Occasionally my work involves being a consultant and restaurant expert witness on different legal cases. It also allows me to better understand why foodservice businesses get sued and the types of situations that are most common. Armed with this knowledge, I have been better able to advise owners and operators on what to expect and how to avoid it. Slip and falls top the list! Still, one restaurant’s problem is another’s opportunity to make improvements to their business and avoid future lawsuits of this kind. Here are the typical reasons and best practice solutions to keep your operation safe, secure and staff happy. Or better yet, ways to insure your attorney does not need a restaurant expert witness because of a slip and fall related to your premises: 1. Common Reason – Food and beverage businesses are notoriously wet and slippery operations. Whether it is in the customer restrooms and walkways, being in or coming out of the kitchen, or entering through the front doors and parking lot. – Water, food stuffs and oils all contribute to a potential slip or fall. However, these substances when left where people walk and congregate will potentially contribute to someone having an accident. 2. Easy Solution – Think like a customer and assume they do not always know their surroundings like you do. Remember to include the exterior, as well as the interior, in your oversight practices so it too is free of potential slip and fall hazards. Don’t forget to watch the weather reports. – Have restaurant management policies and procedures in place to monitor and cleanup high traffic areas and where customers frequent. Train staff to be especially diligent when transporting and serving food and beverages to avoid spills. Provide direction and oversight so that anything spilled or dropped on floors is quickly removed and the walking surface gets dried. Alert customers with appropriate wet floor signs and keep them out of that area until it is no longer slippery. There are other resources for how to run a restaurant and keep your premises safe that can be found at the National Restaurant Association. Need food safety management recommendations specific to your restaurant and bar operation? Contact me directly and I will share more from being a restaurant expert witness that can help.