Restaurant tables and chairs.

Founders: Behind the Hustle is a video series highlighting small business owners as they share their unique stories and tell us why they’re driven to run their own businesses. Each episode provides a personal perspective on the hard work that goes into running a business, as well as the rewards that come with it.

In this episode of Founders: Behind the Hustle, we’re taking a closer look at Impact Kitchen, a Toronto-based restaurant founded on the belief that food has the power to shape our daily lives. Josh, co-founder of Impact Kitchen, highlights how his business’ success rests on its customer-first philosophy.

Tiago stresses the importance of being properly equipped to ensure he and his team won’t make any mistakes when applying vinyl wrap to vehicles. “One mistake on one of these vehicles is not just a couple of hundred bucks, it’s well over thousands of dollars of damage that could happen,” Tiago explains.

“Seeing how [Impact Kitchen] has evolved through word-of-mouth, and the trust our customers give us, has very inspiring.”

As a former personal trainer and nutritionist, Josh was inspired by his clients. After noticing there was an opportunity to open a healthy marketplace in the city, Josh and one of his clients decided to take the leap with Impact Kitchen.

“Experience and time give you the ability to see everything and take that in, and that has alleviated a lot of risk factors here.”

Running your own food establishment can be challenging. Mistakes can arise when preparing food, cutting ingredients, and serving baked goods. Here are three circumstances you might come across when you work in the food and restaurant industry, along with tips on how to handle them.

Contamination and food-borne illness

Food products move quickly: you could be taking hundreds of food or beverage orders every day, and while we’re certain you’re applying the highest degree of quality control, we know problems can arise despite your close attention.

Imagine that you serve homemade baked goods in your restaurant, and one day you learn your go-to coconut oil brand has been recalled due to contamination. Your customers start to get sick, and the next thing you know, you’re getting phone calls and complaints.

If you want to limit the negative consequences of such a situation, you’ll want to consider product liability insurance for your business. Product liability insurance protects business owners from the costs associated with damages caused by their products. Having adequate product liability coverage can help mitigate the losses you experience from liability lawsuits, even if it’s not the direct fault of your business.

Out of the frying pan, into the FIRE!

When it comes to running a food establishment, it’s not only the physical business space that matters. Have you considered all the things inside your space that your business also relies on?

Here are just a few examples of important assets you’ll want to protect:

  • Tables and seats for your customers to enjoy their meals and drinks.
  • Counters and glass cases that display your freshly-made goods.
  • High-tech kitchen equipment that helps craft your culinary masterpieces.

Now, imagine these and other things inside your building are damaged due to something unexpected like theft or vandalism. Despite your safety measures and routine inspections, your business could still experience a sudden loss.

The right commercial property policy can help with the repair and replacement costs and get you back to running your business quickly. There are many benefits to covering your business with commercial property insurance – here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Fewer out-of-pocket expenses. This type of coverage can help with keeping your repair costs down and speed up the repair process to help limit your downtime.
  • Financial support while you’re closed. The right coverage can mitigate your loss of income to help you keep up with expenses like payroll and bills until you’re back in business.
  • Long-term security. Commercial property can also help keep equipment replacement costs low if the damage is too extensive for repairs.

No business is too small to face unexpected risks and challenges. These situations are often beyond your control and can significantly impact your bottom line, but the right commercial property policy can help minimize your loss and get you back to business quickly.

Protecting your delivery vehicles!

If, like Impact Kitchen, you’ve extended your service beyond your workspace with a food catering service, you’ll need some transportation to move around. Whether it’s serving a small party of close friends or a corporate lunch for 50 people, chances are you count on at least one commercial vehicle for delivery purposes.

If your business uses vehicles, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. There’s a common misconception amongst small business owners that their cars and drivers are protected under their personal auto policy. This is a dangerous assumption. It’s important to understand the differences between the two types of auto coverage to avoid leaving yourself vulnerable to the consequences of an accident. The last thing you’d want is to have your insurance claim denied after a car accident, simply because you weren’t protected with the right auto policy.

Not sure if your small business needs commercial auto insurance? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Who owns the vehicle?
  • How is the vehicle used on a daily basis?
  • What type of vehicle do you operate?
  • Do you drive for a ridesharing service?

For businesses like Impact Kitchen that offer food catering services, the right commercial auto policy can help protect their employees, their vehicles, and their operations if something happens on the road.

Coverage that makes a positive impact!

Small business owners are inspired, motivated, and filled with ambition. You put a lot of energy into perfecting your restaurant’s menu, but it’s just as important to focus on protecting your business. Small business insurance can protect your bottom line, reputation, and everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

We want to thank Impact Kitchen for participating in our series Founders: Behind the Hustle! Be sure to visit their website, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay updated with what they’re up to. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Founders: Behind the Hustle series. Stay hustlin’!

Ready to protect your business?

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.

A dog wearing secanskin.

