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Posts published in “Risk Management”

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A lesson about general liability insurance for bar owners

As people become increasingly dependent on cell phones, there is a growing demand for ways to charge their batteries, especially during a long night out. Allowing customers to charge their phones while sipping a glass of wine or downing a craft beer is one way for bar owners to build goodwill, but it also raises liability issues that could land a business in hot water. How handling customer property leads to liability When customers ask a bartender or server to charge their phone, it may seem like the best response is to simply honor the request and keep them happy. This also reduces the chances of a customer becoming angry and leaving a negative review online. But taking responsibility for customer property can be a nuisance for staff, especially on a busy night. If multiple customers ask to charge their phone, it can quickly lead to confusion behind the bar as busy bartenders try to tend to thirsty customers, while also acting as babysitters for multiple cell phones. Unfortunately, a slowdown in service may be the least of a bar owner’s worries. As soon as a customer hands a phone over to an employee, it creates a legal situation known as a bailment. The business is now acting as a bailee – meaning the bar is responsible for the customer’s property while it’s in the bartender’s possession. As a result, bar owners could be found liable if a customer’s phone is damaged or stolen while charging. Rather than expect bartenders to keep tabs on patrons’ phones, bar owners would be better off prohibiting staff from taking on the responsibility of trying to safeguard customer property. 3 ways to disconnect from customer property risks Because many business owners are unfamiliar with the concept of bailment, it can cause confusion if a customer’s phone is damaged or stolen while charging. A bar owner’s first instinct may be to file a claim on a commercial property insurance policy, since it covers business property. However, that policy only covers the bar’s property, not property that belongs to a customer. For example, if the bar…

7 risk management strategies for food businesses

Creating a profitable food business is a juggling act. You need to purchase fresh ingredients, create appetizing menu options, and know how to effectively market the business. But even if you have all the raw ingredients for success, you could potentially be only one accident away from being forced to close your doors for good. A key component of running a successful food business is preparing for the worst – from kitchen fires and food spoilage to allergic reactions and liquor liability lawsuits. That’s why it’s important for food business owners to conduct a restaurant risk analysis before even opening for business. A comprehensive risk management plan can reduce the likelihood that your food business experiences a serious accident or a liability lawsuit. In this restaurant risk management checklist we’ll offer seven strategies for reducing the chances of an incident occurring, including effective food risk management and providing training to keep employees safe. We’ll also cover some common small business insurance policies that can help mitigate your food business’s risk. 1. Train your employees Your employees are the heartbeat of your business, so protecting them from harm in the workplace should be your top priority. And since your employees handle your day-to-day operations, they can often help avert potentially disastrous situations – if they have the proper training. Employee education to consider includes: Work safety. Protect your employees by conducting regular training sessions on proper lifting and carrying techniques for heavy items. Your chef and line cooks will need appropriate equipment to store sharp knives and tools, as well as heat-protection gear, such as potholders. Also, you may consider mandating footwear and attire that minimizes risks of injuries. If an employee is injured, workers’ compensation insurance can help pay for medical expenses, as well as partial wages if time off work is needed to recover. Safety procedures. Walk your employees through your food business’s safety protocol, such as how to properly handle, store, and prepare food, and what to do in case of a fire, robbery, or other catastrophe. Customer service. Employees who interact with customers should understand how to…

Avoid future risks with a restaurant business plan

If you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship, the idea of creating a business plan for a restaurant can be daunting. It requires a lot of research and effort, but ultimately a well-thought-out business plan can not only get you approved for financing, it can also serve as a road map to your success. The more thorough and detailed the plan, the better your chances of turning your dream of owning a successful food service business into a reality. While a restaurant business plan is an important step in getting your business off the ground, it’s equally important to make sure you protect your business with the right restaurant insurance policies. Otherwise, all your hard work could literally go up in smoke if a fire breaks out and you don’t have the necessary insurance coverage. In this guide, we’ll go over seven key sections to include in a small restaurant’s business plan. We’ll also cover which insurance policies you might need before you’re ready to open your doors and serve the first customer. Section I: Executive summary The executive summary should provide an overview and serve as an introduction, concisely summarizing your restaurant business plan’s main components for the reader. Although it goes first, you may want to write it last so you don’t miss any important points you cover in the plan. Make sure your executive summary includes your: Confidentiality statement (to protect your ideas and compiled research). Identity. Concept and reasons why it will work. Projected costs. Anticipated return on investment (ROI). Remember, this is your first opportunity to make an impression on the reader – someone who may have the final say on whether or not the plan deserves financing. Hit the key talking points to entice your audience to keep reading, but don’t go into too much detail. That comes later. Section II: Company description Next, it’s time to break down the logistics of the business operations. That includes components such as: Mission statement. Describe the goals of your food service business, including your overall vision for the company. Legal structure. Indicate what the business structure will…

