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6 Factors That Affect the Cost of Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 17, 2023

Understanding cost factors can help you save on Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, Bethlehem, Allentown, and anywhere in PARestaurant Insurance provides protection for a variety of establishments – full-service restaurants, bars, nightclubs, pizzerias, delis, caterers, food trucks, and more. And each type of restaurant has different risks and needs, which is why Restaurant Insurance can be complicated and should be customized.

It is a necessary investment for any restaurant, but no restaurant owner or manager wants to pay higher insurance premiums than necessary. So, whether you're still developing your business plan or have been in business for generations, understanding factors that affect your insurance premium can help your restaurant's bottom line. Here are six factors that can affect the cost of your Restaurant Insurance.

  1. Type of Restaurant

Every business is assigned a classification code based on the business's industry and activities. It may come from Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) is the Workers' Compensation rating authority. Cafes, fast food restaurants, fine dining, and family-style restaurants are a few examples. The code assigned to your restaurant can affect the cost of your insurance premium.

Insurance is all about risk; therefore, the more risk you carry, the higher your insurance premiums. For example, a restaurant selling alcohol has more risk than one that doesn't. Furthermore, the volume of alcohol sales in relation to your total gross sales will also affect your premium. If a large percentage of your total gross sales is alcohol, you expose your business to more risk, and your premiums will probably be higher. Some insurance companies won't insure you if they deem the percentage of alcohol sales too high.

If your restaurant offers additional activities, such as entertainment, delivery, off-site catering, a mechanical bull, etc., you may also pay a higher premium due to the added risk.

  1. Value of Assets

Another factor affecting insurance rates is how much it will cost to replace or repair something if it is damaged. If your assets – the building, furnishings, electronics, kitchen equipment, vehicles, artwork, etc. – are higher end, your insurance premiums will be higher. So before purchasing an expensive vehicle for deliveries, you may want to consider how it will affect your insurance premiums.

  1. The Space

If you lease the space, your lease agreement will probably have specific insurance requirements. If you own the property, you may pay a higher premium for a larger space because there may be more risk and a higher value. Many insurance companies base the rate of property insurance per 100 square feet. The location of your restaurant can also affect insurance costs.

  1. Number of Employees

The number of full– and part-time employees can affect several types of insurance, such as health insurance and certain types of liability insurance. Furthermore, in Pennsylvania (and most states), employers are required to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance (WC) for their employees, so the more employees you have, the higher your WC costs.

  1. Your Restaurant's History

If you have been in business for a few years and have proven to be riskier than the average restaurant, you may pay higher Restaurant Insurance rates. On the other hand, if you've proven to be a lower risk, you should be able to lower your insurance rates. Insurance companies look at the number of years you've been in business, your loss history, and more to determine your premiums.

  1. Independent vs. Captive Insurance Agent

Many insurance companies focus on different types of insurance, so sometimes getting various types– property, liability, WC, etc. – from different carriers is the least expensive route. A captive agent only represents one insurance company. Whereas an independent agent represents several insurance companies and will check with each to ensure you pay the lowest rate for your insurance coverage.

The agents at American Insuring Group are independent agents. We'll help you get the right coverage at the lowest cost. Contact one of our agents specializing in Restaurant Insurance today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Reading PA, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Adding a New Service to Your Restaurant?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 20, 2023

When adding restaurant services contact us for cheaper insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg and anywhere in Pennsylvania.Restauranteurs are always looking for ways to attract more customers, but it's important to consider any additional risk and Restaurant Insurance needs these changes may incur. Don't assume that your general liability insurance will cover everything when you make any changes to your business. It's always best to talk to an experienced insurance agent whenever you make a change. 

Here are a few new services that may require additional insurance or higher coverage.

Delivery Service

According to SevenRooms, two in five restaurants began offering food delivery services due to pandemic-related closures in 2020. If you decide to add this service, you have two options – hire your own employees to deliver food or hire a third-party delivery service. Hiring your own drivers gives you more control over your customer's experience, but you'll need to ensure that both the driver and the vehicle are properly insured. 

Hiring a third-party delivery service reduces your control over your customers' experience but also reduces much of the liability. 

