Restaurant safety tips to help avoid liability

Dining out is an experience many people look forward to. Whether someone’s reason to visit a restaurant is to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, a promotion, or simply to get out of the house, restaurants serve meals to patrons who crave their go-to comfort grub or want to try something new. No matter the occasion or type of restaurant, patrons expect an enjoyable, safe experience. Everything from the quality of the food to the ambiance to the attitude and attentiveness of the waitstaff plays a role in a night out being a success- or not.

One major element restaurant owners and team members must pay close attention to is the safety of all guests and workers. If a legal or insurance claim is filed and there is evidence showing the restaurant violated procedures, the results can be damaging. Here are several tips restaurants must follow to avoid safety issues.

keep your kitchen in pristine condition

The kitchen staff is constantly exposed to a variety of liquids, hot grease, sharp knives, silverware, and other potentially hazardous materials. Having a clean, well-organized kitchen keeps operations running smoothly and, most importantly, keeps people safe on the job. Some steps you can take to ensure protection include:

  • Train employees to clean up spills and debris immediately. Have wet floor or broken glass signs on hand.
  • Make sure all equipment is in working order. Perform frequent maintenance checks on stoves, ovens, deep fryers, and other appliances.
  • Require employees to always wear non-slip shoes.
  • Provide cooks with cut-resistant gloves, hairnets, and other protective gear.
  • Have fire extinguishers, burn mitts, first aid kits, and plenty of hand soap available.
  • Organize fridges, freezers, cabinets, and shelves on a regular basis. Dispose of expired ingredients and make sure items are stored when not in use.
  • Prepare food correctly. Many cases of food poisoning can be prevented through proper prep and cook times. Never serve a scalding plate to a customer, even if you warn them to not touch it.

Ensure a clean dining area

Eating at a filthy table is a huge turnoff for diners. Not only is It unsightly and uncomfortable, but it can also be risky when it comes to spreading germs. Make sure you are regularly cleaning in between diners, after any spills, and before opening the next day.

  • Thoroughly wipe down tabletops, booths, and dining chairs between parties with cleaning solution and paper towels or laundered rags. Do not use the same towel or rag on different surfaces.
  • Vacuum or sweep up crumbs and mop up spills.
  • Always provide patrons with clean utensils and laundered napkins.

The dining area should also be kept dry and clutter-free to prevent slips and falls that can lead to severe injury. Some steps you can take to avoid an injury include:

  • Clean up spills as soon as they occur.
  • Make sure carpet and tiles are securely in place and snag or crack-free.
  • Keep the area well lit, even during the day.
  • Maintain proper upkeep of doorways, ramps, hallways, stairs, and other paths.

Like any type of establishment, running a restaurant requires arduous work, patience, and dedication. Rural Mutual understands that the unexpected can happen, which is why having the right business insurance to protect your well-earned assets is essential. To learn more about finding the coverage you need, contact your local agent.