Nothing beats being able to eat as much as you want for a single price. In that way, a buffet is like a great insurance package. For one affordable price, an independent insurance agent can shop a variety of insurance options to present you with the perfect plate for coverage for your restaurant.
An independent insurance agent can make sure that your buffet is set up with comprehensive coverage that protects everything from your building and appliances to inventory and employees. A lot goes into a successful buffet, which is why your insurance package should only be done by an expert. Here are a few things to consider when insuring your buffet restaurant.
Important Statistics about Buffets
- The market size, measured by revenue, of the buffet restaurants industry is $8.5bn in 2020.
- The market size of the buffet restaurants industry is expected to increase 1.2% in 2020.
- The market size of the buffet restaurants industry in the US has grown 2.2% per year on average between 2015 and 2020.
Why Does Your Buffet Need Insurance?
Any business in the food industry has a variety of food safety regulations and guidelines they need to follow, because if a customer gets sick eating your food, your business is at jeopardy.
But customers getting sick is not the only risk that a buffet faces. With cooking appliances firing up all day, a variety of employees working different appliances and cutlery, and the potential for large amounts of customers at a time, a number of unexpected events could happen.
From injuries on property to equipment breakdown, poor food handling, and natural disasters, there are a lot of ways you could be facing large bills.
- Food or ingredients become spoiled and need to be disposed of
- Ovens, refrigerators, toasters, burners or other kitchen equipment break down
- A customer falls ill with a foodborne illness from dining at your buffet
- Fire or extreme weather puts you out of business for weeks or months
- Guests damage the furniture, bathrooms, booths, or other inventory
- Your buffet experiences theft or crime from employees or customers
- Utility interruptions force you to close
- Your computer systems are hacked and someone steals all your customer data
These are just a few of the scenarios you can face as a buffet owner. But don’t let these risks scare you, business insurance is designed to provide financial coverage when losses like these occur.
Your Buffet Needs Property Insurance
Buffets are not simple dining experiences. Your restaurant requires a building designed for your chefs to cook large amounts of food, and places for that food to stay warm for several hours. Many buffets will have multiple serving stations, and some even include Teppanyaki style dining where the chef cooks right in front of you.
The right property insurance will cover your building and the assets inside your building. This policy will help you pay to rebuild, make repairs, and replace destroyed or damaged furniture, kitchen equipment, inventory, dinnerware and cutlery, fixtures, office equipment, computer systems, and any property loss after a fire, tornado, lightning, theft, vandalism, or similar covered events.
The following property insurance options could be of benefit to your buffet restaurant:
- Building insurance: This protects your actual building
- Commercial property insurance: This protects buildings, equipment, inventory, and even customers’ personal property.
- Business interruption insurance: This protects you financially if you have to close your company’s doors for a temporary amount of time.
- Equipment breakdown coverage: This protects against the unexpected breakdown of machinery and equipment.
- Contamination and spoilage insurance: Part of your commercial property coverage, this covers losses should your food spoil as a result of faulty appliances. It does not cover foodborne illnesses to customers.
Protect Your Buffet Restaurant with Liability Insurance
With so many moving pieces, it’s not far off to assume that one day someone will get injured while on the job or dining in your buffet and will blame you. Without liability insurance, any court fees or medical bills have to come right out of your pocket.
Liability insurance protects your business in these situations and steps in to cover the finances associated with these incidents. Your buffet may want to consider the following liability coverages.
- General liability insurance: This protects against third-party bodily injury and property damage claims.
- Premises liability insurance: This protects you from third-party injuries that take place on the premises of your business including the inside and outside.
- Product liability insurance: This protects you if a product that you sell causes property damage or injury to another because of a design defect or production flaw.
- Cyber liability insurance: This protects you from data fraud.
- Umbrella insurance: This is extra liability coverage that takes over where your other liability coverage leaves off.
Additional Risks to Seek Insurance Coverage For
When building your insurance package, it’s important to think of all the risks related to your business. Talk to your independent insurance agent about these additional coverages available to buffet owners.
- Commercial auto insurance: This provides liability insurance if a business-owned vehicle causes an accident.
- Crime coverage: This protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engage in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This is required for any business that has employees. It protects your employees from the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Employment practices liability coverage: This protects you if a current or former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Utility interruption coverage: This provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
- Flood insurance and earthquake insurance: This may be necessary if your buffet is in an area that is prone to these natural disasters. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for this type of coverage.
- Communicable disease insurance: This provides protection should a customer get ill from disease spread from an employee to a customer, such as the flu.
- Health Insurance: If your business has at least 50 full-time employees, you are required to provide them with affordable health insurance. Your insurance agent can help you find suitable coverage.
How Much Does Buffet Insurance Cost?
A small buffet of five to ten dishes will pay much less in insurance than a large buffet featuring several stations and many food options. Costs vary significantly based on the following factors:
- The policies you choose: The more variety of coverage you need, the higher the premium.
- The unique risks you face: A buffet with a Teppanyaki station faces different risks than one who simply puts food out straight from the kitchen.
- The value of your inventory and equipment: The more assets you need to insure, the more expensive your premium.
- Your location: If your buffet is located somewhere prone to natural disasters, you’ll need additional coverage.
- Number of employees: The more employees under your watch, the higher your insurance premiums.
- The general size of your buffet: A large buffet will be more to insure than a smaller buffet.
Work with an independent insurance agent to shop policy options and design a package that fits within your business’s budget.
How to Find the Best Insurance for Your Buffet Restaurant
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the details, so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Why Online Quotes Aren’t Always the Best Way to Shop
Getting your insurance quotes online can be tempting. Sure, it’s fast and easy. But are the quotes you are getting actually accurate? And are you getting quotes for all the different types of coverage your business needs?
Online quotes cannot give you the whole picture. They often leave out important coverage, which may result in you being unable to get compensation if something disastrous happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities such as discounts and bundling opportunities that an independent agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent near you, and schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss your options for the best coverage for your buffet restaurant.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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