Operating a Personal Chef, Private Chef, catering company or other foodservice business isn't easy. Sure, you've got the freedom to run your own business how you want to, when you want to - creating menus that reflect your personality, cooking food that you're passionate about, meeting new clients and building relationships with existing clients and so much more. But you're also responsible for the many risks involved, as well. This is why chef insurance is vital for anyone who cooks for a living.
As a hired professional, you are wholly responsible for your workspace, even if you're cooking in a client's kitchen. This means keeping the area clean and free of hazards, as you will be responsible for any slip-and-falls, accidents or breakages that may occur under your watch. This could mean repairs or the replacement of damaged tiles, dinnerware and other items, but also medical or legal fees for anyone who is hurt or gets sick from food prepared while you're in charge.
Of course you know how to cook and cook well, but that doesn't insulate you from unintentional circumstances, such as food poisoning and foodbourne illnesses. We've all heard about fruits, veggies and other ingredients being recalled by producers and manufacturers, but sometimes these recalls come too late, because the food has already been consumed. If you're caught in this category, you could be sued for bodily injury should someone fall ill after consuming food that you've prepared. Without insurance, you'll be liable for dealing with your legal costs, and any medical costs of your clients in the short term, even if eventually you'll be able to reclaim the money back from the producers/manufacturers. This could seriously impact your cash flow, as well as your own health and peace of mind.
If you rent a commercial kitchen or other commercial space to prepare food or hold cooking lessons, for example, you are responsible for that space during the rental period. In most cases, you'll be asked to add the rental space as a 'named insured' or 'additional insured' in order to use the space. This protects those spaces should a fire break out under your watch, for example, or if equipment is damaged by you or your team.
We all know that lawsuits are expensive. Without insurance, you will be solely responsible for every penny of legal fees incurred for your own lawyer, as well as any money that the court awards your client, should you be found to be responsible for damage or illness/death. This could run in the thousands of dollars and force you into bankruptcy.
Why take the risk - Get liability insurance today! Have questions? Contact a Success Manager.
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NOTE: MEMBERS OF THE CHEF ALLIANCE ARE COVERED BY LIABILITY INSURANCE, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THEIR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS.
BACKGROUND: The Chef Alliance is a membership organisation for Personal Chefs, Private Chefs, Chefs and Caterers, Artisan and Cottage Industry food producers and bakers, Home Cooks, Culinary Instructors, Food Stylists, Chef Instructors and other foodservice professionals across Canada. We support our members in growing strong, successful businesses, through mentorship, peer support, marketing, business savings and liability insurance. We have member Chefs in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington, Montreal, Quebec City, Vaughan, Markham, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax... and many other towns and cities in Canada.
DISCLAIMER: INFORMATION PROVIDED MAY BE INCOMPLETE. THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. EACH BUSINESS SITUATION IS UNIQUE AND THE ADVICE PROVIDED IS INTENDED TO BE GENERAL. PLEASE CONTACT A LEGAL OR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL FOR ADVICE THAT IS BEST SUITED FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR LOCAL/REGIONAL GOVERNMENT LAWS AND BY-LAWS.