Valet Service

Valet service is one way to improve customer service and attract high-end customers, and it offers both pros and cons regarding liability. Unfortunately, parking lots are surprisingly dangerous places. Statistics show that one in five (20%) car accidents occur in parking lots and garages annually, causing more than 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths. If you can hire good drivers, they may reduce the number of accidents; however, valet drivers tend to be younger, less experienced drivers. 

As with food delivery, you can hire your own drivers, who become your employees, giving you more control over who is driving your customers' vehicles and how well they are trained. A disadvantage of this option is that your restaurant will be liable for the driver's actions. 

The second option is hiring a third-party company, which significantly lowers your risk but does take away your control of the hiring and training of drivers. Also, you would still need insurance to protect your property if a driver causes damage. 

Before adding valet service, talk to your insurance provider about what is and is not covered and if you need additional insurance policies or to increase your limits. For example, you must ensure that you have workers' compensation insurance for any new employee. Your agent may recommend adding employee dishonesty, garage liability, or garage keepers insurance. They may also recommend increasing the coverage on your commercial liability insurance. 

Outdoor Dining

If you have a great view, outdoor seating has always been a great option. When COVID hit, creating an outdoor seating area became necessary for many restaurants. According to the National Restaurant Association, 48% of family dining, 56% of casual dining, and 62% of fine dining restaurants said: "They devoted more resources to developing or expanding outdoor dining areas." 

If you add outdoor seating, ensure you are adequately covered. Most policies automatically extend coverage to outdoor seating areas within 100-1000 feet of the restaurant, but you should always verify it with your insurance agent. Plus, you may need to increase your limit, primarily if you've invested a lot of money into the outdoor seating area. 

Alcohol Service

Serving alcoholic beverages can also bring in new customers but also comes with added risks. If you decide to start serving alcohol in your restaurant, you will need liquor liability insurance, especially if your business operates in one of the thirty-five states with dram shop liability statutes. 

Thirty-five states – including Pennsylvania - have instituted dram shop liability laws that allow individuals who drunk drivers hurt to sue the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol to the drunk driver. 

Live Entertainment

Providing live entertainment, such as bands, can create a livelier atmosphere, bring in new customers, and keep them there longer, but it could increase your liability risks. For example, musicians can trip and fall. There's also probably more risk of customer injuries and property damage if people are dancing rather than simply sitting at their table. Before adding live entertainment to your restaurant, talk to your insurance agent to ensure you have enough and the proper insurance to cover these additional risks. 

Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs the Easy Way!

Any type of addition to your restaurant can increase risk and insurance premium costs, but if you work with the independent agents at American Insuring Group, we will compare multiple insurance company policies to ensure you get the lowest rate for all of your Restaurant Insurance needs.

Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Top Causes of Restaurant Fires & How to Avoid Them

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Apr 22, 2023

Avoid restaurant fires and save on restaurant insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and throughout PA

Damage and injuries caused by fires are one of the most common Restaurant Insurance claims. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are an average of 7,410 structure fires in restaurants yearly, causing an average annual loss of three deaths, 110 injuries, and $165 million in direct property damage. 

Eliminating fire hazards can help lower Restaurant Insurance and other operating costs. The first step to eliminating any hazard is identifying the most common causes.

Top Causes of Restaurant Fires

Not surprisingly, more than half of restaurant fires begin in the kitchen or cooking area, and a smaller proportion of restaurant fires originate in an exterior wall surface or other areas of the restaurant. 

According to NFPA, these are the most common causes of restaurant fires:

Cooking Equipment

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of restaurant fires, accounting for 61% of fires (three out of five), 74% of injuries, and 38% of direct property damage. Here are the most common types of equipment involved in restaurant fires:

  • 21% involved deep fryers
  • 14% involved ranges or cooktops.
  • 6% involved grills, hibachis, barbecues
  • 5% involved ovens, rotisseries
  • 5% involved portable cooking or warming equipment
  • 2% involved grease hood/duct exhaust fans

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from NFPA’s report is that a failure to clean was a factor in 22% of these fires. That means a clean kitchen can significantly reduce the risk of fires and Restaurant Insurance costs.

Furthermore, the FDNY reports that “deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year.” Hence, a focus on minimizing the hazards of commercial deep fryers - fire, burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning – is another key to reducing Restaurant Insurance costs. 

