People who own and manage restaurants and cafes have plenty on their plate already. From having to focus on turning a profit to keeping employees happy and motivated, restaurant owners don’t want to have to shift their focus to legal issues related to customer claims.
Restaurants are prime locations for good food as much as they are for lawsuits. From slips and falls to burnt tongues to food poisoning, there are a number of different claims that can be made and lead to legal ramifications and financial loss.
Being named as a defendant in any situation, even if your restaurant or café is not at fault, it’s a no-win situation and can only hurt your reputation. But once you are hit with a claim you can make things worse by not taking the right follow-up steps. Here are some good rules of thumb to follow once a claim is brought against your establishment.
Make Sure Insurance is Current
A restaurant liability insurance plan is a great first step to protect against claims brought on by customers. These plans can provide financial help in times of legal battles, and also help with things like business interruption and products-completed coverage, which protects against things like food poisoning. Not having an insurance plan in place will most assuredly open the door to vulnerabilities to your business.
Keep Calm and Carry On
It’s important to not let your emotions get carried away in this kind of situation. While it’s inherently unpleasant and nothing a business owner aspires to happen to them, making sure you keep your emotions in check is a solid step to not say or do anything out of anger or stress. This can lead to mistakes and miscommunication, and could lead to bad outcomes.
Don’t Admit Guilt
Keep the communication line with your legal counsel open and shut with the person or company bringing a claim against you. Everything from casual conversations about the legal matter at hand to employees to commenting through social media can be detrimental to your case. Don’t put your business and integrity in a bad situation legally.
Preserve Any Evidence
Those being sued have what lawyers call an “affirmative obligation” to ensure that no potential evidence is lost or destroyed. This can include physical evidence, electronically stored data, documents, etc. If a party loses or destroys evidence it can only spell trouble.
Restaurants have to think of the long-term ramifications that come with trying to take matter sin their own hands when a lawsuit is brought against them. Make sure everything is gone over with the finest of details. A lawyer in place as well as an updated insurance plan combined with basic wise moves, like keeping calm and quiet, will help your case.
About Shields Insurance Agency
Shields Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency located in Birmingham, Alabama that provides insurance coverage to local businesses and families throughout the southeastern United States. As an independent agency, we will shop your coverage with numerous top-rated insurers, virtually guaranteeing you get the most competitive rates available with broad coverage terms. For more information on our products and services, contact us today at (205) – 783-5893 to speak with one of our professionals.Posted on