverage, Host Liquor Liability Insurance protects businesses that don't manufacture, serve, or sell alcohol from liquor-related lawsuits. It helps protect companies that host social events where alcohol is served, and it is often included in your Commercial General Liability policy. 

Host Liquor Liability coverage under your general liability policy may not cover you if you are negligent in any way such as serving alcohol to a minor or violating ordinances and regulations related to the distribution of alcohol.

How to Reduce Liability Exposure

You can also reduce your liability exposure by either not allowing alcohol at business events or if alcohol is allowed, practicing responsible behaviors. Here are a few tips to reduce your liability exposure:

  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages
  • Serve food
  • Consider hosting your party at a venue – like a restaurant or bar – that has a liquor license
  • Hire a professional bartender who can recognize the signs of intoxication
  • Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who shouldn’t drive
  • Stop serving alcohol well before the time the party is scheduled to end
  • DO NOT charge employees for alcoholic beverages because then you are technically in the business of selling alcohol and all the implications that go with it.

 

Get the Right Insurance Protection - Contact Us Today

Buy Liquor Liability InsuranceIf you decide to serve alcohol at your next business function, check your commercial general liability policy to make sure that it provides coverage for liquor liability.

To protect your business from liability, give the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. You'll get great insurance protection at a great price. Contact us today to get started.

Tags: Liquor Liability Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance

6 Knife Safety Tips for Restaurant Owners

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 07, 2018

Follow these knife safety tips to lower your restaurant insurance costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lehigh Valley, PA and beyond.One of the best ways to reduce restaurant insurance costs is to improve workplace safety – especially in the kitchen.

Since cuts and lacerations are one of the most common injuries found in restaurant kitchens, it just makes sense to enforce knife-handling safety. It could take a considerable chunk out of your insurance costs and create a healthier and more productive work environment to boot!

Here are Six Knife-Handling Safety Tips:

1 - Always Use a Sharp Knife

Keeping your knives sharp is one of the easiest ways to make them safer. A dull knife forces you to apply more force, which is more likely to cause a slip and increase the risk of injury. Use a sharpening stone or knife sharpener to maintain the original sharpness of the blade.

Most knife blades are designed with a 20-degree angle on each side. If many of the ingredients you’re cutting are harder, this is perfect, but if most of your ingredients are softer, you may want to sharpen your knife to a 15-degree angle on both sides. 

2 - Use the Right Knife

Knives come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. You have your chef’s knife, your paring knife, your bread knife, your cleaver, etc. Each is made for a different type of task. When choosing the best knife for a job, consider the size of the blade and what you are cutting and the type of blade edge – serrated, etc. Here’s an in-depth guide for choosing the best knife for the job.

And remember to treat your knives well. They are not made for opening cans or boxes; they are made to cut food. Using them for other tasks can quickly damage your blade making it dull and unsafe.

3 - Know How to Cut With a Knife

Always use a cutting board to protect your hands and your knives and to allow you to cut consistently. Knowing how to grip the knife and how to hold the food you’re cutting is also important. There are two basic ways to hold a knife – the handle grip and the blade grip. The food you’re cutting should be placed on a cutting board on a stable, flat surface. Protect your fingertips by curling them inward, using your knuckles to guide your knife.

4 - Be Alert

Commercial kitchens can be hectic places, but pay attention to what you’re doing when you’re holding a sharp knife. Even a moment’s distraction can cause an accident and an injury.

5 - Store Knifes Correctly

Every knife should have a specific storage space – NOT in a drawer – where it is kept when not in use. A knife block or roll will not only help protect your employees but also keep knives easily accessible and protected, so they will last longer. Don’t leave knives laying on the counter between uses. They can easily get knocked off and cause an injury.

6 - Keep Knives Clean

Do not leave your knife on a cutting board or in a sink full of soapy water. Immediately washing your knife and returning it to its designated storage space will help keep your employees safe and prevent contamination keeping your customers safe.

Safety Training Pays in More Ways Than One! 

It’s essential that restaurant employees are adequately trained on knife safety and that you make it clear to everyone that safety is a priority in your restaurant. So remember to follow these knife safety tips to protect your employees, reduce accidents, and lower your restaurant insurance costs.

