The restaurant business is filled with all kinds of legal concerns primarily because of the fact that your product or service can directly affect the health of a consumer. Many business disputes for restaurant owners arrive because of problems with specific products. Unfortunately, disputes can mean legal filings and lawsuits that can cost your business a lot of money, so it is best to do everything in your power to avoid them. Here is a look at a few ways you can avoid business disputes regarding the products that you serve in your restaurant business:
Keep nutrition facts, ingredient lists, and other product information readily available.
Because you serve prepared food, most likely hot, your products don't necessarily come with the important labels that grocery-bought foods would come with. Therefore, customers don't always know what is in food. It is your responsibility to make sure you have this information available upon request. If you cannot provide a customer with ingredient lists or nutritional information, they may be able to file a claim against you because you do not make required information available.
Label items that could contain allergens clearly on the menu.
If you have foods on your menu that contain ingredients that many people are allergic to, such as nuts or shellfish, it is a good idea to make a note on your product menus that certain dishes contain those ingredients. Additionally, if there is a chance of cross-contamination in your kitchen, post signs at the front counter and even on the door to let people know that allergens could be present in all of your foods. If you don't do this and a customer has an allergic reaction, you could be held liable for their medical bills because of it.
Include warnings on items that will be excessively hot.
There have been lawsuits against restaurants in the past because they served something that was so hot it burned a customer. So anytime you serve something that is excessively hot, it is best that the item is delivered with a warning, either as a written label or through verbal communication from the server. For example, if a hot cup of coffee is given to someone on the go, the cup should be labeled to show the contents of the cup are hot. If a server brings out a scalding hot plate, they should be trained to let the customer know when they arrange the food on the table.
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