Founders: Behind the Hustle is a video series highlighting small business owners as they share their unique stories and tell us why they’re driven to run their own businesses. Each episode provides a personal perspective on the hard work that goes into running a business, as well as the rewards that come with it.

In this episode of Founders: Behind the Hustle, we’re taking a closer look at Timmie Doggie Outfitters, a pet boutique that provides grooming services and sells food, toys, and cute little clothes. The business was co-founded by two graphic designers, Paul and Georges, who love being surrounded by dogs. “It’s a dog place,” Paul says enthusiastically. “How can you not be happy with dogs running around? For me, that’s the best.”

Although being swarmed by dogs seems like heaven, Georges emphasizes how difficult it was to launch the business. “The whole thing was a risk, to be honest with you,” he admits. Paul adds how they had their fair share of skeptics. “Nobody thought we were going to have a successful business. Our friends, our family, my wife. Nobody wanted this to happen. Everyone said, ‘You guys are crazy!’”

Paul and Georges, however, followed their instincts and decided to take the plunge without hesitation.

“Dive into it. You can’t go halfway. You either do it or you don’t.”

Launching your own business can be an unnerving yet rewarding risk, especially when you’re entering a market you have little experience in. If you run a business like Paul and Georges’, here are three situations you’ll likely come across, along with tips on how to handle them.

Signing your first commercial lease

After spending some time developing a business plan and coming up with product ideas, you might decide to set up a store for your business. This may involve leasing a commercial space, which can be an exciting but stressful task. “When we were doing research,” Georges exclaims, “and we were figuring out what products to make…all that was fun and games. [When] it came time to sign the lease, I almost puked. Because the lease was 5 years, whether it’s successful or not. It doesn’t matter. You’re on the hook.”

Clearly, signing your first commercial lease can be daunting, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up for. It’s also important to know how to protect your business’ bottom line once you’ve signed the lease. When reviewing the lease documents, you’ll likely find a clause requiring you, the tenant, to have insurance for your business, including commercial general liability (CGL) insurance.

This type of coverage protects you and your business against bodily injury or property damage claims made by a third party, such as a customer. For example, if a customer gets injured while shopping in your store, they could file a claim against your business, which could be costly. Having CGL insurance can help you protect your business in this type of scenario. If you already bought insurance for your business prior to signing your first commercial lease, you should contact your insurance company. Notify them that you’re leasing a commercial space and ask them to provide any additional coverage you may need to fully protect your business.

Selling a faulty product

Pobody’s nerfect, which means at some point you might accidentally sell a product that’s not up to snuff. This product could be faulty, cause property damage, or even hurt someone. If this happens, you and your business would be held responsible – for instance, if you accidentally sell bad dog treats that make a customer’s dog sick, you and your business would be held accountable. You could face an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit…talk about a ruff situation!

Having the right protection can help in this scenario, which is where product liability insurance comes into play. This coverage can help protect your business from legal costs if a product issue causes property damage or bodily harm to a third party. Product issues could include design and manufacturing defects, or incorrect instructions and safety warnings.

Sold a food blender that malfunctioned and damaged a customer’s countertops? Product liability insurance can help. Baked a new batch of cupcakes that caused food poisoning? Product liability insurance can help. Sold workout equipment with incorrect instructions, causing someone to hurt themselves? Product liability insurance can help. Having the right protection can help protect your bottom line when faulty products like these reach your customers’ hands and keep your business out of the doghouse.

Dealing with doggone property damage

With cool products and a unique vibe, you’ll likely have a wide range of people stopping by your store on a regular basis. Some of your customers might have kids. Like Paul and Georges’ customers, some of them might even have dogs. Imagine if a customer’s dog gets excited and embarks on a frenzied tour of your store. They damage the floors, your products, your furniture, and even your equipment. How do you deal with the damages and the costs?

The right commercial property insurance coverage can help cover these damages and get you and your business up and running in no time. Substitute the rampaging dog with a ravaging storm or a rascally vandal, and this coverage can still help cover damages on your property, both inside and outside of your store. For example, commercial property insurance can typically provide coverage for:

  • Repair costs for windows, doors, signs, furniture, and other items
  • Replacement costs if damages are too extensive for repairs
  • Compensation for loss of income while your business is closed

Repairs will cost you both time and money. Expenses can add up quickly, and so can your lost income. Dealing with property damage can be aggravating, but commercial property insurance can help you patch up your business quickly.

Stay ahead of the pack

Running your own retail business isn’t always a walk in the dog park, but being able to handle stressful situations with the grace of a greyhound can help you and your business stay ahead of the pack. Having the right protection in place for your retail business can help you stay focused on creating an exciting experience for your customers, like Timmie Doggie Outfitters does.

We want to thank Timmie Doggie Outfitters for participating in our series Founders: Behind the Hustle! Be sure to visit their website, check out their two stores, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to discover the latest creations from exceptional artisans and designers across Canada. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Founders: Behind the Hustle series. Keep being paw-some!

Ready to protect your business?

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.