It’s hard to believe that it’s already April and more than a year has passed since COVID-19 mandates forced restaurant closures upon the onset of the pandemic in spring of 2020. As the world starts to fully open up again, there is some rebuilding to do, particularly for Arizona’s restaurant industry. When doing so, bar and restaurant owners should take a look at their insurance policies.
Upon renewing insurance, reviewing policies is essential, especially if nothing has been updated over the past year or more. The pandemic has had a major impact on bars and restaurants and, while things are “going back to normal,” nothing is the same — insurance included. For example, the bulk of policies are dependent upon a restaurant’s sales, but it’s highly likely those amounts have dropped dramatically over the past year for many establishments. Reviewing and adjusting those policies to reflect today’s income, not last February’s, can actually help restaurateurs save a lot of money on insurance.
There are also some new things that have been implemented over the course of the pandemic, such as the sale of to-go liquor that should be considered. During the last year, there has been a lot of leeway with the sale of take-away beverages, but executive orders have changed so it’s important that restaurant owners know what’s legal and what’s not — and be sure they are properly covered for any liquor sales.
The use of third-party services also helped a lot of restaurants convert their operations to include delivery options in the time of COVID. However, any restaurant that has partnered with one of these services, such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, should go through their contracts with these companies to ensure the responsibility of each party is clearly sated and understood.
When reviewing their policies, restaurant and bar owners should also make sure they are covered for restaurant necessities such as inventory and employment practices, including hiring and firing policies and even not hiring, particularly in today’s litigious society. It’s wise for new restaurant owners or restaurateurs renewing property leases to have them reviewed by an expert.
The restaurant industry, restaurant and bar owners, managers and staff have experienced a lot of change and heartache over the past year and their resiliency to overcome challenges is nothing short of amazing. It’s fair to assume, after what they’ve been through, they might even be questioning what they could do differently, or how they could better prepare for something like this happening again.
While the lessons learned over the past year can certainly help guide them, there is no existing policy that covers an unforeseen virus. Rather than worry, restaurateurs should stay vigilant on current policies to ensure they are as covered as they can be to protect themselves, their staff and their businesses.
Out of his passion to serve the restaurant and hospitality industry, founder and owner David DeLorenzo created the Bar and Restaurant Insurance niche division of his father’s company The Ambassador Group, which he purchased in 2009. He is an ASU graduate, an avid health and fitness guru, and a recent first-time author.