Restaurants across the country are taking the necessary steps to ensure that their businesses remain operational during the winter. Because so many restaurants are unable to support indoor-dining, procedures have been put in place to provide outdoor-dining to their customers. Whether it is a plastic-pod or a tent, outdoor-dining options provide these businessowners a chance to serve their customers while limiting exposure to Covid-19. However, these outdoor-dining solutions are not free of liability concerns.
These outdoor structures are valuable in the sense that they provide restaurants an opportunity to serve their patrons; however, there are procedures that should be followed to avoid General Liability, Property, and Worker’s Compensation claims. Below, you will find a few helpful tips to keep your business operational and safe:
- If hiring a contractor to build the structure, treat it as if building a brick-and-mortar addition to the property.
- Obtain proof of professional errors and omissions liability insurance from any firm involved in the design of the structure.
- Securely tape any electrical cords running through structures or cover them with heavy-weight floor mats to prevent anyone from tripping and potentially tipping over heaters or light poles.
- The immediate 10 feet around the structure perimeter should be free of combustibles and combustible storage.
- Limit the need for employees to cross vehicular traffic patterns.
- Use carts to transfer items from restaurant to the outside area.
Before setting up these temporary dining accommodations, businessowners should ALWAYS consult with local authorities, their attorney, and their insurance agent. For more tips and information, please follow the link to Cincinnati’s blog.