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To Deliver or Not to Deliver: Considerations for Restaurants Adapting to Coronavirus


To Deliver or Not to Deliver: Considerations for Restaurants Adapting to Coronavirus

As restaurants close dine-in service for guests, restaurant owners and operators might consider offering delivery service during these unprecedented times. If this is something you’re considering, but your restaurant has never offered delivery services before, here are a few things to ask yourself:

Who will be making deliveries? Procedures should be put in place to ensure that delivery drivers are clocking in and out properly as well as reporting tips earned. If your business has not previously provided delivery, ensure you have a way to monitor or track the location of your drivers – for their safety and in order to continue providing great customer service. Perhaps use GPS location services available on most smart phones, and require drivers to check back in after completing a delivery. You should also confirm each driver has a valid driver’s license and carries automobile insurance.

What vehicles will be used to make the deliveries? Will your staff be using company or personal vehicles? If employees are using personal vehicles, do you intend to reimburse them for mileage? There is no requirement that you do so, but it is common practice. No matter what you decide, the expectations should be made clear from the outset. You will also want to confirm that there is automobile insurance for the vehicle being used in the event of an accident while making deliveries.

What insurance is in place for the business? Make sure your company has liability policies in place that cover the company and drivers in the event of an accident. Consult with your agent to determine whether the delivery vehicles are covered under the policy and whether there are any applicable exclusions that would bar coverage.

  • Are you considering DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. for delivery services? Third-party delivery services may be an option to consider, particularly if you do not have or cannot confirm that your business will have insurance coverage in the event an incident occurs during delivery services. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the contractual relationship, if any, created between your business and these third-party delivery services, including any obligations and responsibilities created by contract.

Will these new job responsibilities affect worker’s compensation coverage? If employees are now driving to deliver food as a part of their job, and get injured during an motor vehicle accident, then their injuries are likely covered by worker’s compensation coverage. Questions may arise about compensability if they get hurt on the way to work – not a delivery – and considerations include whether they are in a company vehicle or get paid mileage reimbursement for use of their personal vehicle. Practically, employers should update their insurance agents/carriers about this new job responsibility for employees, as it may affect coverage and rates.

March 17, 2020  | By Benton L. Toups, Deedee Rouse Gasch, Stephanie Gaston Poley, Jennifer Welch, Jennifer Morris Jones



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