Workers Compensation Insurance For Restaurants



Restaurant owners are some of the most passionate business owners. They work tirelessly to make sure they consistently please their customers by providing amazing food and service. However, the restaurant business comes with many obstacles.  One of those obstacles is making sure you protect your employees by minimizing any workplace hazards. Restaurants, bars, and caterers all have to make sure employees are operating in a safe work environment. Having procedures in place to properly handle food, sharp knives, hot liquids, and a number of other hazardous materials is essential for all restaurant owners. Workers compensation insurance for restaurants is one of the most important types of insurance a restaurant owner will need to carry.

What is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Workers Compensation pays benefits to employees who are injured or contract a disease on the job.  Workers Compensation is mandatory in California for all employers, even if you only have one employee. In California, you can purchase workers compensation through the State Fund or from a private insurer.


What Type Of Benefits Can an Injured Restaurant Employee Receive from Workers Compensation?

Medical benefits

Medical benefits account for more than half of the total workers compensation benefit payments in the U.S. This covers any medical expenses that an employee incurs due to a work-related injury or illness.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are designed to replace your employee’s loss of income after a work-related injury.  Although there are four classes of disability the most common is a temporary total disability. In this scenario, an employee is expected to recover from the injury and return to work but cannot work during the recovery period. The weekly benefit for a worker with a temporary total disability is two-thirds of your average weekly wage.

Injured employees can also receive rehabilitation benefits, as well as death benefits to their surviving family.


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How is My Workers Compensation Rate Calculated?

Your Workers Comp rates are calculated based on a few different factors:

  • Annual Payroll
  • Number of Employees
  • Class Code
  • Experience Mod

Your payroll typically includes employee wages or salaries, bonuses, paid time off, commissions,etc.

Your class code is determined by the operation of your business, in this case, restaurants. Restaurant class codes can vary based on the type of restaurant(full service, fast food, bar).

Experience Mod

The experience mod is a method for calculating workers comp premiums based on your individual loss history. Your experience mod measures your loss history to that of other companies in your industry.

An experience of 1.0 means that your business performed precisely the way a company of your size and class should perform. When your mod goes over 1.0, it means that you have higher than average losses and results in an increase in premium. A mod below 1.0 is a credit mod and means that you will be getting a discount on your worker’s comp premiums.

How Do I Keep My Workers Compensation costs down?

Workers compensation insurance for restaurants can be a major expense at times. The best way to keep your workers compensation costs down is to find an independent agent who has access to a variety of workers compensation carriers. This will not only provide you with many different companies to choose from but independent agents also have access to carriers who offer pay as you go insurance.

Why is pay as you go insurance important for restaurant owners? Instead of estimating your annual payroll and potentially overstating that amount, pay-as-you-go relies on real-time payroll to calculate premiums, which results in more accurate premium payments. This means that you will be less likely to be on the hook for a large audit adjustment at the end of the policy term because of under-reported payroll.

Another way to lower your workers compensation costs is to implement a safety program that all employees are required to follow. Preventing injuries can not only save lives but it will save you a lot of money on your workers compensation premium. The goal is to mitigate and remove any possible hazards that can lead to workplace injury or disease.

Restaurant Safety Program:

  • Implement a safety procedure to avoid cross-contamination and foodborne illness
  • Make sure all kitchen spills are cleaned immediately
  • Require employees to use protective equipment like cut resistant gloves for food prep
  • Make sure employees who use chemicals are properly trained with how to use them safely
  • Allow breaks from repetitive movements
  • Have employees avoid any awkward lifting
  • Never leave hot oil or grease unattended
  • Potholders, gloves, or mitts required when handling food on the stove or oven.
  • Provide proper storage for knives
  • Make sure knives are properly sharpened



Contact Don Williams & Associates Today

Workers compensation insurance for restaurants is a line of business our office specializes in.  For over 60 years we have followed proven methods to reduce the cost restaurant owners workers compensation insurance. Give us a call today and find out how we have been helping restaurants in California save on workers compensation. Call 408-402-3646 or fill out a form here.

We look forward to helping with your restaurants insurance needs!


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