Electrical Distribution and Lighting Equipment

Worn or faulty wiring, faulty appliances, improper use of equipment, overloaded electrical outlets, or worn-out breaker boxes can cause electrical fires. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 9% of fires, 7% of injuries, and 21% of direct property damage. Wiring and related equipment accounted for 5% of these fires, followed by lamps, bulbs, or lighting (3%), and other electrical distribution or lighting equipment.

FSR magazine suggests the following steps to avoid electrical issues:

  • Regular Inspections
  • Employee Training
  • Safety Cutoff Switches
  • Awareness of Potential Hazards
  • Remembering Electricity and Water Don’t Mix
  • Not Overloading Circuits
  • Checking Extension Cords
  • Maintaining and Repairing Equipment

Heating Equipment

Heating equipment – fixed or portable space heater, water heater, etc. - was responsible for 9% of fires, 9% of injuries, and 9% of direct property damage.

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers these heating fire prevention tips:

  • Keep anything combustible – cardboard boxes, paper, plastic bottles, etc. - at least three feet from heat sources
  • Never leave space heaters unattended
  • Never plug space heaters into an extension cord
  • Keep space heaters on level, flat surfaces on the ground
  • Have a qualified service professional inspect your heating system and water heater annually
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms
  • Never use a space heater or any appliance with a damaged cord

Smoking Materials

Smoking materials – cigarettes, lighters, candles, etc. - caused 7% of fires, 4% of injuries, and 7% of direct property damage. If you allow your employees to smoke, provide a designated smoking area with ashtrays or disposal bins that are frequently checked and cleaned. 


Arson was the cause of 4% of restaurant fires, 4% of injuries, and 10% (more than heating equipment and smoking materials) of direct property damage. Tips to avoid arson include the following:

  • Ensure that all doors, windows, and skylights are secure
  • Install an alarm system
  • Check to see if landscaping can provide a hiding place
  • Keep your restaurant well-let at night
  • Train employees to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity

Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Cost - Here's How:

Sometimes, despite taking every precaution, a fire does occur. American Insuring Group can help you recover quickly by ensuring that you have the right coverage at the lowest cost. Call one of our independent restaurant insurance agents at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Fire Safety, Restaurant Safety

Restaurant Staff Training Outside the Kitchen

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Mar 28, 2023


When discussing ways to save on Restaurant Insurance, we often focus on safety in the kitchen, but accidents can happen anywhere, including the dining room. This means that all staff members should be well-trained, and effective training includes more than just safety training. Good employees are one of a business’s greatest assets and are crucial to the success of any restaurant. Labor Shortage and High Turnover

Unfortunately, the country – particularly the restaurant industry – faces a severe labor shortage. “Restaurants and diners alike are feeling the pinch from the industry’s labor shortage,” CNBC reports. “The industry is still down 750,000 jobs — roughly 6.1% of its workforce — from pre-pandemic levels as of May [2022].” 

Retaining those employees is just as challenging. “Estimates say that at the start of 2019, employee turnover rates for the food service industry were as high as 75%, meaning restaurants can expect to lose three out of four employees over the course of a year,” EHL Insights reports. “In the quick-service industry, this rate can be as high as 130-150%.” 

So it’s no surprise that many restaurant owners think, “Why bother training staff? They’re just going to leave anyway.” This attitude can be short-sighted because EHL also reports the top reasons why employees leave:

  • They feel under-appreciated
  • They don’t feel their work is meaningful
  • There’s no room for growth
  • They disagree with the management style
  • They don’t get along with their coworkers
  • They’re not empowered 

Experts report that training addresses many issues that cause employees to quit making your restaurant more appealing to recruits and reducing employee turnover. 

Benefits of Training

  •  Proper training provides many benefits:
  • Increased productivity and performance
  • Improved job skills
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • A positive company culture
  • Improved customer service standards
  • Reduced accidents and injuries
  • Lower Restaurant Insurance costs

Developing Restaurant Staff Training

The first step to EFFECTIVE training is developing a comprehensive training plan on the basics that starts with the end in mind. SHRM states, “Effective training is training that improves performance, and improved performance helps achieve business objectives. Therefore, effective training requires knowing and understanding the business objectives.” 

