As you operate your catering business, you face a number of risks. Below, we’ve included a few examples of claims that caterers have filed, demonstrating just some of the liability issues you face on a daily basis, and we’ll show you how catering insurance can help
You can avoid some of these examples by implementing responsible business practices, but other examples you’ll read below could happen to any caterer on any job. This being the case, you owe it to yourself to protect your business with catering insurance.
With catering insurance, you can protect your business from the financial implications of cases like the following:
CATERING COMPANY SUED FOR PREPARING KOSHER AND NON-KOSHER FOOD IN THE SAME KITCHEN
A chef and former employee of a catering company reported that they had to make both kosher and non-kosher food in the same kitchen. This resulted in a lawsuit and sparked a drawn-out legal battle involving the catering company and the owners of the Jewish Center where the company was based. The two sides settled out of court.
While we hope that no company would purposefully misrepresent their ability to comply with religious dietary restrictions (or dietary restrictions of any kind), the possibility still remains that an accident could occur whereby food was prepared inappropriately in relation to the specifications of the client. Something of this nature could happen to any catering company, even if special care is taken to prevent it.
$3M LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST CATERING COMPANY FOLLOWING A FOOD POISONING-RELATED DEATH
An Oregon catering company was sued by the widow of a man who passed away after getting food poisoning at an event the company catered. The catering company claimed that the death was not caused by them, and the county deputy health officer admitted that there is great difficulty in proving culpability in cases such as these, as the illness could have come from one of the event attendees and not from the food itself.
While liability is difficult to prove here, every caterer is aware of the danger of food poisoning at their events. Proper food care and high standards of cleanliness and maintenance can prevent many such disasters from occurring, but it’s impossible to account for the health and actions of the attendees of your events. Even if you aren’t found liable in a case like this, the defense costs alone can be debilitating to your business.
COUPLE SUES CATERING COMPANY FOR $150K FOR NOT HIDING FROM GUESTS THE FACT THAT THEIR FOOD WAS VEGAN (REALLY)
If you need to read that twice, we understand. What basically happened was this: a couple wanted to serve an exclusively vegan menu at their wedding, but they didn’t want their guests to know the food was vegan until they sprung the news on them after the meal was over. Servers ran into issues explaining dishes to guests and ended up spilling the (vegan) beans when asked to serve non-vegan items.
The couple also alleged that the food itself breached their contract with the caterers, as they’d specified that the food must be “delicious,” and didn’t feel it was up to scratch.
If you’ve been catering events for long enough, you’ll have been asked to comply with unique demands from clients. Grievances such as these can seem frivolous, but you can’t forget that your client, however specific they may be, has likely made a significant investment into your services. Always be clear with potential clients about the limitations of your services and do your best to come to an agreement with them that is realistic.
CATERING COMPANY IS SUED AFTER A CHILD HAS AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO A MEAL LABELED “GLUTEN-FREE”
A 4-year-old child had a severe allergic reaction that resulted in a hospitalization after eating a tandoori chicken meal labeled “gluten-free.” The parents of the child sued the catering company that served the food to the tune of $56k for medical expenses and non-economic damages. The owner of the catering company maintained that the dish was, in fact, gluten-free, but that there was signage in the venue where the food was purchased stating that the kitchen was also preparing food that contained nuts and gluten.
Take care to keep products that have food allergies or conditions associated with them out of contact with other dishes. Also, make sure to include appropriate notices and information on hand to make sure that patrons are aware of the types of food being prepared.
PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS WITH CATERING INSURANCE TODAY!
You go to great lengths to ensure that your food is safe, your service is top-notch, and that your business practices are as accurate and open as possible. After all of that effort, however, accidents can still happen, and the financial repercussions of these accidents can be severe.
Catering insurance can protect you from liability claims resulting from your negligence. Even if you’re sued and come out on the winning side of the lawsuit, the defense costs alone can cost you thousands. Again, catering insurance can help you here.
The best part is, you don’t have to come into an office and spend your day filling out paperwork to get your business covered. You can fill out an application and get insured online TODAY!
*All insurance policies have conditions, limitations, and exclusions. Please refer to the policy for exact coverages.
BY LYNDSEY LARSEN
Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.
Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.