Save On Restaurant Insurance - Contact Us Today! 

Your Trusted Choice Independent Restaurant Insurance AgentsAnother way to take a bite out of restaurant insurance costs is to work with an independent insurance agency like American Insuring Group.

Not only do we have agents who specialize in restaurant insurance who make sure that you get the right insurance for your individual needs, but we are also insurance brokers, so we compare costs among many competing insurance companies to find you the best price for that insurance!

High quality insurance protection for your restaurant at a great price - now that's a real win-win for your business! So give American Insuring Group a call at (610) 775-3848 or (800) 947-1270 to speak with one of our restaurant insurance specialists, or contact us online.

Tags: Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs, Restaurant Insurance

Safer Kitchens = Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs. Here's How.

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 09, 2018

For more information on steps you can take to lower your PA restaurant insurance costs in Philadelphia, Berks County, Lancaster, Allentown and beyond, contact us.Restaurant kitchens are notorious for having open flames, sharp equipment, fast-paced work environments, tight spaces, and many other safety risks.

If you can make your restaurant a safer place for your employees, you'll create happier and more productive employees and lower your restaurant insurance costs at the same time. It's that simple.

But, as we know, simple doesn't always mean easy! 

Here are Five Steps Restaurant Owners Can Take to Improve Safety and Lower Insurance Costs

#1 - Teach Restaurant Safety Procedures

Unfortunately, restaurants often experience high employee turnover so too often new employee training consists of "here's what we serve" and "here's where we keep X, Y, and Z." Just a few minutes of safety training can go a long way to a safer restaurant and fewer injuries, and the more extensive the training, the better results you'll see. New employees should be taught basic food safety practices, common hazards (falls, burns, cuts, etc.) and how to avoid them, and how to safely operate equipment.

#2 - Operate Restaurant Equipment Safely

It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to operating restaurant equipment safely. General guidelines for equipment safety include the following:

  • Make sure equipment is turned off before plugging it in or starting it
  • Use safety guards where appropriate
  • Check for frayed cords and loose parts before use
  • Plug appliances directly into an outlet
  • Keep equipment clean between uses

#3 - Practice Fire Prevention

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are approximately 7,410 structure fires in restaurants every year resulting in about three deaths, 110 injuries, and $165 million in property damage. Cooking equipment caused three out of five of those fires. Deep fryers were involved in 21% of those fires and ranges or cooktops were involved in 14% of those fires.

Failure to clean was a factor in 22% of the fires. That's worth repeating… failure to clean was a factor in nearly one-quarter of those fires. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to avoid many fires in a kitchen is to keep your equipment clean. You also want to make sure that kitchen staff stays attentive to cooking dishes. This is where proper safety training comes in.

Employees should know how to put out a grease fire, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how to turn off gas and electrical power in the event of an emergency. An evacuation plan should be posted, and all employees should be familiar with it.

Here are other fire safety guidelines:
• Have multiple fire extinguishers at your restaurant (not just in the kitchen)
• Have exit signs and emergency lights installed
• Install fire suppression systems

#4 - Know the Most Common Injuries in Restaurants

Common injuries in restaurants include burns, cuts and punctures, sprains and strains, and eye injuries. All employees should be trained on how to avoid these injuries and what to do if they occur.

#5 - Provide Safety Equipment

Create a safe working environment with slip-resistant mats, wet floor signs, exhaust fans, thermostats, fire extinguishers, fire and smoke detectors.

Where appropriate provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and require that they are worn. Examples of PPE include dishwashing gloves, cut-resistant gloves, freezer gloves, oven mitts, aprons, anti-slip shoes, and back support belts.

Creating a safe environment in your restaurant isn't just good for your employees, your customers, and your vendors, it's also good for your bottom line!

Here’s How to Save Even More on Restaurant Insurance

If you want to learn more about saving money on restaurant insurance, give one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

Not only does American Insuring Group specialize in commercial insurance to ensure that your business is adequately protected, but we also compare pricing with competing insurance companies to make sure you get the best price.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs, Restaurant Safety

Restaurant Workers Comp Insurance: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 12, 2018

Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes from national fast-food chains to family-run diners with a single location. A safe restaurant can lower your workers compensation insurance costs in Allentown, Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond. it’s a mixed bag.