The University of San Diego offers ten steps to creating an employee training plan:
  1. Assess your needs and develop goals and success metrics. 
  2. Determine the type of employee training plan.
  3. Keep adult learning principles in mind.
  4. Develop learning objectives/outline. 
  5. Finalize your training plan. 
  6. Design and develop training materials.
  7. Implement training.
  8. Evaluate training. 
  9. Measure success. 
  10. Reevaluate as necessary. 

Onboarding training provides the skills new employees need to perform at their best. Ongoing training keeps employees engaged. Basic training should be consistent, so everyone is on the same page, but job-specific training (bartender, waitress, cook, etc.) is also necessary. Cross-training also helps keep a restaurant running smoothly.

So, what should your training consist of? Here are some training topics to consider:

  • What is Expected of Them – dress, calling in sick, etc.
  • Menu
  • Customer Service
  • Soft Skills or Emotional Intelligence
  • Compliance and Safety
  • Technology

Everyone learns differently. “Understanding and adapting to the different learning styles is crucial for anyone involved in any form of instruction, whether that’s teaching in a classroom, parenting, leading a Boy Scout troop or teaching Sunday School,” Cornerstone University reports. “Visual, aural, verbal (reading/writing) and kinesthetic are the most common categories that people use to define learning styles.” Using a variety of training methods can help everyone learn better. The following are some training methods to consider:

  • Video
  • Digital Platforms
  • Employee Handbook
  • Shadowing
  • Role Playing
  • Team-Building Exercises
  • Peer-to-Peer
  • Menu Tasting
  • Demonstrations

Save on Restaurant Insurance the Easy Way!

Another way to lower insurance costs is by calling American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connecting with us online. Our experienced agents help you choose the right insurance coverage for your needs. Plus, as independent agents, we will compare the cost of that coverage among competing restaurant insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest premium.

Call us today and start saving!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs

Is Your Restaurant Protected If You Are Disabled or Die?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Feb 18, 2023

Insurance for restaurant owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, York, and throughout PennsylvaniaRestaurant Insurance is designed to help protect you as an owner, your business, and your employees in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, such as an employee injury, lawsuit, kitchen fire, etc. But have you thought about how you would protect your business, employees, and family if something were to happen to you and you were no longer able to run the business?

Most small businesses – including restaurants - rely on their owner (or another key person) to keep the business running. If that person is disabled or dies, there could be severe consequences to the business, employees, and the owner's family. Here is how the right insurance can help prevent that from happening.

Personal Life Insurance

Personal life Insurance for business owners is particularly important since you may not have employee benefits such as group life insurance, a retirement account, etc. Personal life insurance for business owners helps your family survive financially if something happens to you. It covers costs such as income replacement, credit card debt, college tuition for your children, mortgage, etc.

When determining how much coverage you need, don't forget to consider any loans you took out to start or grow your business, especially if you used personal property – such as your home – as collateral. Those loan payments don't go away if you die; they become your family's responsibility.

The types of personal life insurance available are term life insurance, universal life insurance, or whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance is the most popular type of policy. Rates are usually guaranteed for a certain period of years (i.e., for a term). People typically purchase term insurance as a way of obtaining cheap life insurance coverage for their families in case they pass away unexpectedly.

Whole Life Insurance provides coverage for your entire life. This form of life insurance generally has a guaranteed premium for life that does not increase as you age. Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance, but unlike term life insurance, it builds cash value through dividends and interest.

Universal Life Insurance is a hybrid of term life insurance and whole life insurance. Typically, premiums stay level, and dividends or interest are earned on the cash value in the policy. This type of life insurance policy is usually suited for someone who wants a level premium for life but is willing to give up certain guarantees to achieve a lower insurance cost.

Buy-Sell Agreement and Life Insurance for Co-Owners

A buy-sell agreement (aka buyout agreement) is defined as "a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation if a co-owner dies or is otherwise forced to leave the business or chooses to leave the business." It's often thought of as a pre-nuptial agreement between business partners or shareholders. Most business-succession specialists and financial planners recommend adding life insurance (earmarked as money to pay for a buyout) to simplify the process.

Key Person Insurance

Entrepreneur defines Key Person Insurance as "Life insurance on a key employee, partner or proprietor on whom the continued successful operation of a business depends. The business is the beneficiary under the policy." Key people are individuals who are crucial to your business – the people whose "absence would sink the company."

