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Being an Insurance Salesman

IMG_7309I meet people all the time and they ask me what I do. Saying I am an insurance salesman and company owner seems so misguided to me. Really, I am in the business of building relationships and protecting people. That’s what I do. Insurance is the vehicle that I use that but it doesn’t define what I do.

I started in the insurance business over twenty years ago. I had no idea where it would take me. I knew though that I enjoyed getting to know people and serving them to the best of my ability. The further I got into insurance the more I liked it. I began to understand all the intricacies of the field and how important insurance is. Really, it’s one of those things you don’t think much about until you need it. At that point it is the biggest thing on your mind.

I like to think about my job like this; I handle people’s insurance needs for every aspect so that they don’t need to worry about it. I’ve realized that being specialized and highly educated in my field is vitally important for me to best serve others.

Bar and restaurant insurance became a perfect niche for me as I was involved in the local food scene, familiar with many establishments and having been in the music industry for a bit of time found myself right at home working with bar and restaurant owners. I hustled to learn everything I could about this and not long after it became my specialty. I do all types of insurance and my agency has people who specialize in every different aspect one might need but I spend the majority of my time insuring bars and restaurants.

The thing I have learned about bar and restaurant owners, they typically love what they do. They are masters of the craft and take great pride in their concept. Their passion fuels my desire to help them. I work to get to know each of my clients personally so I can better advise them on their needs.   Insurance for bars and restaurants is completely different than say, a home and auto policy and it is personalized to the establishment. In this vein, I need to be an advocate for my clients and also educate them on what is important to keep them protected.

 

The Arizona Farmer and Chef Connection

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In an effort to support the growth and collaborations of local businesses, Bar and Restaurant Insurance has partnered with Local’s First Arizona to sponsor an exciting event this fall. The Arizona Farmer and Chef Connection  happening on September 12, 2016, is designed to bring together local food producers and wholesale buyers where they can interact, learn and identify potential connections.

 

These type of events are vitally important for our state on a number of levels. When restaurants take advantage of using local farms and food growers, jobs are created strengthening the economic climate of Arizona. Restaurants and other food/drink providing establishments are able to reduce the distance food has to travel and also often obtain the healthiest ingredients by virtue of buying local.

 

Tourism also benefits as many people want to experience sampling local foods in the regions to which they visit. By connecting wholesale buyers and local food producers we preserve Arizona’s unique food heritage and culture.

 

Using local food producers and growers increases the exposure of farms and artisan products in the restaurant scene. Arizona has a wealth of local farms from which to choose and when wholesale buyers use them it only serves to grow our options on a number of levels.

 

Bar and Restaurant Insurance continues to provide support to this event, as we have done in the past, because we are invested in promoting and supporting local business… from bars and restaurants to farms and food producers. We believe the fueling the local economy and supporting our fellow residents is important. This event is a wonderful way to do that, and one of the only events in the state that serves this purpose.

 

Right now, Bar and Restaurant is offer a promo code for folks interested in attending this year’s event. Purchase tickets HERE before September 9th and use promo code BARINSPROMO to receive $10 off your registration. Join me at the Supplier’s Marketplace at the event, an all-day vendor fair which showcases some of the best Arizona products available. Enjoy free samples and meet local growers and producers. Buy local, shop local, support local!

Craft Brewery Insurance

breweryJust the other day when I was driving around town I noticed another new craft brewery in my area. It’s exciting to see these concepts popping up, and even more exciting is the energy one gets when talking to the owners. Brewery owners seem to bring so much passion and knowledge to the table. Many entered into the industry for one reason, they love to make beer. Of course, there are a number of other reasons as well but at the core it’s that they have a deep love and appreciation for what they do.

 

Over the past handful of years the number of U.S. breweries has increased substantially. According to Julia Herz, Program Director for the Brewer’s Association, “The segment has grown exponentially as the total number of U.S. breweries leapt from 1,460 to more than 4,600, and we’ve seen the localization of the beer movement truly driving trends—and driving the land grab to be known as a craft brewer.”   Breweries seem like they are here to stay and are offering more original offerings and services than ever before.

 

Breweries, much like bars and restaurants, have their own unique needs when it comes to insurance. It might seem simple to write a basic policies for these establishments but doing so can leave a lot to chance. There are some basic coverages which include things like general liability, liquor liability, property and worker’s compensation that are recommended. However, there are also things like food contamination, leakage and equipment breakdown that are paramount for many craft breweries. These are the areas that, if something goes wrong, can make a substantial impact on a breweries ability to stay open and produce revenue.

 

Navigating the ins and outs of the insurance world can be challenging in the beginning when you don’t have someone who understands your business, builds a relationship and helps to educate on the benefits and pitfalls of each type of insurance. Equally important is working with someone who finds potential areas that might be an issue in the future and works to help ensure those are covered. Sometimes it’s not just a putting a policy in place that’s the answer. It can be simple changes one can make within the establishment or with a process that will safeguard against future challenges.

 

If you are looking for insurance, I encourage you to find someone who has worked extensively with others breweries, bars and restaurants. Insurance shouldn’t be just about purchasing a policy. It should be about a relationship. Having an agent on your side that is an advocate for your business, can help educate as well as support your business is any way possible.

If you would like a free consultation, please call us at 480.776.6981. Craft breweries are one of our specialities!