On one hand, the cost of workers comp insurance for servers, cashiers, busboys, dishwashers, and management is lower than average for all occupations. On the other hand, the cost for WC insurance for cooks is above average. 

Most Workers Comp Insurance Claims are Small

Thankfully, most injuries that occur within a restaurant are relatively minor. This translates to lower medical benefits costs, lower temporary total indemnity benefits costs, and infrequent permanent partial disability benefits.

The restaurant industry has a high turnover rate, which often means that safety training is limited, which can lead to more injuries.

Returning to Work

Getting employees back to work quickly and safety after a workplace injury is always a priority of a good workers compensation program. With the restaurant industry, the bad news is that the high number of employees who speak English as a second language can make placement in alternative duty positions challenging; the good news is that there are plenty of modified duties available. Here are just a few examples:

  • A waiter or waitress can fill in as host or hostess.
  • Some injured employees can do side work like setting up the tables or filling water glasses, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup bottles., etc.
  • A dishwasher can ask another employee to carry heavy tubs of dirty dishes so he or she can wash them.

How to Lower Your Workers Compensation Insurance Costs

Workers compensation insurance rates often come down to safety. More injuries mean higher workers comp costs, and of course fewer injuries mean lower insurance costs. It may not be easy, but it is worth it. For every one dollar spent on safety programs, businesses can save $4 to $6 from costs associated with injuries and fatalities, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Here are a few tips to help reduce the number of injuries at your restaurant:

  • Create a safety program for your restaurant and provide safety and first aid training

  • Require that all injuries – no matter how small - be reported so you can identify patterns or potential problems before something big happens

  • Offer employees incentives such as safety awards and other prizes for employees who follow your safety program.

Common Restaurant Injuries

In and out of the kitchen, injuries from falls and disability from repetitive motion injuries occur more frequently in restaurants than in most industries. While most injuries are minor, severe injuries, can and do occur in restaurants, especially in the kitchen. Here are three of the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens according to QSR magazine:

Burns

More than 5,000 restaurant fires are reported in the U.S. every year resulting in about 100 injuries, about $116 million in property damage, and fewer than five deaths. It’s no surprise that FEMA reports cooking as the leading cause of restaurant fires accounting for 64 percent of all restaurant fires. Other causes include unintentional careless actions (4 percent), appliances (4 percent), and other heat (3 percent). Deep-fat fryers are the top cause of burns in restaurant kitchens, according to OSHA.

The National Restaurant Association recommends these burn prevention tips:

  • Use trays, hot pads, oven mitts, or dry waiter’s cloths to help carry and serve hot dishes.

  • Be careful when removing plates from heat lamps and heat strips to avoid contact with hot surfaces.

  • With deep-fat fryers, use the correct grease level, cook at the manufacturers recommended temperatures, and don’t over fill fryer baskets.

  • Because oil and water don’t mix make sure that fryer and fryer baskets are dry after washing and don’t allow excess ice crystals from frozen foods to get into the cooking oil.

  • Keep grill and stove surfaces clean to prevent grease flare-ups.

  • Use proper cooking tools such as tongs to prevent contact with hot surfaces and foods.

Lacerations and Puncture Wounds

Most cooks have had their share of scrapes and small cuts, but serious lacerations and even amputated fingers can happen. Your kitchen staff should be trained on how to use knives properly and sharp tools should always be returned to their proper location when workers are done using them. A knife left on a counter could easily fall on someone’s foot causing injury. When a laceration or puncture wound does occur, immediately treat and disinfect the wound to help prevent infection.

Sprains and Strains

Restaurant workers can suffer from strains if they’re using improper lifting techniques, and reaching for hard-to-reach items can cause injury.

Misplaced or hard-to-reach items can cause worker injury due to overreaching or trips. Restaurant workers can also suffer from strains due to improper lifting. When these injuries occur, analgesic heat rubs, muscle ointments, and aspirin can help reduce pain and maintain productivity.

 

Get a Free Workers Compensation Insurance Quote and Start Saving!

