You may be running a restaurant that trades on the mysterious and exotic flavours of the Far East, but when it comes to insurance, your business is likely to be as vulnerable as any other to a whole range of risks encountered by those in the catering industry.
What are some of those risks and how might insurance help protect you and your restaurant business against them?
- as the restaurant owner, UK law holds that you owe a duty of care not only towards your customers, but also towards ordinary members of the public that may interact in some way with your business;
- what this means in practice is that if anyone – a customer or a member of the public – suffers an injury or has their property lost or damaged in any way that might be related to your business, you may be held liable;
- if you are subsequently judged to be liable, you may then be ordered to pay compensation to the injured party or parties;
- the possible scenarios for any such injury, loss or damage are probably too numerous to mention, but your liability for restitution may amount to many thousands, not to say hundreds of thousands, of pounds;
- indemnity against such public liability claims, therefore, is a typical, core component of Chinese restaurant insurance;
- where you have a duty of care towards members of the public, that duty increases many times over when it comes to your responsibilities and obligations towards your staff;
- indeed, the law of England and Wales holds – in all but a few rare exceptions – that you need to hold employers liability insurance in respect of any staff you employ;
- this is designed to ensure that you are able to meet any claims made by your employees with respect to injuries, illness or other loss or damage suffered during their employment in your restaurant;
- on occasion, the effects of any such illness or injury may not become apparent until many years after the employee’s service;
- it is by no means unusual, therefore, for your restaurant insurance to include employers liability cover for up to £10 million;
- whilst public liability and employers liability cover are likely to be among your major areas of concern, you may also want to consider financial protection against your liability for the foods you serve;
- product liability insurance, therefore, may be a further element of cover offered by insurance plans for Chinese restaurants.
Whether safeguarding your general responsibilities towards customers and members of the public, your employees, or the food that you serve, therefore, suitable insurance may make the difference between your restaurant business being able to weather a temporary storm and surviving well into the future.