It’s hard to believe that it’s already April and more than a year has passed since COVID-19 mandates forced restaurant closures upon the onset of the pandemic in spring of 2020. As the world starts to fully open up again, there is some rebuilding to do, particularly for Arizona’s restaurant industry. When doing so, bar and restaurant owners should take a look at their insurance policies.
Upon renewing insurance, reviewing policies is essential, especially if nothing has been updated over the past year or more. The pandemic has had a major impact on bars and restaurants and, while things are “going back to normal,” nothing is the same — insurance included. For example, the bulk of policies are dependent upon a restaurant’s sales, but it’s highly likely those amounts have dropped dramatically over the past year for many establishments. Reviewing and adjusting those policies to reflect today’s income, not last February’s, can actually help restaurateurs save a lot of money on insurance.
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How many times have you called a vendor only to have to sit and wait for the prompts to get you to a human?
Perhaps you pressed that 0 button 100 times hoping it would bypass you to someone on the other end that wants to chat with you?
The more we are subject to becoming sheltered in our own homes, the more we lose that human experience.
Food being delivered to you by a stranger and packages arriving from some mystical place online are just two examples of how we have lost connection with others. The distance between who we are as humans and how we interact with others is becoming more and more separated, physically and mentally.
That is one reason why people feel good when they gather and connect with others. They feel the human element of others and the energy that surrounds us.
This is how I like to run my business. I enjoy the personal touch of seeing people and getting to know them. Understanding what makes them happy, how they want to succeed and live in this life and how I can support them gives me purpose.
Taking the time to understand this about others shows that you care and that you are listening. Not only am I creating a bond, but I am becoming an asset to their lives. I aim to become someone my clients can talk to not only about business but also about how their business decisions can help them personally.
Business is just one aspect of people as a whole. It is part of a greater purpose and picture. When you understand what it is that makes people happy in one aspect of their lives you can solve a lot for them.
I choose to celebrate my ability to connect with others. To listen to their needs, and to provide a service of value and a relationship to them.
If we all wanted online transactions then we might as well become robots and not have any thoughts for ourselves.
It has been a year of uncertainty, to say the least.
The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit by the Coronavirus as a business across the world.
People that owned restaurants had to find a way not to close their doors. Some of them did have to close their doors. Others had to reinvent themselves, to keep employees employed at times, and to find anything they could as far as resources to help them out with the process.
Such a process it was and still is. Did they get a loan, or did they not get a loan? Will they have to pay those loans back? So many questions.
Then there are the questions of how to stay open or reopen safely. Masks and sanitizer became mainstream. The spacing of people became paramount. Many restaurants created makeshift outdoor seating. Many processes were implemented just so that these small to medium size businesses could survive.
It has definitely been a tough year for many. One thing is for sure. Having worked for over 23 years with these types of businesses, I know they are some of the most resilient, caring, loyal, and passionate people on the planet. They will be back. They will be back with new concepts, new ideas, new energy, and they will continue to build community and be the heart and soul of this world.
They are the ones that provide a place for humans to come and interact, and there WILL be a day when humans will be able to once again safely interact. When that time comes, do you know where we are going?
To a restaurant.
Recently, Arizona updated their laws regarding in-house security. The law now requires a signed and notarized Security Personnel Attestation for all personnel in security type positions. A copy of each form needs to be on file at your location for the police to review when conducting an inspection. Each security position must indicate if they have been charged with certain offenses, and if the answer is “yes”, you will not be able to hire them or keep them employed in that position per the statute. ALIC has team members available for notary services if you need assistance. These completed documents need to become part of the employee file and must be kept for a period of 2 years.
In-house security, Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S. 32-2606.3 requires you to file an affidavit annually if you utilize the services of in-house security personnel. Failure to file this affidavit has the potential for you to be charged with a class one misdemeanor (A.R.S. 32-2637) and it may negatively impact your case if you are named in a lawsuit related to security personnel.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Licensing Investigations Unit has confirmed that every business that uses in-house security is required to file the notarized affidavit annually. After this year, AZ DPS would prefer the affidavits are filed annually when you renew your liquor license.
Although it is legal for you to have unlicensed in-house security personnel, you will need to follow a few rules:
- File the Affidavit annually.
- In-house security cannot be sub-contracted – they need to be W-2 employees. They cannot be W-9 contracted employees. Paychecks must come from the company that holds the liquor license.
- If they carry a firearm they are required to have 16 hours of firearms training from an approved course.
- If uniformed, the uniform cannot look anything like a police uniform.
- All security personnel must have background checks.
For now, AZ DPS has agreed that an E-Verify for each employee will suffice for the background check.
This time of year brings a lot of joy. There are parties and presents, time with friends and family. However, more parties and days off from work lead to more drinking and driving. The holiday season sees more alcohol-induced accidents than any other time of the year. Though we can never completely end these incidents, we can work together to help keep our community safe.
One simple way to stay safe is to exercise personal responsibility – your car will still be there to greet you in the morning.
If your question is one of “why ride home?” I would like to offer a counter: why not?
When I used to go out, I spent many nights sleeping on a friend’s floor. I didn’t mind, because I knew that it was safer than the alternative. However, the nights may have gone smoother had there been a plan. In this day and age, we have the resources to ensure each person gets home safely. If you’re having trouble finding a designated driver, you can plan to take a taxi or an Uber each way. Creating a plan before the night begins will ensure peace of mind, no matter how much you have to drink.
So let loose! Hit up your favorite sports bar and rock the office holiday party. Life is short, and we only get to experience these holiday events once a year. But above all, please be safe. Your loved ones will be happy to know that you made it home safe and sound.