For a free workers comp insurance quote for your restaurant or other business, call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

Our dedicated independent agents will carefully shop the market, leaving no stone unturned to help you find great protection at the best price!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs, Business Insurance

3 Restaurant Insurance Tips to Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jul 08, 2018

Restaurant Insurance Tips and advice for restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster PA and more.As a restaurant owner, you know there are certain types of restaurant insurance that you need to protect your business.

What if a customer is injured on your property and sues you? How will you repair the damages if there’s a fire in your kitchen? There are so many “what-ifs” in any business, especially if you’re in the food industry.

While you may have perfected your Béarnaise sauce and learned how to create a soufflé that stands tall, what do you really know about insurance? How well do you know each type of insurance and how much coverage you need? Let’s face it; insurance can be complicated!

That’s why your best bet is to work with an independent insurance broker who specializes in restaurant insurance and can help ensure that you have the right coverage at the best price.

 

Here are 3 Things to Consider Before Signing on the Dotted Line

#1. Assess your Risks and Insurance Needs

Play the “what if” game to determine what kind of risks your business may be susceptible to and then consider what assets are essential to running your business – the ones you can’t do business without. An underwriter from your insurance company will determine the level of risk it is willing to take and how much coverage it is ready to provide to determine your insurance premiums.

However, it’s still good to know what protection you need. And things change – maybe your business is growing, or you sold a piece of equipment – so you’ll want to have a yearly insurance checkup with your insurance agent to make sure you still have the right coverage to protect your business.

#2. Realize that Cheaper May Not Be Better

It’s true that you don’t want to pay more for insurance than you have to, but if you purchase the cheapest insurance, and it doesn’t cover you when something happens, that isn’t protecting your business. 

Many restaurant owners increase the deductible to save money on their premiums. That’s often a good idea, but make sure you have enough available cash to cover that deductible if something happens. Before raising that deductible, ask yourself, what financial resources do I have available and what level of risk am I willing to take.

The best way to save money is to work with a broker who can get you the best price on the coverage you need by comparing prices from several insurance agencies.

#3. Understand What You’re Signing Before You Sign

Insurance policies can be complicated, but it’s essential that you understand the terms of your policy and the exact coverage that it provides. Make sure that you understand the exclusions and look for gaps where additional coverages may be needed.

For example, if you have a liquor license, general liability usually doesn’t cover that, but liquor liability insurance does. Talk to your insurance broker and ask questions - that’s what we’re here for.

Remember, the purpose of business insurance is to protect your business. To make sure that you’re covered if you get sued or if there’s a fire in your kitchen, or if any number of unforeseen incidents occur. You want to be certain that an accident cannot put you out of business.
 

Get Help. Contact the Restaurant Insurance Specialists!

Get the best restaurant insurance at an affordable price. Serving Philadelphia, Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, Allegheny County and more.Don't go it alone. Give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

We specialize in quality restaurant insurance at affordable pricing, and provide prompt service not only when you’re purchasing your insurance, but also if you have a claim.

We have access to multiple insurance companies and will shop and compare both coverage and cost to ensure that you have the right insurance to protect your business at the best possible price.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance, Business Insurance

Restaurant Insurance and Food Truck Safety

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jun 10, 2018

Food truck safety tips to lower your restaurant commercial insurance in Allentown, Reading, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Food Trucks may have started as a big-city phenomenon, but their numbers are growing in big and small towns alike. While the restaurant industry continues to grow at a steady rate of approximately 2% each year, food trucks have increased at a rate of 7.9% annually over the past five years, according to FoodTruckr.com. In 2017, food trucks were a $2 million industry.

Much of the appeal may be the relatively low start-up and operating costs. But as with any business, food trucks come with their share of risks. The right type of restaurant insurance can help protect your investment if something happens. Taking proactive steps to avoid that “dreaded something” from happening can save lots of time, money, and headaches, and avoid increased restaurant insurance premiums as well.

Here are three food truck risks you should consider and tips to help you mitigate them:

Damage to Your Vehicle

Your food truck is your livelihood, and if something were to happen to it – like a fire or auto accident – that puts your vehicle out of commission for any length of time, your business could be in jeopardy. Here are some tips to avoid damage to your food truck:

  • Vet your employees.
    We know you have a lot of things to consider when hiring someone new, but if they will be driving your truck, it’s essential to check their driving record. If they’ve had multiple accidents or speeding tickets, the chances of them damaging your truck in an accident are probably higher. Plus, employees with bad driving records could cost you more on commercial auto insurance.

