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8 Ways To Help Control Employee Theft at Your Restaurant

As if the day to day challenges of running a restaurant aren’t enough. The fierce competition, marketing, keeping guests satisfied and coming back for more, getting those 5-star Yelp reviews. The list goes on and on. But what about your own staff stealing from you right under your nose?  Employee theft is a big problem for restaurants. Annual costs associated with employee theft in the restaurant industry are estimated at $3 to $6 billion nationally!! Employee theft is a bad situation for any business, and unfortunately it’s a common one in the restaurant industry.

Restaurant employees may provide free food to their friends and family, or they may take restaurant items home or steal money and tips.

Here are some precautions to take to prevent employee theft at your restaurant:

  • Have a Theft Policy and Make it Known: Make sure every employee knows how the company defines employee theft and the repercussions of any theft. Offer annual training on the subject and have employees sign a policy. Place posters and signs around the restaurant to keep the policy fresh in employees’ minds.
  • Conduct Background Checks: Check the references of all hired employees. If the applicant is a high school student and has never had a job before, contact his/her guidance counselor or ask for the contact information from a babysitting or dog sitting job.
  • Use Technology: Video surveillance cameras are an excellent way to catch potential thieves, but they can also be a positive for the restaurant by pointing out procedural problems or ensuring employees are being safe on the job. Also, using technology that limits the amount of employee cash handling can deter would-be thieves.
  • Treat Employees with Respect: Employees who are treated fairly and with respect by their employers are less likely to steal from the company. The employees feel less justified in stealing from those who care about them and treat them with dignity.
  • Conduct a Drawer Check: Make sure the money balances out at the end of each shift.
  • Keep a Careful Inventory: After each shift, count the remaining items and compare them to the items sold, paying specific attention to the products you sell the most of. Make employees aware that you conduct these daily inventories to deter them from trying to steal anything in the first place.
  • Keep Your Eyes on the Trash: Employees tend to steal things when they are taking out the trash. Use clear bags to reduce the likelihood that this will occur.
  • Get to the Root of the Problem: If you suspect an employee of stealing, move him/her to another shift. If you recognize that you are now missing items from the new shift, approach the employee calmly and ask for an explanation.
  • Protect Your Customers: A new way of stealing from customers is called credit-card skimming. Restaurant employees will swipe the customer’s card through an unauthorized magnetic card reader to obtain their account information. Then, the data is copied and used to make counterfeit cards. To prevent this from occurring in your establishment, monitor the register closely and only allow seasoned employees to handle customer money and credit cards.

Need help dealing with employee theft problems at your restaurant? Or, have other risk management issues you need guidance on? Contact me today to talk.

Focus on what you do best, providing the delicious food and ambiance that will keep your guests coming back posting those 5-star Yelp reviews. The money will follow and you deserve to have it in YOUR pocket.

-JCK

Developing and Injury Illness Prevention Program

California Senate Bill 198 requires all employers to establish, implement and maintain a written effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program. This program must include the following elements:

  1. Identify a person or persons with authority and responsibility for implementing the program.
  2. A system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices, including recognition of employees who follow safe and healthful practices, training and retraining, and disciplinary actions for unsafe actions.
  3. A system for communicating with employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health. It should include provisions for meetings, training programs, posting written communications, anonymous notification about hazards without reprisal, and labor/management safety and health committees.
  4. Procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards, including scheduled periodic inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices and a system to correct them.
  5. Procedures for conducting accident investigations.
  6. Maintenance of records of safety inspections and safety and health training for each employee. These records must be kept for a minimum of one year.

An Injury and Illness Prevention Program development guideline is available from Cal OSHA which provides more detailed information on the elements of the IIPP which are required (See Links ):

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3203. Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Cal-OSHA Guide to Developing your Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Cal-OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program Online eTool

If this feels way too overwhelming for you, let me know. Give me a call or send me an email and I can work with you on developing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program for your business.

-JK

SUV Crashes Into Client’s Business; Driver Suspected of DUI

Last night, just after 10pm, a driver suspected of DUI crashed into a client’s business. This is a physical therapy office. Video from the scene showed a black SUV completely inside the building after crashing through the building’s exterior wall (see attached pic). Luckily nobody was hurt and we have the insurance carrier handling the claim now. Property loss and Business Income/Interruption coverage in effect until business is up and running again. On the bright side, this all happened during off hours.

