How Restaurant Owners Can Be Proactive During Coronavirus Restrictions

At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later), restaurants will be able to fully or partially reopen. The following are some ideas and strategies to consider and implement now during the down time awaiting relaxation of the government restrictions on restaurant operations:

  1. Make sure your insurance premiums are paid when due.
  2. Review your insurance policies, particularly Business Interruption Insurance Policy with your insurance agent or attorney.
  3. Use the down time to confirm that you are up to date on regulatory compliance.
  4. Continue to communicate with your employees.
  5. Give away any remaining food to employees or food banks (subject to health and safety regulations).
  6. Communicate with your landlord and lender(s). It is important to keep your landlord and lender(s) up to date as to your business situation. A congenial approach can pay off in challenging times, as lenders and landlords are incentivized to preserve business relationships.
  7. Given the uncertainty as to the extent of the government shutdowns, some restaurants may need to sublet space or seek to lease outdoor space to accommodate patrons. It is recommended that restaurant operators be in contact with their landlords to examine the possibilities of subleasing space or adding an outdoor patron area.
  8. To the extent that you will be hiring new delivery drivers or converting wait staff to delivery drivers, be sure to review driving records, confirm insurance coverages (both the driver and the restaurant business), and have an accurate timekeeping system in place for hourly employees.
  9. Review and update (if necessary) your ownership and governing documents, such as shareholder agreements, limited liability company operating agreements and partnership agreements.

We continue to provide updates to our clients and friends regarding small businesses during these uncertain times. If you have any questions or wish to discuss the foregoing, feel free to contact:

Peter S. Friedman, Esquire
Telephone: (215)- 690-3804

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