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COVID is 鈥淪erving Up鈥 Changes to Restaurant Insurance Needs

Nov 4, 2021

Faced with the harsh reality of closing their doors completely or making drastic changes to their business strategy, restaurant owners and operators in 2020. Many of these changes introduce potential coverage gaps that insurance agents and brokers should be aware of, as they work alongside their restaurant clients to update or draft new policies.听

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Like most business owners, restaurateurs didn鈥檛 anticipate a global pandemic when they were first shopping for insurance. They were, understandably, caught off guard when they learned their existing coverage, in most circumstances, wouldn鈥檛 accept resulting from situations related to pandemics and viruses.听

This unwelcome surprise has caused many restaurant owners and operators to take a more engaged role in understanding the ins and outs of their insurance policies. Given the number of operational and practical adjustments restaurants made to survive the pandemic, they鈥檒l benefit from additional guidance from their insurance providers to avoid any potential coverage gaps in the future.听

Changes in Operations Mean Changes to Existing Policies听

Restaurants rethinking and changing their daily operations may deal with a list of new insurance听 coverage considerations. Below are some of the most common changes we鈥檙e seeing that can create coverage gaps in their existing policies and need to be reviewed by an insurance professional.听

1. Introducing or Expanding Takeout Options

Restaurants quickly ramped up their takeout options when the pandemic hit. By January 2021, a staggering 90% of US restaurants . Some restaurants chose to pivot away from in-person dining completely, opting to join the growing trend of 鈥鈥浓赌拦别蝉迟补耻谤补苍迟蝉 only offering carry-out or delivery. To support this new emphasis on take-out, restaurants employed tactics such as expanding or adapting their menus, setting up new workflows, or putting in place new ways of placing orders鈥攁ll of which may require upgrades or additions to equipment or facilities.

2. Setting Up Online Ordering

The growing demand for takeout caused many restaurants to adopt new tools to place orders online, rather than over the phone. Online ordering platforms鈥攍ike ChowNow, Bento, and Grubhub鈥 at the start of the pandemic. Processing orders online means restaurants are dealing with customer data鈥攏ames, addresses, payment information鈥攊n different ways. The need for Cyber Liability protection has always been present for restaurant operations, but the changing business environment provides a great opportunity for agents to discuss this important coverage with their clients.

3. Offering Alcohol To-Go听

Many states temporarily allowed restaurants and bars to offer alcohol with delivery or take-out orders, and for some states鈥攕uch as Florida and Texas鈥攖his is the new legal norm. Offering pre-mixed drinks to-go can introduce major liability concerns, and each state regulates the sale of alcohol a little differently. 听听

4. Providing Delivery Options听

Over 80% of restaurants now . Some restaurants decided to outsource their delivery to services like UberEats and DoorDash. But often those services take a substantial cut of the order sale, prompting restaurants to consider handling deliveries themselves. Insurance needs change dramatically with employees driving their personal vehicles and even commercially owned vehicles.听听

5. Opening or Expanding Outdoor Dining听

Many restaurant patrons feel safer eating in the open air and restaurants have accommodated the growing demand by creating outdoor dining spaces or expanding on their existing spaces. New outdoor spaces often means newly built structures and attached/detached property, beyond just the purchase of all-weather chairs and tables.听

6. Increasing Measures to Protect Personnel

In addition to the daily measures restaurants take to keep their staff safe and healthy, like rigorous cleaning and sanitizing practices, restaurants want to provide the necessary support for their employees, should they become exposed to COVID. Workers鈥 Compensation coverage is still a major point of discussion across all industries鈥攑articularly as time passes and we learn more about the effects of . Now is a good time for businesses to confirm with听 their insurance agents that their Workers Compensation policies are up-to-date.听

Restaurants have had to get creative with how they serve their customers and insurance agents may also need to get creative helping their restaurant clients build policies that adequately account for their new business model.

麻豆放映免费 specializes in crafting customized insurance solutions for our agency partners and we fully understand the unique complexities of the restaurant industry. Contact our expert brokers today to ensure your clients鈥 have the most competitive and comprehensive policy that is available in the marketplace. You can also read more industry insights here.

The 麻豆放映免费 Hospitality Insurance Team

The 麻豆放映免费 Hospitality Insurance Team

麻豆放映免费鈥檚 team of specialty brokers are experts in the hospitality industry and understand its distinctive risks and exposures. Our team is at your service to provide a vast menu of customized coverages that protects your clients鈥 businesses against everything from liquor liability and food contamination claims to equipment breakdown and cyber liability 鈥 and everything in between.
Alcohol To-Go | covid-19 | delivery | hospitality | hospitality insurance | online ordering | outdoor dining | pandemic | Professional Liability Insurance | professional lines | restaurant | restaurant insurance | takeout | trends

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