This type of life insurance can help cover expenses such as business loans, the cost of replacing you (or the key person), severance for employees if the business is forced to close, and buying back the key person's shares in the company.

How to Find Affordable Insurance

The right insurance will protect all of your stakeholders - your business, employees, customers, partners, etc. – and your family if the unthinkable happens. Still, you don't want to pay more than necessary for that protection. Fortunately, American Insuring Group provides quality restaurant insurance at affordable prices. Our independent agents shop the market to find you the best insurance to meet your needs at a great price.

So give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Buy-Sell Agreement Insurance, Key Person Insurance, Life Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

7 Common Restaurant Insurance Myths That Could Cost You

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jan 21, 2023

Avoid these restaurant insurance myths and save on insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading and throughout PARestaurant Insurance can be complicated; however, the right insurance can protect you, your restaurant, and your employees. You don't want any gaps in coverage, but you also don't want to pay more than you need. Unfortunately, seven common restaurant insurance myths often cause one or both of these to happen. 

7 Common Restaurant Insurance Myths

MYTH 1: A general liability policy or umbrella policy will cover me.

FACT: General liability insurance helps protect your business "premises" from exposure (risk), such as trip and fall hazards. However, it does not protect your business if you serve too much alcohol and an injury occurs, an employee gets hurt, or your catering van is totaled. 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance offers additional coverage on liability claims on your existing insurance policies. If a claim exceeds your policy's limit, it provides a buffer or safety net. It does not provide primary liability coverage. It only goes into effect when a claim exceeds the policy's limits. 

MYTH 2: I'll be paying for coverage I don't need.

FACT: Restaurant Insurance should not be one-size-fits-all because every restaurant is unique. American Insuring Group specializes in Restaurant Insurance, so we know what questions to ask you to ensure that your risks are covered without having the insurance coverage you don't need. 

MYTH 3: I don't need Workers' Compensation Insurance.

FACT: Most states, including PA, require employers to carry WC for their employees. The PA Department of Labor & Industry states, "Workers' compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers who do not have workers' compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and to criminal prosecution by the commonwealth." This includes both full and part-time employees, even if they are family members. There are very few exceptions.

MYTH 4: You can skip commercial auto insurance.

FACT: This is true only if you or your employees NEVER use a vehicle for business. However, your personal auto insurance will probably not cover injuries or damage if a vehicle (owned by the business, you, or someone else) is being used for business purposes.

MYTH 5: Only big restaurant chains get sued.

FACT: According to the Zebra, 36% to 53% of small businesses are sued annually, and the average liability suit costs at least $54,000. Furthermore, SCORE reports, "The financial hits of litigation can be far more damaging to small businesses than to large ones, which often staff in-house legal counsel and devote a portion of their budget to legal defense."

MYTH 6: Small restaurants are safe from cyber-attacks.

FACT: Forbes reports that 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses. "If you're still in denial about the chances of your small business becoming a victim, 61% of all SMBs [small to medium-sized businesses] have reported at least one cyber-attack during the previous year," Forbes states. "Despite the staggering numbers, 91% of small businesses haven't purchased cyber liability insurance. This truly reflects how unaware and unprepared small business owners are to deal with security breaches." 

MYTH 7: Restaurant insurance is too expensive.

FACT: The right insurance policy protects your business, provides peace of mind, and can be extremely affordable. Without insurance, one significant accident or lawsuit could put your restaurant out of business, making insurance a smart investment. 

How to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

Understanding Restaurant Insurance is the best way to ensure you have the right insurance without gaps or paying for coverage you don't need. As Restaurant Insurance specialists, the American Insuring Group can help. Plus, as independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage among many insurance companies to help you get the right coverage at a great price!

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on Restaurant Insurance today.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance

How to Keep Restaurant Customers Safe and Lower Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Dec 17, 2022

Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Cost in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, York, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call Today!COVID has undoubtedly brought the importance of health and safety to the forefront of every restauranteur’s mind. The good news is that creating a safer restaurant has many benefits for restaurant owners and managers, including lower Restaurant Insurance costs. 