5 Negative (and Expensive!) Ways Health & Safety Issues Can Impact Your Business

Health and safety is not something that should be taken lightly. As an employer it’s your responsibility to maintain the working environment to ensure the wellbeing of your employees. Here are just a few ways in which bad health and safety policies can impact your business. Low productivity Health and safety regulations are there to […] The post 5 Negative (and Expensive!) Ways Health & Safety Issues Can Impact Your Business appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Prevent Human Error and Avoid Big Consequences for Your Small Business

Human errors do not seem that scary next to other cyber threats. But they are often a nasty part of successful hacking and scamming attempts that threaten businesses every day. They hide behind multiple faces, compromise data and work processes when least expected, and are often the result of stress, fatigue, and multitasking—all of which […] The post Prevent Human Error and Avoid Big Consequences for Your Small Business appeared first on SmallBizClub.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Compliance Audit

Preparing your business for an upcoming compliance audit is no easy task, and can’t be rushed if you hope to avoid stiff regulator fees. Many business managers and even accounting professionals are nonetheless having a hard time ensuring that their operations are compliant, and don’t know where to turn to for advice in a digital […] The post How to Prepare Your Business for a Compliance Audit appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Business risks with paid and unpaid internships

Internships are a rite of passage for college students and business professionals who want to gain experience and make valuable business connections. If interns are paid, the internship typically functions like an entry-level position with an expiration date. However, it can get a little trickier for companies that hire unpaid interns, since different rules apply. Are unpaid internships legal? In order to be classified as an unpaid internship, federal law requires that a position must involve strictly educational tasks that benefit the intern more than the company. This means an unpaid internship is legal – as long as the business hiring the intern follows this rule. Where companies tend to run afoul of the law is when they assign tasks to interns that are normally handled by paid employees. Fox Searchlight Pictures wound up in court for its use of unpaid interns during the filming of the movie “Black Swan.” In the case of Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, a New York federal judge ruled that two production interns should have been paid as Fox employees for their work on the Oscar-winning film. The ruling stated that the interns’ work (which involved getting lunch, filing paperwork, running errands, delivering paychecks, etc.) included tasks that displaced a paid employee. This marked the first time a “modern” internship was deemed illegal in court. Fox Searchlight Pictures appealed to a higher court, which overturned the ruling. However, the court did agree in part with the initial decision, which stipulated that unpaid internships needed to primarily benefit the intern, not the company. Federal guidelines for unpaid internships The U.S. Department of Labor has guidelines that businesses must follow in order to legally offer unpaid internships. Here’s a checklist business owners can follow to ensure that their internship program is legal: The internship is structured like a class or other educational training program, and it corresponds with the academic school year. The intern is entitled to academic credit upon completing the internship. The internship provides significant educational benefits. The intern’s work complements, not displaces, that of a paid employee. There is no promise of a…

5 Steps You Must Take to Ensure Your Employees’ Safety

As an employer, you have an obligation to your staff and employees to ensure their safety whilst they are at work. There are certain things that are out of your hands and are the responsibility of the individual but for the most part you have a duty of care towards anyone you employ. There are […] The post 5 Steps You Must Take to Ensure Your Employees’ Safety appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Beware the Dangers of Violating HIPAA: Penalties Can Be Severe

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has been the law of the land in the United States since 1996, when it was enacted to help streamline the movement of medical records from one health care provider to another as people switched jobs. In addition, HIPAA created a set of patient rights designed to […] The post Beware the Dangers of Violating HIPAA: Penalties Can Be Severe appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Insurance is Always Too Expensive—Until It’s Needed

I expect that you have a story about how insurance saved you lots of money in your past. As usual, I have a story to make your hair stand on end. But first: here’s a fact. Business insurance is one of the more poorly managed mitigation of risk in small and many medium sized corporations, […] The post Insurance is Always Too Expensive—Until It’s Needed appeared first on SmallBizClub.

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