Restaurant / Bars Blog

Fiore Market Café in South Pasadena

FioreFarmFiore Market Café first opened its doors in December of 2010. Since then, this family owned and operated café has made an impact on its community. By holding themselves to a high standard of using market fresh and locally grown food, they have created a place that not only feeds but also supports their customers. Fiore even has their own little farm on-site where they grow select herbs and other seasonal produce to ensure the freshness of their ingredients.

Fiore is the ideal place to stop in and grab a sandwich or salad during the lunch hour.  They can be busy during those early afternoon hours, but that will give you a few minutes to observe their farm and appreciate the atmosphere that Fiore provides to its customers.

From time to time, they offer cooking classes to the public.  Past topics included bread making, jam making and grilled pizza.  If you stop by late on a Friday afternoon, you may get the pleasure of hearing 3 local Jazz musicians who perform there each week.

We at Tegner-Miller are happy to have Fiore Market Café as our customer. We strive to give them the same high level of support, customer service, and care that they give to their visitors and community.

Fiore Market Café
1000 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Website: http://fioremarketcafe.com/
Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/fiore-market-cafe-south-pasadena

 

Bathroom Cleanliness Affects Your Business

cracked toiletWe’ve all been there: you find a cozy little restaurant tucked off the beaten path, with delicious food, kind staff and great prices. You are ready to make this your new favorite spot… and then you go to the restroom. Toilet paper all over the floor, urine stains on the toilet seat and graffiti everywhere. Your new favorite dining establishment now looks like a truck stop bathroom.

The appearance of a restaurant’s bathroom can greatly affect customers’ opinions of the establishment as a whole. Letting your restaurant’s bathroom fall into disarray could greatly affect the likelihood that customers will come back. One way to reduce bathroom nastiness is to create a schedule for bathroom maintenance for your employees. Each employee should be responsible for a different duty, or for cleaning the bathroom at a particular time. Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has compiled the following list for bathroom maintenance:

  • Toilet Paper/Paper Towels: A lack of toilet paper in your bathroom can be a disaster for your customers. Always make sure that toilet paper and paper towels are well stocked. An employee should check every hour to ensure your customers’ comfort while using the restroom.
  • Toilet seats: No customer should have to attempt a “hover” because your toilet seats are filthy. Ensure that an employee regularly checks your bathroom to clean up toilet seat messes.
  • Litter: Poorly maintained bathrooms always have paper and less-mentionable items strewn across the floor. An employee should check every few hours to be sure that your floor is clean. This also means emptying trash cans, (because inconsiderate customers might just throw paper on the ground), if the bin is full.
  • Graffiti: There is no better way to look like a trashy establishment than to have graffiti covering your walls/mirrors/toilet seats. This is a trickier mess to clean up, and one that many restaurants don’t bother dealing with. As annoying as it may be, you should absolutely clean up graffiti in your bathroom. This could mean painting over it, or using a paint thinner (like acetone) to remove it. In either case, returning customers will more than make up for the labor and cost of removing graffiti.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with your insurance coverage.  We look forward to speaking with you soon, 310-828-9662.

Kitchen Safety Tips

checking-tempWith sharp objects, boiling liquids and hot surfaces, kitchens can be extremely dangerous places.   It’s smart to train employees, (and provide refresher courses), to prevent accidents before they occur.  Unfortunately, accidents will occur and your worker’s compensation and liability insurance will help protect you when they do.

To help you maintain a safer restaurant/bar, Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has compiled a short list of safety tips.