That’s why we often discuss tips to keep restaurant employees safe, such as proper training and appropriate PPE, in this blog. However, prioritizing customer safety is just as crucial to the health and well-being of your restaurant. A sick or injured customer can increase your Restaurant Insurance costs and affect your restaurant’s reputation and bottom line. 

Here are some important tips for keeping your customers safe and your restaurant prospering. 

Keep Your Restaurant Clean

Cleanliness in restaurants has always been important to customers. For example, consider these 2016 (pre-COVID) statistics from Jolt.

  • 66% of people are unwilling to revisit a restaurant with bad food hygiene. 
  • 75% of people are unwilling to return to a restaurant implicated in a food poisoning or hygiene incident unless it has changed ownership. 
  • 75% of consumers will not visit a restaurant with negative reviews about its cleanliness. 
  • Restaurants are the most negatively affected business by negative reviews about cleanliness, even above hotels and doctor’s offices.  

Dirty restaurants can also lead to food-borne illnesses, which can lead to lawsuits, damaged reputations, and more. Therefore, you must regularly sanitize and clean your entire restaurant, including the kitchen, dining room(s), bathrooms, and takeout station, using food-grade cleaners on surfaces that come in contact with food. 

Practice Fire Safety

Fires are one of the biggest potential disasters for restaurants. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that between 2010 and 2014, an estimated average of 7,410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, causing annual losses of three civilian deaths, 110 civilian injuries, and $165 million in direct property damage. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to the safety of your customers that you practice proper fire safety, including the following:

  • Installing fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and a fire-suppression system
  • Providing fire safety training for employees
  • Conducting regular maintenance on restaurant equipment

 Provide Adequate Training

The turnover rate for restaurant employees creates a serious challenge for restaurant owners, including proper training. However, safety training is essential to the health and well-being of your customers and your restaurant.

  “Your kitchen is only as safe as your employee who has received the least amount of training,” WebstaurantStore aptly states. “For this reason, investing time in training your employees is one of the most effective ways to make your restaurant safe.” 

Employees need to be regularly trained on the following:

  • Good hygiene, such as the importance of hand washing and where, when, and how to wash hands properly.
  • Food safety, including preventing cross-contamination and how to handle allergens.
  • How to operate restaurant equipment safely to avoid fires, food contamination caused by equipment failure, etc.
  • Fire safety, such as knowing how to put out a grease fire, using a fire extinguisher, etc.
  • General safety procedures, such as the proper use of PPE, avoiding slippery floors, etc. 

Additional Safety Tips

  • Tell employees to stay home if they aren’t feeling well to avoid the spread of Covid, colds, etc.
  • Provide safety signage where appropriate.
  • Use contact-free technology, such as touchless credit card readers and mobile ordering.
  • Set up hand-sanitizing stations 

Reduce Your Restaurant Insurance Costs the Easy Way

Keeping employees and customers safe is a crucial step to lowering insurance costs.

Working with an experienced independent insurance agent is another way to reduce insurance costs. The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, so we understand your unique challenges. We'll be sure to get you the right coverage for your business. In addition, as independent agents, we work with many different insurance companies to help you find the lowest premium for that coverage. 

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to start saving on Restaurant Insurance!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety

How Can Your Restaurant or Bar Lower Liquor Liability?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 19, 2022

Buy Liquor Liability and Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania

It’s that time of year – Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, followed quickly by St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a busy time for restaurants, and it’s also a time when Restaurant Insurance is more crucial than ever! And if you serve alcohol, Liquor Liability Insurance should be part of your insurance portfolio, especially if your business operates in one of the thirty-five states with dram shop liability statutes – such as Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

What is the Dram Shop Liability Statue?

“Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion.” 

In an attempt to prevent drunk drivers from hitting the roads, many states have increased DUI penalties, raised sales taxes on beer and liquor, and/or tried lowering the legal drinking age. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia have also instituted dram shop liability laws that allow individuals who are hurt by drunk drivers to sue the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol to the drunk driver. 

Justice Guardians describe Pennsylvania’s dram shop liquor liability as follows: “Under the state’s Liquor Code, any licensed establishment that sells alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron can be held liable for injuries caused by that patron after they leave the premises.” Those injuries can be caused by fights, falls, car accidents, etc. Justice Guardian also states, “Courts in the state [PA] have almost unanimously considered this liability to be ‘negligence per se.’ That means victims probably won’t have to prove the vendor was negligent in any way other than serving alcohol to a visibly-intoxicated patron.” 