  • Drive Safely.
    While your food truck is in motion, there’s always the possibility of an accident. However, there are safety measures that you can take and that you can share with your employees such as being an alert driver, maintaining your truck, Keeping enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you, etc. Mobile-Cuisine offers these food truck driving safety Tips.

Injury to an Employee

There are a lot of dangers in the food industry that also apply to food trucks like falling, burns, cuts, etc. Your employees can be your biggest asset and your biggest liability. Practicing safety in the kitchen can help save you money on Workers’ Compensation and liability costs, and it’s just good business. Here are tips to create a safe kitchen for your food truck:

  • Create and enforce a safety plan.
    This is a big one. It can be time-consuming, but it is well worth your time if it can avoid causing injury to employees or customers.

  • Train your employees.
    Creating a safety plan and then simply letting it sit in a drawer gathering dust is a waste of time and money. Make sure your employees understand and follow the safety procedures you’ve put in place. Make it clear that safety is a priority and hat your safety plan isn’t just a formality, but something that every employee is expected to follow.

  • Create a safe environment.
    Try to eliminate potential hazards by keeping floors clean and uncluttered, providing personal protective equipment when appropriate, properly maintaining kitchen equipment, and following manufacturers’ instructions.

                 

Injury or Illness of a Customer

In this litigious society that we live in, every business owner needs to be aware of liability risks. If a customer standing in lines trips, falls, and hurts themselves, they could sue you. If they suffer from a food-related illness after eating your food, they could sue you. Liability insurance is a must, but here are some steps to limit injury and illness to your customers:

  • To avoid food-related illnesses, follow food handling and safety measures such as storing food correctly, following proper cooking procedures, preventing cross-contamination, and practicing proper handwashing techniques.

  • Ensure that the area around your truck is clear of hazards such as slippery surfaces, cords, etc., and clearly mark any potential hazards you may not be able to control.

Get the Best Commercial Insurance for Your Restaurant Business 

Being proactive is important, but sometimes no matter how careful you are, accidents still happen. This is where the right insurance can help protect your business.

The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in all types of Commercial Insurance. Their independence means they are free to shop the market to get you the best deal on insurance that's right for your business.  

So call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online.

 

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Food Truck Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Restaurant Insurance & the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 24, 2018

Restaurant Insurance and HACCP guidelines. Affordable restaurant insurance for Berks County, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Lancaster County, Allegheny County, PA and beyond.Every year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and over half of all reported foodborne illnesses are attributed to foodservice. 

In addition to the human cost (sickness, medical costs, lost work), a foodborne-illness outbreak at your restaurant can cost thousands of dollars and sometimes the loss of your business. It can cause negative media exposure, damage your reputation, decrease sales, affect staff morale, create lawsuits, and increase your restaurant insurance premiums.

Every food product that you serve has gone through several levels of the supply chain, and there are hazards at every level that can cause sickness or injury. Fortunately, these hazards can be reduced, prevented, and even eliminated.

Managing Food Safety via the HACCP System

Smart restaurant owners do what they can to reduce foodborne hazards, and there are many food safety management plans available. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is one of the most widely used system, and it is endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods and the Codex Alimentarius as the best process control system available today. The FDA says, “HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising to preparing food for consumption.”

The History of HACCP and Food Safety

HACCP was introduced in the 1960s to produce the safest and highest quality food possible for astronauts in the space program. The HACCP Alliance defines the HACCP system as “a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent the hazards from occurring. By strictly monitoring and controlling each step of the process, there is less chance for hazards to occur.”

A Proactive Approach to Food Safety

One of the advantages of HACCP is that it prevents food safety hazards rather than reacting to food safety hazards; it prioritizes and controls potential hazards. And it can be customized to your restaurant’s menu, customers, equipment, processes, and operations.

Compliance May not be Mandatory, but it's Really Smart!

Most restaurants are not required to have an HACCP plan, but it is one of the best systems available to ensure the safety of the food within your restaurant, and, as a big bonus, it is likely to help reduce your restaurant insurance premiums by lowering the number of insurance claims submitted.

