Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Top 5 Restaurant Safety Concerns Not to be Overlooked

Working in a restaurant carries a lot of safety concerns, both to your customers and your staff.

Restaurant staff know that working in a restaurant kitchen can be dangerous. They can take a more active role letting you know when dangerous situations occur. Customers, meanwhile, may not be as aware or know when to notify staff of a potential danger.

Instead of waiting for them to come to you, be proactive about preventing accidents and keeping customers safe in your restaurant.

  1. Slip and fall. There are lots of things that can spill and cause an accident in a restaurant. When that happens, people can fall and their injuries are your legal responsibility. Make sure staff know to keep people away from areas that are slippery until you can put up a sign so they know to avoid it.

  2. Poor maintenance. Dark hallways, raised steps, bunched carpet; all of these can lead to accidents. You're responsible for the premises which means every piece of property the restaurant owns or leases including the parking lot. Keep it all well-lit and well-maintained to minimize your liability for negligence.

  3. Allergies. Yes, a lot of people claim allergies when they really mean food-aversion but you can't take that chance. Always take allergy claims seriously and do everything you can to ensure that diner doesn't have a reaction.

  4. Choking hazards. Many foods contain natural choking hazards. If the fish might contain bones or the olives have pits, warn guests before they begin eating. Don't leave it to chance that they'll know to avoid it.

  5. Food poisoning. It happens to diners all over the country but you don't want it to happen to your customers. Don't think of health and safety regulations as something to do when the inspector comes, consider them a good minimum standard for keeping your guests healthy.

Keeping customers safe and happy not only avoids lawsuits, it keeps them coming back which is good for business. Take restaurant safety concerns seriously if you want to keep those doors open.

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