Changing Insurance Needs for Evolving Restaurants and Bars

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Over the past several years restaurants and bars have continued to experience significant growth. Their sales continue to go up with no clear limit in site. People proclaim that they would rather go out to eat than stay home and restaurateurs are getting more and more savvy about how to not only provide quality food in a comfortable environment, but also how to bring food to the customer and offer other benefits of eating at their venues. Additionally, bar owners are also increasing their services. Food trucks are on the move, festivals are popping up everywhere, coffee shops are offering services such as meeting spaces and internet services, online ordering is becoming more popular, aps allowing you to easily search options are being released regularly, bars are offering more late night food service and people are continuing to specialize in all sorts of niches from farm to table to craft cocktails. There is virtually something for everyone!

 

Don’t let the food fool you. Restaurants have traditionally existed to feed people and bars have offered spirits, but service has become a major factor in developing a successful concept. Patrons come back for that atmosphere and service as much as they do for the food and drink. While some consider price a variable in where they go, many people want quality. This opens the door for a lot of creativity for owners.

 

With all the energy going into creating interesting and unique concepts, excellent food and drink and outstanding service, attention needs to be paid to making sure establishments are properly covered.

 

“The legal and insurance landscape for nightclub, tavern, and bar owners is more challenging in Arizona than in other states. Unique laws and conditions affect products such as liquor liability and firearms coverage throughout the state, making it one of the more difficult places for venue owners to get proper insurance. To get the coverage they need, it’s essential for owners to work with a professional accustomed to dealing with complex exposures in this industry,” said Kathy Griffith, Senior Underwriter for Worldwide Facilities, LLC.

 

 

Things aren’t so cut and dry anymore, according to David DeLorenzo, Industry Specialist in Bar & Restaurant Insurance. There are many things to be considered when selecting proper coverage. It used to be that there were only a few options when it came to insurance, but with the changes restaurants have experienced over the past decade, there is now much more to be considered. An insurance agent or company that specializes in this niche can help an owner understand what their potential risk factors are and how to most effectively and economically cover them.

 

When looking for the best agent, restaurant owners shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about the agent’s specific experience in the industry, whom he or she has insured, the types of coverage they can offer through their carriers and what does the agent see as the restaurant owner’s unique needs and risks. Also, finding someone who plays an active role in the restaurant community can make a big difference.

 

If you are a restaurant owner looking to find the right agent to help ensure your establishments, don’t hesitate to contact Bar & Restaurant Insurance, the industry specialists at (480) 776-6981.

 

Benefits of Buying Local

Benefits of Buying Local

Rumor has it there is a trend moving toward supporting local businesses and moving away from huge impersonal businesses. While some of those have their place, I hope this rumor bears some truth. Supporting local business can have so many benefits, for our communities and our families.

Having been a locally owned business owner for over 15 years now, I obviously stand to benefit if this trend continues. However, I am also a strong supporter of other local business for a number of reasons. Here are a few of the benefits of supporting, shopping and eating local.

 

Personal relationships

 

In many instances when you keep your business local you have some sort of a connection to the owner. Many of these people pour their heart and soul into building a business. Most of the time, when I am eating out or shopping local I end up meeting the owners because they are present. That’s what getting a business off the ground requires. It’s really hard work to build a business from the ground up and it’s nice to meet the person behind the concept.

 

In many cases their passion comes through, which is what keeps me coming back time and time again. A few nights ago I dined at Southern Rail and ran into one of the owners. Talking with him you could tell how invested they are in their restaurants and how much pride they take in them. The service was excellent, might I add, and the overall experience really impressed me. Knowing the people who are working so hard to offer great services and products makes a difference to me. It evokes an entirely different experience and it’s one that I value.

 

Supports Local Economy

 

According to study featured on the Locals First Arizona site, for every $100 earned by locally owned business only $27 leaves the local economy. Contrast this to non-locally owned businesses where $57 leaves the local economy.

“The findings of this analysis show that locally owned companies with a vested interest in the community in fact do create a greater economic impact, indirectly supporting more jobs, payroll and output locally. They also create a greater revenue impact in that more of the taxes they pay, and their employees pay, stay in Arizona,” said Local’s First Arizona. Bonus that local businesses often support other local businesses and that creates a chain reaction in our economy. This in turn enriches the entire community at large.

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Builds Character and Uniqueness

 

Our world is becoming more homogeneous each day; however, locally owned business are often known for their uniqueness. This is what makes our communities distinct. They have character as a result. Uniqueness can also benefit tourism because when people travel they typically want to try something new. Tourism fuels the local economy, which is another benefit for maintaining that individuality found in local businesses.

 

Product Diversity

 

Having many independent businesses promotes product diversity as each has the choice to select what they wish to utilize individually. Decisions can be made by more personally understanding their customer base and not having to conform to a large national uniform plan. This encourages diversity in a variety of respects and allows for consumers to have more choices.

 

One the best things I’ve done as a locally owned business is join Local’s First ArizonaThis network of people has been a tremendously valuable resources to me. I’ve been a sustaining member of Local’s First Arizona for 5 years now. I find the opportunities LFA offer to be exceptional for me personally as well as the growth of my company. I’ve enjoyed the chance to network with other like-minded individuals, support local businesses and share passions. I highly recommend getting involved in this excellent organization.”

Not in Arizona? Look for a Local’s First in your area and get involved.

Bar & Restaurant Insurance Partner Organizations:

Local_First_Arizona az_rest_assoc Arizona_Craft_Brewers_Guild

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