 

Seven Principles of HACCP

HACCP is based on seven principles, according to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological criteria for foods. Here they are:

Principle 1: Conduct a Hazard Analysis

Identify food safety hazards - any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption - and take preventative measures to control these hazards.

Principle 2: Determine Critical Control Points

A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in the manufacturing or preparation of food where a control can be applied to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard.

Principle 3: Establish Critical Limits

A critical limit is a maximum/minimum level to which a biological, chemical, or physical factor must be raised/reduced to in order to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard

Principle 4: Establish Monitoring Procedures

Monitoring is a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification.

Principle 5: Establish Corrective Actions

Ideal circumstances do not always prevail and deviations from established processes may occur requiring corrective actions.

Principle 6: Verify That the System Works

Once an HACCP is in place, make sure the system is operating according to plan and delivering the desired results.

Principle 7: Keep Accurate Records and Documentation

Restaurant owners should maintain the following records: a summary of the hazard analysis - including the rationale for determining hazards and control measures - and the HACCP Plan - including a brief summary of the position responsible for performing the activity and the procedures and frequency.

Contact Us for Better Restaurant Insurance at a Better Price! 

Get a better deal on Restaurant Insurance - Contact American Insuring Group in Berks County, PAAn HACCP plan is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the food that you serve and to protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.

The right restaurant insurance is a safety net that protects you in the event that all of your precautions aren’t enough.

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, and best of all, they're independent. That means we are free to shop the market to get a plan that matches your needs with a great price!

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to see how we can help you save on your bar, nightclub, food truck, or any other type of restaurant insurance.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance, Food Truck Insurance

Bar Insurance 101:  Alcohol and Liability

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Apr 15, 2018

Alcohol impairs judgment, and impaired judgment can lead to damage, injuries and even death. In Pennsylvania, if you serve alcohol to a person who causes damage, injury, or death, you may be held liable. And in addition to the costs related to damage and injuries, you may also find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Are You Protected in a Potential Lawsuit Against Your Restaurant Business?

 

Are you properly covered with the right insurance to protect your restaurant, bar or club against a lawsuit?

One nasty lawsuit can significantly affect your bottom line or even put you out of business. While you may not be able to control all of your customers’ actions, there are steps you can take to protect your business such as knowing the laws in your state, knowing how to identify when someone is drunk, and having Liquor Liability Insurance as part of your restaurant insurance policy.

Learn more about restaurant insurance

 

Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law

Pennsylvania is one of 43 states that has a Dram Shop Law, which means that a business or individual who serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person is legally responsible for any injury or damage that person might cause. 

Restaurants, bars, clubs, taverns, or any other business that serves alcohol – whether it’s beer, wine, or spirits could end up paying the bill for damages done by an intoxicated customer.

That means that if you serve alcohol to someone who is “visibly intoxicated” and they get into a fight at your bar, one or both parties can sue you. If you serve someone who is “visibly intoxicated” and they fall and hurt themselves on the way to their car, they can hold you responsible for their injuries. If you serve alcohol to someone who is “visibly intoxicated,” and they cause an accident driving home, you may be held responsible for damage and injury to all parties involved.

The Law Applies to Private Events as Well

Dram Shop law applies not only to businesses that serve alcohol, like bars and restaurants but also to private events and can apply to someone committing other liquor violations, such as serving alcohol after hours or to minors.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Of course, your best bet is just not to serve “visibly intoxicated” customers and avoid the damage or injury before it happens. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

In Pennsylvania, driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal, but according to the NHTSA, “… even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. In 2016, there were 2,017 people killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels (BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL).” 

AlcoMeters Breathalyzer offers this chart to help estimate how many drinks will impair a person’s judgment. But remember, everyone absorbs and metabolizes alcohol at different rates. Things like weight, sex, medication and even what a person eats can affect their BAC, so the chart is just an estimate. Sometimes you need to use your best judgment.