DUI Crash

Credit: OnScene.TV

-JK

Boy Saves Father From Foul Ball

During Sunday’s baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco (7/12/15), a 10-year-old boy saved his dad from taking a foul ball in the side of the head off the bat of Brandon Crawford.

I’m going to drop a little metaphor here. Pretend I am the kid in this video and YOUR company/business is the Dad.

It’s what I do for a living. Save your business from potential disaster 😉

-JK

8 Key Components of a Business Safety Program

A safe work environment does not happen by accident. A company’s management team must be fully engaged in creating, planning, implementing, communicating and making sure safety programs work and are designed to fit the business. Most importantly, employees have to understand their role in making their workplace safer.

Your company’s safety program should incorporate the following 8 key components:

  1. Demonstrate management involvement – Management must lead by example. A visible demonstration that you embrace a safety culture is imperative to its success. Provide the essential time, budget and resources to create and support a safety program.
  2. Communicate your safety plan clearly – Your safety plan must be published and available to all employees. Reminders and updates should be timely and effective. Allow employees to contribute their suggestions to making the workplace safer.
  3. Get everyone involved – A safety program is likely to be more effective when employees at all levels are involved. Standardized policies should outline responsibilities and accountability for all employees. Safety goals can become part of job descriptions and employee reviews. Safety committees can help ensure that safety practices are understood and reinforced throughout the company. Positive reinforcement of safe behaviors can be an effective way to help build the desired culture.
  4. Train your employees to work safely – Safety training should begin from the moment an employee is hired. Ongoing training is also essential to creating a safety culture.
  5. Review, revise, improve – A safety program should be dynamic, especially since most business environments continue to evolve. An effective safety program should be flexible enough to adjust to changes. Regularly review, evaluate and identify risks that could affect safety, and make the changes necessary to keep your workplace safe.
  6. Create safety standards – Each department should set safety standards through a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) to make sure every task is done correctly and safely. Recognize good safety performance, and cite and correct unsafe practices.
  7. Investigate every incident and accident thoroughly – Properly trained staff with experience in investigation, analysis and evidence collection should conduct an accident analysis as soon as possible after an incident. Report the claim within 24 hours to help ensure prompt response and injury management.
  8. Manage every injury – Even with the best safety program, an employee injury can still occur. Planning helps you to react immediately when an employee is injured on the job. Learn about five strategies that can help you put employees on the road back to productivity.

Initiating a comprehensive program can seem daunting, but I can help businesses like yours take the necessary steps to begin creating a safety culture. Insurance is only one piece of the puzzle. Effective risk management and loss prevention efforts go a long way to keeping insurance premiums down and other costs of doing business.

-JK

Source: Travelers Insurance

Travelers Insurance: Insuring Technology Companies

Travelers Insurance Company has joined the ranks of other major carriers such as The Hartford in writing coverage for technology companies. Travelers Global Technology President Ronda Wescott and Chief Underwriting Officer Mike Thoma provide their perspective:

If you have a Life Science or Software and Information Technology Company and would like a review of your current insurance portfolio, feel free to contact me anytime. I can help market your coverage’s with all the major carriers specializing in this sector.

Some of the most common insurance coverage’s important to the Life Science or Software and Information Technology industry are:

  • Property
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Commercial Automobile
  • Commercial Umbrella/ Excess Liability
  • Cyber Liability & First Party Data Privacy Expense
  • Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Crime
  • Kidnap and Ransom
  • Group Medical Insurance
  • Group Life and Disability

-JK

The Ins and Outs of Small Business Insurance

Being an entrepreneur makes you the boss, but along with getting to choose your own hours, location, and business plan, it also means that you’re responsible for a lot of other things like commercial/business insurance. There’s a lot more to business insurance than getting the lowest business insurance quotes. It means understanding your business’s unique needs and the potential hazards that can threaten its success.

This brief video from the Insurance Information Institute touches on the ins and outs of small business insurance, including coverage for:

Credit: Insurance Information Institute

-JK

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