When a Patron Has an Illness from Your Restaurant

Posted on: August 31, 2022 by RMS Hospitality

A patron that suffers an illness from your restaurant is the last thing any business owner wants to see or experience. As insurance agents, your job is to advise restaurant owners on the proper protocols to handle a situation like this. Professionals in the hospitality industry strive to provide outstanding service. As is the case in any other line of work, though, mistakes are sometimes made. When the error involves food, it can cause a patron to become ill, which can escalate to a significant risk for a restaurant. Luckily, products and completed operations insurance can protect against the liability of such a situation. Alternatively, what about completed operations in insurance? Completed operations is a term that refers to any service that a business provides.

Illness From Your Restaurant: Determining the Cause

Find out how this type of coverage can protect a restaurant — and what owners and managers should do when a patron gets sick.

Assess the Gravity of the Situation

If a patron suddenly becomes ill while still dining at a restaurant, workers must assess the gravity of the situation. Is this a life-threatening emergency that necessitates immediate medical care — or is it a minor ailment that can be indigestion? If the patron indicates that they need medical attention, a supervisor should immediately call for help and provide any assistance necessary.

Identify the Source of the Problem

Once the restaurant staff has addressed the severity of the sickness, they should take steps to identify the source of the problem. For example, E. coli is somewhat common in restaurants because it can spread through raw vegetables and undercooked meat. Management should investigate whatever meal the patron was eating and see whether there is any pattern of illness with other guests eating the same thing. Until staff can identify the issue, they should remove the food item from the menu. 

Complete a Report About the Incident

Regardless of whether the customer’s illness is an isolated incident, management should record a report detailing the specifics of the event. The report should include information about the time that the illness began, any events that preceded the illness, and the severity of the sickness. If anyone calls emergency medical services, it should be in the report. These details will help management identify a pattern if any subsequent announcements of illness follow from other patrons at the restaurant.

Follow Up With the Customer

Restaurant management must take down customers’ contact information and keep in touch with them after they leave the establishment. It is a basic courtesy, but it’s also a way to mitigate liability. Keeping in touch with a customer will help an establishment anticipate any legal action that may follow. If a customer does choose to pursue damages, products and completed operations coverage will prove to be an essential asset. This insurance can protect hospitality establishments from litigation and other damages resulting from patron incidents.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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