Here are seven signs that a person may be intoxicated:

  1. Slurred speech
  2. Glassy or bloodshot eyes
  3. Change in behavior
  4. Difficulty finishing a thought or sentence
  5. Stumbling or falling
  6. Impaired fine-motor skills (such as trouble opening their wallet and paying for a drink)
  7. Slow reaction time

Even if you identify someone who is drunk, it isn’t always easy to cut them off. Here are some tips:

  • Tell someone else like a manager or another bartender if you’re cutting someone off.
  • Enlist help from the customers’ friends.
  • Calmly explain your policies and don’t be confrontational.
  • Trust your judgment and stick to your decision.
  • Offer to call them a taxi.
  • If they become belligerent, call security or the police.

But, as you know, all best-laid plans can go awry, and that’s where Liquor Liability can become a safety net.

What is Liquor Liability Insurance?

Liquor Liability Insurance helps protect companies that manufacture, sell, or serve alcohol. It covers damages caused as the result of selling, serving, or furnishing alcoholic beverages and the cost of defending against any lawsuits filed by the intoxicated customer and/or their victim.

It’s important to note that your Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance may not cover when alcohol is involved. Plus, some banks require Liquor Liability Insurance and many states insist on it if you have a liquor license. In Pennsylvania, the Liquor Control Board requires current liquor liability coverage for $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.

Don't Risk It 

Without Liquor Liability Coverage, you could find yourself responsible for damage and injury costs, legal fees, and civil damages that can ruin your reputation, will most certainly hurt your bottom line, and could potentially put you out of business.


Take No Chances - Get the Right Coverage at a Great Price 

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance. We can help you get the right insurance to protect your business.

Our independent agents are free to shop the entire insurance market among many competing insurance providers. That means savings for you! Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to start saving.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance

Teen Employee Safety and Workers Comp Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 18, 2018

It pays to be aware of the workers compensation insurance risks of hiring teen restaurant employees. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancater, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Doesn’t it seem like kids grow up too fast these days? It’s easy to forget that as mature and as smart as they may seem, teenagers still lack the experience an adult has. And if you own a restaurant, there’s an excellent chance that you employ a few teenagers, which could impact your restaurant workers comp insurance costs if your accident rate increases.  

48% of all working teenagers (ages 15-17) in the U.S. work in the “leisure and hospitality” industry, which includes restaurants and other food service jobs.

This group of employees is particularly vulnerable to workplace injuries. Each year more than 210,000 teens are injured on the job, 70,000 are hospitalized, and 70 are killed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The injury rate for workers under the age of 25 is about two times higher than for older workers, and based on emergency room data, 38% of teens who are injured on the job are working in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Restaurant Industry Insurance Risks

Every workplace has its share of hazards, and restaurants are certainly no exception. Some of the most common dangers in the food industry include slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, and sharp objects like knives and slicers. Often teens are injured because they don’t receive adequate safety training and supervision or they’re working with unsafe equipment, or stressful conditions.

Most workplace injuries are preventable, and many of the same safety measures you take with your more mature employees also apply to teenagers. Proper training and supervision should be your first priorities. 

Reduce Risk With These Teen Safety Meaures 

Here are some safety measures for teens from the Texas Department of Insurance:

  • Train them on the importance of safety and on the manufacturer’s instructions for machine use and cleaning.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment and available machine guarding and enforce the use of that equipment.

When teens operate a microwave oven:

  • Train them on microwave safety, such as 1) following manufacturer’s instructions, 2) covering foods to avoid splattering, 3) opening tightly covered containers away from their face, 4) preventing the use of metals, foil, or whole eggs in a microwave, and 5) keeping the interior clean to avoid splattering and popping.
  • Place the microwave at approximately waist level and within easy reach.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment such as hot pads.
  • Make sure door seals are in excellent condition and free from food or grease buildup.

When teens use steamers/pressure cookers:

  • Train them to shut off the steam supply and wait for the pressure to equalize before opening the lid of the pressure cooker and to stand to the side and open the pressure cooker away from themselves, keeping the open lid between them and the pressure cooker.

When teens use coffee makers:

  • Train them to check to make sure the coffee filter is in place before making coffee and that the coffee has stopped dripping before removing the filter.
  • Place hot coffee makers away from the edge of counters.

