A restaurateur is a person who owns a restaurant. They typically run the restaurant, overseeing staff and ensuring tasks are completed promptly and professionally.
Running a restaurant is complex. Restaurants have several types of staff, including servers, cooks, dishwashers, and cleaners. Restaurants also deal with the public. They may have large groups of patrons on-site throughout the day, serving hundreds of customers. In the United States, restaurant food and beverage sales in 2019 generated approximately $773 billion. The high demand and the high volume of traffic through a restaurant throughout the day underscore some of the potential legal challenges restaurateurs may face. Continue reading to review some of the reasons every restaurant owner should know a personal injury lawyer. You can also use direct financing as a great option when you purchase ice machines, refrigerators.
Kitchen staff may be injured at work.
Restaurant owners can pursue restaurant financing options from equipment suppliers who also serve as lenders. Direct financing enables you to afford the new equipment your kitchen staff need. Standard restaurant equipment includes food prep tables, dishwashers, griddles, deep fryers, mixers, and warmers. You can also use direct financing as a great option when you purchase ice machines, refrigerators, and freezers. As a restaurant owner, you can opt for a business line of credit to compensate for cash flow issues or 100 percent financing for your purchases.
Standard kitchen equipment poses safety risks. Food prep staff may cut themselves with knives while preparing food. Oil can splash and burn kitchen staff when they’re deep frying food, causing a serious injury. Staff could also burn themselves on stoves, food warmers, and griddles. There were 98,000 workplace injuries and illnesses incurred by full-service restaurant workers in 2019. The rate of workplace absences of one day or more due to workplace illnesses and injuries is higher for restaurant workers than for all occupations combined, indicating that restaurant workers have a higher risk of workplace injuries and illnesses.
When workers are injured or become ill due to workplace conditions, they may have grounds to sue their employer, which is why restaurant owners should know a personal injury attorney.
There are safety risks for servers and managers in restaurants.
Like kitchen staff, servers and managers also face workplace safety risks. They may burn their hands when removing food from food warmers. These staff members could cut themselves on broken glass if a dish breaks.
Servers and managers interact with the public regularly. They may be chilled if working near a door that opens regularly. Servers are more likely to be exposed to viruses if they serve patrons that are ill. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic underscored the health risks for restaurant staff. Some employees have sued their employers for failing to provide adequate safety equipment and introduce policies designed to protect employees from being exposed to the virus. The risk of lawsuits stemming from pandemic-related service policies is another reason every business owner should know a personal injury lawyer.
Patrons could sue you.
Whether you’re serving patrons wearing pantsuits, blue jeans, or lace cocktail dresses, patrons could sue your restaurant you can’t maintain suitable environmental conditions in your restaurant. Guests seated near a door may pursue legal action if they become ill from the cold. Failing to enforce pandemic policies could also increase your risk of dealing with a lawsuit from patrons. Patrons may also sue if they get food poisoning from food that isn’t prepared correctly.
It’s also crucial you maintain a safe environment inside and outside your establishment. An icy sidewalk or flooded bathroom could cause patrons to slip, leading to a lawsuit.
How do you benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney?
Personal injury attorneys are licensed attorneys specializing in personal injury law. Your personal injury attorney can review your restaurant business and evaluate your procedures to help you eliminate potential causes of personal injuries to staff and patrons.
If you live in New Orleans, for example, having a New Orleans personal injury attorney on retainer saves time if you’re dealing with a personal injury claim because you have an attorney-client relationship in place, and your attorney will be familiar with your business and business practices. This makes it easier for them to gain relevant information to prepare your defense. When you have an attorney on retainer, you don’t have to worry about taking time away from your duties to prepare a legal defense. Whether you’re being sued for negligence by an employee or a patron filed a wrongful death lawsuit, your personal injury attorney can handle your legal challenges. Personal injury lawyers may present a legal defense in court or negotiate a settlement with insurance companies and plaintiffs.
Suppose you don’t have a personal injury attorney already. In that case, you’ll receive a free consultation when you contact a reputable personal injury law firm, ensuring you can find a qualified lawyer who can handle your legal needs.
Are there other ways to manage your liability?
Business owners typically prepare a business plan before opening any establishment, including new restaurants. Your business plan should outline your crucial needs, including your need for insurance. Business liability insurance covers the cost of legal fees and settlements stemming from personal injury lawsuits. Obtaining insurance protects you from the financial risks of a lawsuit.
You can reduce your risk of lawsuits by ensuring your restaurant’s designed to prevent injuries. Non-slip flooring can reduce slips. Paying for staff to clear ice from sidewalks and mop wet floors in the first place can also prevent accidents. Maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to ensure you have clean, toxin-free air circulating throughout your restaurant can reduce the spread of viruses. You should also ensure all staff members have appropriate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training to prevent workplace injuries.
Restaurateurs can be sued by kitchen staff, servers, managers, and patrons. Having a personal injury attorney on retainer can save time and money if you’re dealing with a personal injury claim. Your attorney can also help you reduce your risk of lawsuits by recommending structural and operational changes that can reduce your liability.