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The Four Words a Restaurateur Never Wants to Hear

By February 9, 2018February 12th, 2018Insurance

In every type of business there are critical operational components. If one were to walk out on the street and ask a passer-by to name the most important items for a business to operate, my guess is things like: employees, money, and a product would be high on each person’s list. One other item I believe would be mentioned (although it is such a forgotten and expected part of our daily lives that it may be an after thought) is power – electricity.

“The Power Is Out”
I believe these are every restaurateur’s four most feared words. Why? For a restaurateur electricity is even more important. Here are just a few reasons why electricity is critical.

Cash Only – As a consumer, my heart goes up into my throat when I am standing in line to purchase something and I read “Cash Only” on the register. Cue the walk of shame out of the line and out of the store. No electricity = no point of sale (POS) system.

Climate Control – In Indiana, and around the Midwest, the outside temperature can only be considered “comfortable” a few months (generously April, May, September, and October). During the other eight months, climate control is essential. Electricity is, more often than not, necessary for maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Eating in the Dark – Have you ever dined at a restaurant that is too dark? I have..and the power wasn’t even out. Even if darkness becomes one’s only obstacle when the power goes out, it is a difficult one to overcome.
You get the point, right? Electricity is essential for most businesses, but especially restaurants.

The Storm Lottery
In Indiana, and in many other parts of the country, the weather is unpredictable. A storm doesn’t particularly care if it’s Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Graduation Day. I mention these times of the year because they are some of a restaurant’s most profitable days/weekends. So what happens on Valentine’s Day in a week or so if a major snow/ice storm hits and knocks out power? Or what about in early May if a thunderstorm pops up, and knocks out power after a graduation ceremony? What if they are particularly bad storms and one’s restaurant is without power for all of Mother’s Day weekend? Has the power been out in Indiana, or around the Midwest, for an extended period of time in the last five years? Yes. Has this happened within the last year? Yes. Has it happened more than once in and around central Indiana? Yes.

Breathe Easy, There’s a Coverage for That
Thankfully, there are insurance companies who specialize in providing insurance programs for the food and beverage industry. Hooray! These companies realize that the scenarios outlined above are real and can put a serious dent in a restaurant’s bottom line. Most business insurance programs have adopted policy language from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The standard time deductible, or waiting period, for loss of income to be covered by one’s insurance policy is 72-hours. This is a BIG problem for restaurants. Those of us supporting the food and beverage industry realize this. It’s why one of our companies has created an optional coverage to alleviate this risk. This optional coverage (business income loss due to off-premises power interruption) provides coverage for income lost due to an off-premises power interruption, including overhead transmission lines. This coverage only has a 6-hour disappearing waiting period. One can see that this is a pretty important, and unique, coverage that could save one’s restaurant thousands of dollars.

About the Author
Located in the heart of Broad Ripple, our agency is focused on being the premier agency for supporting the vibrant food and beverage industry in Broad Ripple and across Central Indiana. Contact our agent, Chad Miller ( or 317.869.9180), for a policy review and to hear more about the coverage discussed.