Restaurants, bars and clubs can be gold mines and regional icons under the right leadership, but that very success is what makes them targets for criminals.
In an industry that primarily works with cash on a day-to-day basis, it can be difficult to come back from a robbery or cyberattack. Fortunately, purchasing the right insurance coverage and being a diligent record-keeper can keep you safe.
Robbery and theft
You can never predict when a criminal will burst through your doors and ask for all of your money instead of a table for one. It could be the night before you deposit everything at a bank, or one of your busiest days since you opened. Regardless, they’ll have made off with all of your money and you’re eventually left picking up the pieces.
“Be sure to always keep a record of your daily financials.”
Taking in large amounts of cash each day and having varied deposits on your premises can leave your restaurant vulnerable to a major financial hit should the worst occur. This is why it’s so important to protect your assets with crime coverage as part of your insurance plan.
Going the extra mile and ensuring you’re covered in case of an event outside your control can mean peace of mind down the line if a crime does take place. Sometimes the criminal doesn’t come from outside the restaurant, but from inside, like a dishonest employee who is stealing money under the table, or a bookkeeper who is “cooking” the books for personal gain.
Once the policy is in place, you still have to submit proof of exactly how much was stolen. Unfortunately this can be difficult for many restaurant owners.
That’s right, having an insurance policy isn’t enough. You should routinely conduct the following to make sure you’re prepared to stake your claim when the time comes:
- If you aren’t already, use a point-of-sale system that creates a digital footprint of what’s been sold each day.
- Keep daily receipts that can be used to cross-check how much money starts in the register every morning with how much money has been taken in.
- Record the amount of cash that is put in the register daily and balance it at the end of each cashier’s shift.
- Install security cameras in strategic locations to deter criminals and provide evidence of a crime.
When in doubt, it’s always best to create a paper trail. With tight profit margins in the restaurant industry, owners often overlook crime coverage as part of their insurance program. One robbery can push an operating revenue quickly into the red. You will not be able to claim any of that cash, though, unless you have detailed proof identifying exactly what was stolen.
Watch out for cybercriminals
Not only do restaurant owners have to keep an eye on their physical financials, but nowadays cyberthreats are also just as dangerous. Skilled hackers can find a pathway into multiple sections of the pipeline between when a customer swipes his or her credit card at your establishment, to when the bank okays the transaction.
Without proper insurance coverage, the cost of reimbursing your customers, notifying them about the data breach and providing services like credit report and identity theft checks could all fall under your responsibility—that’s not even to mention the federal fines for allowing consumer data to be stolen.
It’s highly recommended that restaurants purchase a cyberpolicy that specifically aids them should a cyberattack take place. The claim will of course only be valid should you take the following precautions, among others:
- Achieve and maintain Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards compliance. These standards change regularly, meaning you always need to keep your payment solution up to speed with industry changes.
- Install cybersecurity defenses that protect against malware and other types of viruses.
- Consult with a respected IT consultant periodically to review system, identify vulnerable endpoints, etc.
While some policies provide ancillary coverage to protect against the costs of a cyberattack on your restaurant, the claim may not fully reimburse you financially, if at all. Cyberattacks seem like they’re more common with companies in other industries, but everyone is susceptible to being hacked nowadays. Be sure that they don’t interrupt your business. Let us help you find the coverage that is right for your business needs.
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