Post-pandemic risk management tips to future-proof your restaurant

insurance for restaurant

Top 6 post-pandemic risk management tips to future-proof your restaurant

Slip-and-falls, kitchen fires, liquor liability claims, sewer back-ups and the lingering impacts of the pandemic are but a few concerns keeping restaurant and bar owners up at night. You may have found your insurance rates rising or had difficulty renewing your policy the last couple of years.

As Canada emerges from the pandemic, the hospitality industry is adjusting to a new normal and having to rethink the way they operate, manage their exposures and protect their business.

The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and has had to pivot in many ways in order to survive and manage losses. Some of the ways restaurants have adapted in the pandemic years included switching to delivery/takeout models, creating outdoor dining spaces, implementing interior changes to meet guidelines and finding different ways to sustain revenues. Having the right risk mitigation strategies in place to prevent and manage losses – including dealing with the impacts of business interruption caused by events such as pandemic-related shutdowns or restrictions – will help your business become more resilient in the future.

Tips for post-pandemic risk management in a restaurant

1. Develop a contingency plan
Develop a contingency plan with backup plans, response and recovery plans and evaluation or assessment tools that will help you and your staff be prepared when the unexpected happens. This includes assessing all exposures in your restaurant, mitigating these risks to minimize loss, how you’ll manage any unforeseen events like business interruption, and having backup plans for sourcing food, beverage and other supplies as well as building up stock where possible.

2. Create flexible interiors
Incorporate flexible seating and displays in the interior layout of your restaurant that can be adapted for social distancing when required. Making use of moveable partitioning and see-through dividers creates functional distancing that’s aesthetically pleasant. Creative window displays can create buzz and attract more customers, while “private nooks” add to the atmosphere and privacy/distancing aspect. Keep takeout/delivery areas designated.

3. Encourage upsell
Create a display for impulse-buy items that’s visible to customers, offer free samples or coffee for those waiting for takeout or at their tables and encourage staff to offer add-on menu items to increase sales.

4. Harness social
Join the takeout/delivery apps, or create your own. Boost traffic to your door by offering giveaways, competitions, flash deals on social media to help spread the word and increase profits.

5. Invest in tech
Create better customer experiences by utilizing technology that will also empower your staff to enhance service while staying safe. Things like centralized menu management, mobile Point of Sale, digital payments, self-service kiosks, digital event/reservation solutions are integral in helping your business stay resilient.

6. Get the right insurance
When it comes to insurance, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your business is properly protected, including essential cyber insurance. Talk to our expert insurance broker about the right business insurance policy that suits your specific needs. They’ll also help you identify any coverage gaps and advise you on risk management and claims.

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