From wearing masks to distancing from friends and family, COVID-19 has required that Americans make a number of changes to day-to-day life. Few have been as affected by these changes as have the nation’s many dining establishments, who now must protect themselves from the numerous liabilities COVID-19 has created for their businesses.
1. Employee Lawsuits
One of the greatest risks restaurants now face is that of increased worker’s compensation claims. In many states, an employee who contracts COVID-19 automatically applies for worker’s comp, even if the employee cannot prove that they caught the virus at work. With many restaurants struggling to afford and implement new stringent safety measures, the odds of facing lawsuits from employees, or even customers, have greatly increased.
2. Security Breaches
Many restaurants have taken aspects of their businesses online since COVID-19 struck the US. Customers appreciate the convenience of online access, but it comes with a price for restaurants. More internet involvement increases the risk that an establishment will fall victim to hackers or other cyber warfare.
3. Alcohol Liability
One popular byproduct of restaurant closures was the implementation of to-go alcohol kits. Though this, too, has been immensely popular amongst customers, restaurants face countless risks by allowing patrons to drive away with full containers of alcohol. While many states have now discontinued this practice, others are considering how they can make it a full-time offer safely.
COVID-19 restaurant risks will exist beyond the virus as restaurants struggle to recover from its effects, but thanks to evolving insurance coverage and loyal customers, restaurants can search for solutions that allow them to remain pillars of the communities they serve.