How Can You Lower Liquor Liability?

Prepare for larger crowds

If you expect larger than normal crowds – like on Superbowl Sunday – have extra servers and bartenders working to help track alcohol consumption and consider hiring security to control unruly or intoxicated customers.

Establish a Policy Regarding Liquor Service

Have a written policy that clearly states you have zero tolerance for serving minors and directions on how and when to refuse service. You should also have an incident reporting system in place.

Be Prepared to Refuse Service

Your servers have the right to refuse alcohol to anyone who appears intoxicated. And yes, we realize that the more drinks you sell, the more you make, but is it worth the hassle of a lawsuit or a hit to your restaurant or bar’s reputation?

Card Everyone

If caught serving alcohol to minors, you will lose your liquor license, so ensure that your servers card everyone.

Train Your Staff

Staff should know and understand your liquor service policy, know how to measure alcohol correctly, so they don’t over-serve a customer, and be able to identify the signs of intoxication.

Provide Water

Medical News Today states, “When a person hydrates by drinking plenty of water, it can give their liver time to metabolize the alcohol in their body, as well as spacing out the alcoholic drinks they consume.” Therefore, providing water, even if they don’t ask, can help minimize the risk of intoxication.

Serve Food

Medical News Today also states that eating before drinking can slow the processing of alcohol, and eating while drinking may help customers drink slower. You may consider keeping pretzels or chips out for customers to snack on or offering discounted food specials.

Provide Alternative Transportation

You never want to let an intoxicated person behind the wheel of a car. At the very least, you can display the phone numbers of transportation services available or try to partner with Lyft or Uber to offer discount rides. You may even want to call a taxi for an intoxicated customer. It’s a small price to pay for the safety of your customers and the public (not to mention the cost of a lawsuit).

Purchase Liquor Liability Insurance

Suppose, despite all of your best efforts, you get sued for serving alcohol to someone who has caused damage or injury. In that case, Liquor Liability Insurance is your safety net (and may be required by your state or financial institution if you serve alcohol). Liquor Liability Insurance typically covers legal costs, settlements or judgments, repair costs, and medical bills. 

How to Save on Liquor Liability Insurance

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, so they understand your unique challenges and can help protect your business with the right insurance coverage. As independent agents, we compare rates among multiple insurance carriers to ensure you pay the lowest premium for Liquor Liability Insurance and all your commercial insurance needs.

Contact us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Liquor Liability Insurance, Restaurant Liability Insurance

9 Tips to Reduce Slip and Fall Injuries in Restaurants

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 22, 2022

Keep Restaurant Insurance Affordable by Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Reading and throughout PAInjuries within your restaurant can significantly increase the cost of Restaurant Insurance and other costs, damage your restaurant’s reputation, lower productivity, and more. Therefore, understanding and minimizing the risk of injuries is crucial to business success. One of the most significant risks restaurants encounter is falls. 

According to ISSA, “More than 3 million food service employees and over 1 million guests are injured annually as a result of restaurant slips and falls.” They also report that “slips and falls are the greatest source of general liability insurance claims within the restaurant industry.” 

You may not be able to avoid all slips and falls in your restaurant, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. 

  1. Install high-traction, slip-resistant flooring. You can confirm slip resistance with a coefficient of friction (COF) audit.
  2. Immediately clean up spills, pick items off the floor, and keep walkways clear of clutter.
  3. Use maintenance and floor cleaning products with slip-resistant characteristics compatible with your flooring surfaces. Check out the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI).
  4. Pay special attention to permanently installed features, such as carpets and mats. They need to be properly maintained and cleaned to avoid trip hazards. NFSI-certified mats are an excellent investment.
  5. Conduct and document regular hazard inspections. Regularly walk around your restaurant looking for hazards, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, and blocked or dimly lit areas. Document the hazard, when it appeared, and what you did to eliminate it. Documenting this information helps provide proof that you are serious about maintaining your property and keeping it safe for employees and customers.
  6. If you discover a hazard that can’t be fixed immediately, alert employees and visitors to the danger with warning signs.
  7. Install a surveillance system to monitor for situations that may pose a risk. Cameras can also record accidents to help expedite the resolution of any claims and minimize the risk of false claims.
  8. Train employees on established safety procedures, cleaning operations, and inspection procedures. Train workers to apply floor cleaning and maintenance products following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep records of all employee training, including individuals trained, subject matter covered, training materials, and the date of the training.
  9. Require slip-resistant shoes. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) study concluded, “The findings from this study provide evidence of the effectiveness of slip-resistant footwear and may assist employers, managers, and workers in their decision on whether to invest time and resources in a slip-resistant footwear program.” 

