Fast food restaurants are under increasing pressure to manage deliveries within a specific time frame, often driven by deals with online order portals and associated “money-back guarantees”.
However, with delivery drivers zipping all over town, transporting fast food to hungry customers, they face numerous risks due to the nature of their job, including accidents, injuries and theft. As the owner of a fast-food takeaway employing delivery drivers, you need to be aware of the tremendous risk shouldered by your drivers as well as your duty of care owed to all of your staff.
Your Business Is At Risk
Many businesses that offer food delivery services are unaware that if their delivery drivers are involved in an accident while working and do not have the proper motor insurance, the restaurant itself could be held vicariously liable for compensation or subject to criminal prosecution.
Often neither the driver nor the business owner knows that the driver lacks the proper insurance until it is too late. Ensure your restaurant is covered against this liability exposure by assessing your risks and bolstering your Takeaway Insurance policies.
Adequate Motor Insurance
Before you allow someone to start work with your business, you need to ensure that the driver possesses the proper motor insurance to carry out food deliveries — allowing them to drive without it is against the law. It exposes your restaurant to significant liability claims if your drivers cause third-party injury or damage. Police are aware of the potential for improperly insured vehicles, which can lead to fines, points and even seizure of the vehicle itself.
Assuming Drivers Have Their Own Cover is No Defence
It is often assumed that food delivery drivers will obtain their own insurance when using their own vehicle for deliveries. However, standard private motor insurance policies do not usually cover the drivers’ business use of their vehicles — typically they will only provide cover for social, domestic and pleasure use. However, even if the driver requests a business use extension on their policy, the stated business use may not cover fast food delivery.
Hire and Reward Insurance
Drivers must extend their private car insurance policies with the purchase of a hire and reward use, in a similar fashion to a taxi or courier. Hire and reward use covers a driver’s liability when something is delivered from one place to another for a fee, including when delivering food. Unless the insurer is told explicitly that the driver is undertaking deliveries and attaches the proper hire and reward extension for delivery use, the driver is likely to be driving without adequate cover and at risk of prosecution.
What About Business Owned Vehicles?
If your takeaway restaurant relies on business-owned vehicles for deliveries, such as cars, vans, motorbikes and/or mopeds, you should ensure that you have a proper commercial motor policy to cover the delivery use of vehicles.
Employers Liability Insurance
Another area often missed is the need to inform your employers’ liability insurer that you deliver food, as this is a material fact that could void your policy or entitle the insurer to seek compensation from your business if not disclosed.
For example, if you sent an employee on a delivery and they were attacked and injured, they may hold you responsible as their employer and seek compensation for their injuries. Employers Liability is typically included as part of a Fast Food Takeaway Insurance package.
Tips For Best Practices
Ensuring your drivers have proper motor insurance helps transfer your liability, protecting both you and your drivers. However, without stressing best practices and providing adequate training on safe driving, your restaurant is still exposed to a wide range of risks.
Communicate the following best practices for safe driving and lone working to your delivery drivers and help them reduce the risk:
- Do not flash cash during transactions or carry more money than you need.
- Deliver only to houses that appear occupied—never approach a house that looks unoccupied.
- Bring a torch to illuminate house numbers and dark areas.
- Park under the streetlight closest to the destination, and avoid parking in isolated areas.
- Lock the car and carry your keys with you.
- Purchase a second set of keys to prevent locking yourself out of the car.
- Walk only in brightly lit areas and stay away from alleys and long passageways.
- Approach the front door of a house—never walk behind a dark building or make a delivery to a side door.
- Keep customers an arm’s distance away from you.
- Carry a mobile phone at all times in case you need to call the restaurant or the police.
- Equip the vehicle with a remote alarm system.
- Communicate regularly with the restaurant, so your co-workers know where you are.
- Establish code words to use with the restaurant over the phone in the event of a potentially violent situation.
- Pack a first aid kit in the vehicle.
- Refrain from keeping valuable personal belongings in the vehicle, or make sure they are not visible from the outside.
- Project confidence by walking upright with your head held high. Communicate directly and assertively.
FREE Business Insurance Review
By using a double-pronged attack of proper motor insurance and best practices, you can help to ensure your delivery drivers stay safe on the job. A safe employee means a more profitable business.
You can request a quotation online, alternatively, why not book a free review with one of our expert Gurus who can help you find the right level of cover for your business at the right price.