  • Burns: Burns are the most common kitchen accident, and can be some of the most painful and damaging injuries. To help prevent serious burns at your establishment:
    • Never pour water into hot oil. The reaction of the liquids can cause the oil to bubble out of the pot, causing serious burns. In the same vein, never place partially frozen food in hot oil.
    • Never leave hot oil unattended. Oil can easily spill out of pots, creating a large and dangerous mess.
  • Knives: Knife injuries can be extremely common in restaurant kitchens/bars.
    • Always clean knives before and after use. This can reduce the risk of infection if one of your employees is cut.
    • Never catch a falling knife or throw a knife to another kitchen employee. This might seem like a no-brainer, but even seasoned kitchen staff can make these careless mistakes.
    • Always cut away from yourself to ensure that you do not accidentally cut/stab yourself after a particularly vigorous slice.
    • Keep fingers away from knives.  Teach your staff the proper way to cut and techniques that keep fingers away from the blade.
  • Falls: Kitchens can be crowded, cluttered places. To help prevent trips and falls, be sure to:
    • Keep floors clean.  Your kitchen will inevitably have liquid and food spillage on the floor during busy hours. Have a regular cleaning schedule but also clean spills as soon as they occur.
    • Always use clean mops. Dirty, used mops can have residue from a previous clean-up that adheres to the floor and causes slips and falls.
  • Keep first aid kits and emergency phone numbers in visible, easily accessible areas.  Quick treatment can help minimize the severity and long term effects of an injury.

Call Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers if you have any questions or need assistance.  We can be reached at 310-828-9662.

Liquor Liability

alcohol colorfulFrom 21st birthday celebrations to bachelor parties to weekend binge drinking, you will likely have to deal with intoxicated customers on at least a weekly basis.

While refusing to serve drinks to belligerent patrons, breaking up drunken arguments and cleaning vomit off the bathroom floor might all be annoying distractions from operating your bar/restaurant, drunken customers can also cause major liability problems. For example, if a customer becomes intoxicated at your restaurant or bar, you might be liable if he/she drives drunk and causes injuries and/or damage. Furthermore, underage drinking at your establishment can lead to major fines, revocation of liquor licenses and even jail time for you and your servers.

Below are some tips for making sure that alcohol consumption at your establishment is legal and safe.

  • ALWAYS Check Patrons’ IDs: In order to avoid being liable for underage drinking, always check a patron’s ID card to be sure that he or she is of legal drinking age. Even if they are using a fake or forged ID, you might be able to escape liability if you checked the ID.
  • Train your bartenders and servers how to deal with drunk patrons and know how to identify and cut off an intoxicated customer.  A few quick tips:
    • Identify a future drunk before things get ugly. Watch for excessive beer chugging and shot taking. Furthermore, monitor people coming into your bar. Are they already intoxicated? If it appears that someone is drinking irresponsibly (but not yet intoxicated), you can always serve him or her very slowly or not at all.
    • NEVER serve visibly intoxicated patrons. Serving already intoxicated patrons makes YOU liable for any physical harm or property damage they cause after they leave your bar/restaurant. Provide training to your bartenders and servers so that they can easily identify and cut off a drunk customer. If an intoxicated customer orders another drink, offer him/her a non-alcoholic drink or some food instead.
    • When all else fails, call the manager. Young and potentially inexperienced servers might be uncomfortable dealing with a particularly belligerent customer. In this case, instruct them to call the manager before things get out of hand.  Your managers should be trained on how to deal with intoxicated customers.
    • Call a cab: This is the most important tip for establishments that sell alcohol. Besides being extremely dangerous and just plain dumb, drunk driving can be a major liability for your bar/restaurant. If the intoxicated person causes any property damage or injures someone on the drive home, you could be liable for damages.

Contact your knowledgeable broker at Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers to learn more about Liquor Liability Coverage.  Please call us at 310-828-9662.

Assault and Battery Insurance

man in handcuffsThere are plenty of liability claims that you, the restaurant owner, must deal with on a daily basis. While food poisoning and underage drinking might be well known to all restaurant and bar owners, there is another liability claim that is increasingly popular in our highly litigious society: assault and battery. If your employee injures a customer on the job, your restaurant might be liable for the customer’s injuries.

This type of claim is often filed against restaurants that employ bouncers, as these employees might use force when removing a drunk or violent patron. As a restaurant owner, you should consider purchasing Assault and Battery (A & B) Insurance, as it might help protect your business from claims resulting from an excessive force claim against you, your business and/or your employees. Speak with your broker at Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers to determine if A & B insurance is right for your business. In the meantime, check out these tips for reducing your risk A & B claims.