IIf – despite all your best efforts – an injury does occur, immediately ensure that the injured person receives appropriate medical attention, complete an incident report, and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs!

The American Insuring Group is committed to providing information about Restaurant Insurance and tips to improve safety with our weekly blog. From protecting your restaurant from cyber threats to minimizing the risk of an allergic reaction in your restaurant and from protecting your restaurant against lawsuits to creating a safe outdoor dining space your customers will love (and everything in between), we’re here to help your restaurant succeed! 

In addition, when you work with one of our Restaurant Insurance specialists, we help ensure you have the right coverage for your needs. And as independent agents, we check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest price for that coverage.

✔︎ So call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to discover how we can help lower your Restaurant Insurance costs.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Safety Programs, Restaurant Safety

10 Restaurant Safety Blogposts to Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 17, 2022

Tips to Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie and all over PennsylvaniaCreating a safe workplace helps protect your business, maintain a good reputation, and lower the cost of Restaurant Insurance and other expenses. Safety should be a priority in any industry, but perhaps more so in restaurants where many potential hazards exist - sharp knives that can cause injuries, hot fryers that can trigger fires, food that can become contaminated, etc. 

If you want your business to succeed, you must be diligent about creating and maintaining a safe restaurant. So here is – as they say – the proof in the pudding:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, there were 93,800 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in full-service restaurants, with about one-third requiring at least one day away from work.

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 7,410 structure fires per year in eating and drinking establishments between 2010 and 2014. These fires caused average annual losses of three civilian deaths, 110 civilian injuries, and $165 million in direct property damage each year.”

  • According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Furthermore, between 2006 and 2007, about 66% of foodborne disease outbreaks reported were associated with restaurants. 

How Does a Safe Workplace Benefit Your Restaurant?

Creating a safe restaurant protects and benefits everyone - your restaurant, employees, customers, and the community.

Here are a few of the benefits to your restaurant:

  • Improves your bottom line. Experts report that safety and health management systems reduce injury and illness costs by 20-40%, and employers can save $4-6 for every dollar they spend on safety and health programs. Plus, of course, fewer claims mean lower WC premiums.
  • Increases productivity. Fewer injuries lead to lower absenteeism and turnover and higher employee morale.
  • Saves time. It takes time to repair or replace damaged equipment, hire and train new employees, etc. 

Employees also benefit from a safe workplace with less pain and suffering, less stress, and better quality of life for themselves and their families. Finally, safe workplaces benefit your community by creating attractive employment opportunities and restaurants people want to frequent. 

How to Create a Safer Restaurant

There are plenty of things you can do to create a safer restaurant, and American Insuring Group is here to help! Here are ten blogs devoted to restaurant safety. Check out these and more blogs about safety and Restaurant Insurance.

  1. 8 Restaurant Safety Tips to Lower Insurance Costs

  2. How to Prevent Fires in Restaurants

  3. A Clean Kitchen Can Reduce Restaurant Insurance Costs

  4. 5 Tips to Minimize the Hazards of Commercial Deep Fryers

  5. 6 Knife Safety Tips for Restaurant Owners

  6. Minimize Food Delivery Risks for Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

  7. PPE to Lower Insurance and Other Operating Costs in Restaurants

  8. 3 Food Safety Tips to Reduce Risk and Insurance Costs

  9. Slip-Resistant Shoes Help Lower Restaurant Insurance Costs

  10. Food Allergies and Restaurant Liability Insurance

The Fastest Way to Lower Your Restaurant Insurance Costs

Call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online to discover how our independent agents can help you lower your Restaurant Insurance costs. They compare costs among many competing providers to help you get quality coverage at the best price. Call today.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Restaurant Safety, Restaurant Insurance Costs