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inside of a restaurantYou work hard to provide a good meal for your restaurant’s diners. As part of the deal, you expect payment. Still, some guests are not that honest. Dine-and-dashers cause businesses everywhere to lose countless thousands of dollars each year. If you become a victim, what can you do about it? Can you get insurance coverage for your losses?

Restaurant insurance might be able to help with this unique form of business theft. However, the question is, do you really need it to do so? Often, you’ll find that single dine-and-dash claims don’t merit enough loss to warrant a policy claim. In fact, they might not even qualify for coverage.

Understanding Dashers

A dine-and-dash scam is when someone eats in your restaurant and leaves without paying. It is a dishonest, annoying and frankly disheartening occurrence. It is time and money lost that you could have spent serving other diners. So, if it occurs, you might wonder if your restaurant insurance policy will cover your losses.

On one hand, most restaurant policies will cover theft-related losses. Dining and dashing usually falls under this umbrella. However, usually, dine-and-dash losses do not qualify for or merit claims.

Why Coverage Might Not Exist

Perhaps the most-prominent inhibitor here is your restaurant insurance policy’s deductible. You must pay deductible costs before your insurance will pay the value of the rest of the claim. If the loss value falls below that deductible cost, then your insurance will not pay.

The vast majority of dine-and-dash losses are usually small in value. Therefore, if you have a coverage deductible, you won’t be able to get any help from your policy. An unpaid $20 dining tab might have no coverage under a policy with a $500 deductible, for instance.

Still, should the dasher commit significant theft, then yes, you might have coverage. For example, if they steal a place setting or valuable bottle of wine, you might be able to file a claim for the losses. The important thing is to always know the value of items lost during the theft. Usually, you’ll have receipts and other evidence to back you up. Call the police, document the losses, examine the space for evidence and keep an eye out for repeat offenders. Regardless of if you file a claim, the evidence you collect can help you prevent issues later.

One of the best ways to prevent dine-and-dash losses is to install a video security system in the store. That way, you can identify the suspects should a crime occur. An attentive, watchful and vigilant staff can also learn to watch out within the dining room for those who show tell-tale signs of making off with product. A little attention to the goings-on in your space can go a long way.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Make Your Restaurant More Profitable

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