  • Properly Vet Your Bouncers: This is the first for reducing your risk of a claim. Don’t just hire the first burly guy you see on the street. Make sure that your bouncers have past experience as bouncers or event security, and always speak to their former employers to verify that they didn’t use excessive force against patrons.
  • Properly Train Your Bouncers: Many restaurant owners think that successful bouncers only have to possess two traits: being big and scary. However, talented bouncers are extremely adept at handling potentially dangerous situations. They can read the actions of an intoxicated patron and determine if they are a threat to other customers, and they are more adept at diffusing situations without antagonizing. You should consider hiring trainers to teach your bouncers these important skills.
  • Train All Staff to Reduce Excessive Drinking: Let’s face it – a majority of fights and scuffles at bars are due in part to excessive drinking. That is why it is so important to train ALL staff to identify when a customer has had too much to drink and how to cut off a customer off without antagonizing him or her.

Call us at 310-828-9662 if you have any questions or wish to discuss your insurance needs.  We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Why Your Restaurant or Bar Needs EPLI

discriminationEmployment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is an essential insurance policy for all restaurants and bars, whether a national chain restaurant or a “mom and pop” operation.

EPLI covers costs resulting from lawsuits that assert wrongful employment practices, including discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination. Even if you consider your restaurant or bar to be a friendly, safe and fair environment for all employees, these types of lawsuits can happen to anyone. As of 2005, the average wrongful termination lawsuit settlement payouts are between $300,000 and $500,000 (www.ehow.com). Do you have the proper insurance coverage to protect yourself and your assets from this type of claim?

Below, Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has compiled a few examples of EPLI cases:

  • In 2009, a major restaurant chain settled a gender discrimination case filed by female workers who alleged they received fewer opportunities for career advancement than male employees. The case was settled for $19 million in damages. (www.nbcnews.com).
  • In 2009, a high-end Los Angeles steak house chain had to pay more than $1 million to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit that alleged that for decades the chain only hired females as servers (www.gazette.com).
  • In a particularly well known case, a national restaurant chain paid a total of $54 million to thousands of individuals in settlement of allegations that the chain discriminated against African-American customers (www.nytimes.com). While cases such as this one involve clients rather than employees, they may be covered under certain EPLI policies. When you purchase your policy, be sure to ask about third-party liability coverage, which can often be added to your regular EPLI policy for an additional fee.

These examples highlight the importance of having the proper insurance coverage in place that protects you from unexpected expenses such as those associated with allegations of improper employment practices.

While EPLI coverage is essential, you should work to prevent these types of incidents. Be sure to train and educate all of your employees on topics including discrimination and sexual harassment.

Please contact your knowledgeable broker at TMIB if you have any questions about EPLI coverage we can be reached at 310-828-9662.

NEW TMIB Restaurant and Bar Website

blue bar scene

Welcome to the NEW Restaurant and Bar website and Blog from Tegner-Miller Inurance Brokers

We hope our current and future restaurant and bar owner customers will find our website, interesting, informative and a valuable resource.

Having access to many insurance companies enables us to put together the appropriate insurance package for your restaurant or bar. TMIB offers many types of insurance including EPLI, liquor liability and workers compensation, to name a few.

Our blog will contain timely information about various types of insurance coverages that are important to restaurant and bar owners as well as reminders and tips as they relate to restaurant and bar insurance and risk management. One of our top goals is to help our customers prevent a claim from ever happening. But if one does, we want to make sure our customer is prepared and be there to assist them.

Don’t forget to visit our Michael’s Road Trips page where we will post “reviews” and fun, interesting information about our current restaurant and bar customers.

Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has been in Santa Monica for over 110 years helping Southern Californians with their insurance. In these days of call centers and outsourcing, TMIB prides itself on being your neighborhood insurance agent. We even make house calls!

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