 

Comply With Child Labor Regulations

Also, you should be aware of child labor rules and regulations set by the Department of Labor and your state. There are restrictions on the hours a teen can work and restrictions that prohibit teens from using or cleaning specific equipment. Once you know the rules and regulations that apply to teens, take steps to implement safe work practices, such as labeling the equipment that teenagers are not permitted to use.

It’s your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all of your employees, particularly teens who are more vulnerable to workplace injuries, and avoiding workplace injuries can increase production, improve employee morale, and lower insurance premiums.

Protect Your Business - Contact American Insuring Group

To learn more about saving on workers compensation insurance, restaurant insurance, or any type of coverage for your business, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. Our independent insurance agents are sure to find you the right insurance at the best price. Don't take chances with your business - contact us today.

 

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, Teen Insurance

4 Questions to Ask About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 28, 2018

4 Restaurant Insurance Questions Ypu Should Know. Buy Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Every industry comes with its own unique set of issues and concerns when it comes to insurance; the food industry is no exception. And of course, each individual restaurant is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to restaurant insurance.

When choosing the best insurance for your business, you need to look at what coverages are required by law and possibly by your lender, and what your risks and needs are.

Here are four questions you need to ask yourself if you want to protect your restaurant:

#1. What type of business are you insuring? 

We use the broad term “restaurant insurance,” but that can mean many different types of “restaurants”: bars, nightclubs, pizzerias, caterers, food trucks, full-service restaurants and the list goes on. Each type of business comes with its own unique risks.

#2. What are the primary types of restaurant insurance that most restaurants are required to have? 

There are three types of property and casualty insurance that every restaurant owner needs to consider: property, commercial general liability (CGL), and workers’ compensation.

Property insurance will protect the things you own such as the building, equipment, etc. The right property insurance will help you replace or repair your property if it is damaged due to a fire, storm, or theft. It may even include business interruption insurance. If you sustain damage to your restaurant that requires you to suspend operations for a period of time, business interruption insurance covers your loss of income (the profits you would have made had your restaurant been open) while the damage is repaired. 

Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) protects you from liability claims against your restaurant for property damage and bodily injury. For example, if someone in your restaurant falls and sustains injuries, they may decide to sue you. CGL insurance will help cover legal costs and any judgments or settlements against you.

Workers’ compensation insurance (WC) is mandatory in most states for most businesses with employees. WC pays for an employee’s lost wages and medical costs if they’re injured on the job. It can also help protect your business against accident-related lawsuits from your employees. 

#3. What are other risks I need to consider?

Once you have an idea what the basic types of insurance will and will not cover, you need to consider other risks that could affect your restaurant. Here are just a few examples. If you use a car to deliver food, you need to have commercial auto insurance. If you serve liquor, you should have liquor liability insurance. An experienced commercial insurance agency like American Insuring Group will help you consider all of your risks and determine which coverage is best for you.

#4. What other factors affect the cost of my insurance?

Every insurance policy is unique. An underwriter will ask lots of questions and conduct some of their own research before providing an insurance quote. Here are some of the factors insurance companies consider when determining the cost of your premium:

  • Years in business
  • Location
  • Hours of operation
  • Size of business including the number of employees, sales volume, and square footage of your property.
  • Loss history
  • Types of activities like entertainment, mechanical bulls, and off-premise catering.
  • Percentage of alcohol sales

It’s probably no surprise that a nightclub with live entertainment that serves light fair (but mostly alcohol) and stays open until 2 am is going to pay more for insurance than a pizza parlor that doesn’t serve alcohol and is only open until 10 pm.

Obtaining the Right Insurance Policy Requires Expertise - Don't Risk It!

Purchasing the best insurance for your restaurant – one that covers all your risks at a reasonable rate – is not a simple process. It takes an experienced insurance agent to ask the right questions and offer the best solutions. That’s just one reason why trying to buy restaurant insurance online is usually not your best options.

It’s also important to note that there isn’t just one insurance company that can offer all types of restaurant insurance at the best price.

Get The American Insuring Group Advantage!

Call us to save on restaurant in Pennsylvania and surrounding statesIndependent insurance agencies like American Insuring Group represent many different insurance companies (in our case, lots and lots of companies!), so we can find you the best rate for any type of restaurant insurance you need.

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online for a free insurance review!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Nightclub Insurance, Bar Insurance