Lowering Your New Jersey Restaurant’s Liability Risks During The Holidays

It's the holiday season—a busy time for you, your bar, and your restaurant. Friends and families come in to celebrate, businesses host office parties and end-of-year successes. It’s a fun time and, hopefully, a profitable time. It’s also a liability risky time for bars and restaurants.

Before the season gets away from you, it’s a good thing to double check on your restaurant insurance policies. Is everything up to date and do you have sufficient liability coverage for your bar? You know you have general liability, but do you have liquor liability, employee theft coverage, specific property coverage. Nobody wants a party to get out of hand, but with high spirits and alcohol involved anything can happen.

Last year, when you were open only for curbside pickup, did you save on costs and adjust your restaurant insurance liability policies? Did you remember to reinstate any cancelled coverages when you reopened?

OK, so your insurance is up-to-date, and your business is covered but how about your staff? Are they prepared? When was the last time you offered them training around the serving of alcohol? Do they know how to spot a customer who’s had enough (or more than enough)? Do they know what to do if confronted with an intoxicated patron? Do they (and you) understand their rights and legal responsibilities? Do they know that getting a customer to leave is not always the end of the story? You run an establishment that serves alcohol—that means that you can also be held liable if a customer leaves your bar and then causes an accident while under the influence.

And be sure to make it fun for your staff. This is a busy time for them, they’re taking on more intense work, possibly longer hours, maybe greater responsibilities. If you remember to show your appreciation, commend them for good work, offer financial incentives or perhaps a promise of time off after the rush, they will likely be more effective when it comes to serving your customers and protecting your business.

Most bars and restaurants can provide telephone numbers of local taxi operators, but you could go one step farther and partner with a local firm to offer your customers a promotional service and rate over the holiday season. You could also encourage non-alcohol-drinking drivers by introducing new non-alcoholic cocktails and sophisticated beverages. You could even run promotional drawings for designated drivers with a prizewinner every night.

You know you have liquor liability, theft insurance, property damage insurance. You’re pretty sure you are covered for every eventuality, but no matter how comprehensive your insurance it’s always better to take measures to avoid making a claim. And, if you promote safe responsible alcohol consumption in your bar or restaurant, you’ll earn the respect and loyalty of your customers and will soon be busier and more profitable than ever.

Find out more about reducing your restaurant’s liability during the holidays contact Vozza Agency for restaurant insurance coverage in New Jersey.