From COVID-19, to civil unrest, to natural catastrophes, restaurants have faced enormous stresses on top of the traditional challenges of running their business. Marsh's Restaurant risk specialists focus on delivering innovative solutions to help you manage your risks.

Restaurants serve as keystones in every community, providing not only daily nourishment, but also places for people to connect, converse, and exchange ideas. The COVID-19 pandemic tested restaurant operators' resilience as never before, straining supply chains, putting massive pressure on cash flows, and opening them up further to cyber risks.

Yet the essential and inherent value of restaurants was highlighted, as owners and operators sought innovative ways to continue to serve the public, rethinking their business models and restoring normalcy during a challenging time.

The pandemic was just one test. Restaurants in many cities also experienced physical damage and temporary closures from civil unrest. Running a restaurant has always entailed risk — employee injuries and turnover, harm to brand or reputation, foodborne illnesses, the inability to get key supplies, and losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and severe weather — but recent history shows owners and operators have even more to consider.

Our team of restaurant risk specialists has a deep understanding of your industry and has tools to help your company assess and manage its risks, enhance its resilience, and continue to thrive.


Owners and operators of restaurants, whether in a single location or thousands, face risks from a variety of sources. Employee injury is a universal risk exposure, as are incidents involving guests.

Some of the most significant risks for restaurant owners and operators include:

  • Employee injuries: Turnover is an ongoing problem for restaurants, and workplace injuries among new or veteran employees can exacerbate staffing challenges.
  • Employment practices liabilities: The restaurant industry has seen its fair share of lawsuits, ranging from wage and hour to discrimination practices.
  • Guest injuries: Slips and falls, burns, and other mishaps involving guests can lead to costly lawsuits and reputational damage.
  • Foodborne illness and product contamination: Risks in handling and preparing food can lead to reputational damage, loss of customers, litigation, and even bankruptcy.
  • Property damage: Natural catastrophes, severe weather, vandalism, and accidents can cause significant losses.
  • Interrupted operations: Restaurants often have complex supply chains, which are vulnerable to local, national, and international disruptions.
  • Cyber risks: Network failure, ransomware, and theft of confidential data can lead to financial losses and liability.
  • Delivery: Automobile and other vehicle accidents arising out of food delivery can adversely impact both workers’ compensation and auto liability experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed that emerging risks can have a major impact on organizations' resilience. Restaurant owners and operators should focus on a careful risk assessment of their entire operations and engage in business continuity planning aligned with strategic plans. Identifying and anticipating areas where breakdowns can disrupt your business is a critical step in risk preparedness.

Your business can improve its risk resilience by working with our experienced team of restaurant risk specialists.

One of the largest contributors to total cost of risk for restaurant companies is variable costs, including workers’ compensation. By leveraging analytics and digital platforms, companies can identify potential risk challenges early on and use predictive modeling to enable early intervention that can prevent these risks from becoming more complex and expensive.

The ability to analyze risks and benchmark performance can provide sustainable competitive advantages to your business. Marsh’s risk specialists have extensive experience helping restaurant businesses like yours understand and manage risks better, so that you can keep growing and serving your communities.

Our people

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John Logan

Restaurant Segment Leader