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What Potential Risks Could Impact Your Restaurant?

October 29, 2019

Restaurant owners have a lot of risks to be conscious of in the areas of payroll and overtime, accounting standards, PCI compliance and more. How can your business cope?

Beyond food safety, what potential risks should your restaurant be aware of? Regulations, permits and training needs are a few. Here’s what your restaurant should know.


Payroll and overtime

Are you calculating overtime correctly? It’s crucial that restaurant owners understand the hourly wage and overtime laws in all states and cities in which they operate. The last thing you want is a call from a disgruntled employee to the Department of Labor! Check out our blog, Are You Accurately Calculating Overtime for Tipped Employees?

New lease standard

Check out our blog, FASB Proposes Delay in Major Accounting Standards which provides details on the new lease standard.

Essentially, the new leasing standard presented dramatic changes to the balance sheets of lessees, set to take effect January 1, 2019 (now delayed). These changes include….

  • New requirement for companies to record all leases as “right-to-use” assets with corresponding liabilities (no distinction between operating and capital leases is made on the balance sheet under the updated guidance)
  • Leases with terms less than 12 months may be exempt from being capitalized (to capitalize a lease means to record a lease obligation as an asset on the balance sheet).

Harassment issues

Make sure your employee handbook contains clear procedures for employees to follow, should they have any issues with discrimination or harassment.

Workplace injuries

You could run into all sorts of legal problems if employees or customers suffer an injury on your premises and you don’t have the necessary safety equipment in place. There are of course certain accidents that can happen even if you have security measures in place, so many restaurants invest in worker’s compensation insurance.

IT risks

This is a critical area that is often overlooked. Do you maintain PCI compliance at your restaurant? Failing to do this could result in serious fines. Every business that takes credit cards must comply with PCI, or Payment Card Industry requirements, which are a set of rules for accepting, transmitting and storing cardholder data securely in order to minimize data security risks.

There are several categories to PCI compliance, including monitoring and testing your networks and creating an information security policy. Check out PCICompliance.orgfor the full list.

Certification and licensing

Make sure you maintain all relevant permits and licenses, otherwise you’ll face hefty fines and complications. This includes your food handler’s permit, alcohol licensing, certificate of occupancy, music license and more.


It’s important to analyze whether your organizational structure still works for your business and how it has evolved. You may need to revisit your operating agreement if you’ve undergone significant changes in recent years.

It’s best to consult your advisor to ensure you’re doing all you can to protect your business against risks. We can help. Contact us today.

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