Top 6 Risks That Caterers Face

Owning and running a catering business can be a challenging, but rewarding experience. On the one hand, the ability to produce delicious food and see hundreds of people enjoying it can be an incredible experience, but there is a lot of work and dedication that goes into the preparation of such high volumes of food.

From making sure that everything is both delicious and safe to eat, to keeping on top of equipment malfunctions and health and safety demands, catering can be a full-on job with plenty of risks to consider. We’ve gathered 6 of the top risks that caterers face in their daily jobs.

Top 6 Risks That Caterers Face Infographic


One of the most common claims that caterers need to be aware of is illnesses caused by food contamination or poorly prepared food. When clients come down with sickness after an event, all eyes usually go to the food and whether it caused food poisoning. There are a number of factors that can affect whether a dish is safe to eat, ranging from the temperature the ingredients and the finished dish was kept, to sourcing the ingredients from contaminated places. 

Caterers can be held liable for foodborne illnesses, which is where Catering liability insurance can help to protect businesses against these claims. It provides financial support for legal fees, compensation and more to ensure a business is protected in the case of a claim by a client or guest.

Property Damage

Property damage claims, both within the businesses’ property and the property the food is being served at, can both be costly for catering businesses. When preparing and serving food, property can be at risk of fires, vandalism, theft, staining if food is dropped and more. Damage to the building you work out of could not only result in having to have things fixed but could result in loss of earnings if you have to shut down while the repairs are ongoing. 

Food Spoilage

With so much food being prepared and stored between clients and events, it’s not unheard of for food to spoil in a caterer’s pantry, fridge or freezer. Maintaining a high volume of food can be difficult, but caterers need to ensure that they are storing food correctly when preparing for an event to avoid spoiling food that is set to be served. 

Not all spoilage is controllable, however – catering equipment could malfunction or the power could even go out. For caterers, the right insurance cover could help to protect not only against the effects of spoiled food that isn’t caught before it’s consumed, but also against financial losses for spoiled food that is caught.

Worker Accidents

Maintaining health and safety in the kitchen as a caterer is vital, but some accidents can’t be avoided completely. Caterers work with hot items and sharp cutlery and tools on a daily basis and while care can be taken to reduce risk, injuries and accidents can still happen. Whether it’s burns, cuts or something more severe, business owners could be liable. Employer’s Liability insurance provides financial protection not only for the business but for the affected employee too.

Equipment Malfunction

Caterers use a wide range of often very expensive equipment, but the price doesn’t mean they can’t break down or malfunction.  From stoves and ovens, to fridges, freezers and mixers, kitchen equipment can break and fail right when you least expect it and can be incredibly expensive to replace. For Caterers, this could mean paying out thousands on new equipment, as well as losing income if they can’t prepare food while waiting for a repair or replacement.

Transportation Accidents

Transporting equipment and food from a kitchen to an event location is a risky process. While in transport, your food, employees and equipment are all at risk, no matter how much care you take. A particularly bad pothole can lead to ruined decorations on cakes, or a bad driver could cause a crash that your vehicles get caught up in. Having the right vehicle insurance is crucial, but you could also invest in Goods in Transit insurance to be safe and provide financial cover if you fall into trouble on the way.

For more information on Caterer’s insurance products, feel free to get in touch with a member of the team at Ashburnham Insurance. We are on hand to help you find the best policy for your business, simply call FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.

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