Hello RFMA Members,
Since our conference in Austin, we have had numerous Peer to Peer and Peer to Partner educational calls with great participation and engagement discussing topics unique to our industry. Our last Peer to Partner call discussed Disaster Management and there were numerous takeaways. Following are brief notes from the call:
- Disaster Plans are the heart and soul of keeping your employees and customers safe along with protecting company assets.
- The plan needs to have the involvement of several internal departments, namely, Risk Management, Accounting, IT, Facilities, Supply Chain, and Operations. All need to have input in developing the plan and rehearsing it periodically.
- Priority #1 is keeping employees safe. It's better to close the restaurant a bit early rather than late to minimize potentially Brand liabilities.
- Most on the call noted they do not have employees boarding up or sandbagging the facility. Insurance should cover any damage done to the building.
- Corporate should be sharing their Disaster Plan with their franchisees.
- The decision on when to close normally is made by regional operations personnel or the corporate Risk Management or Supply Chain departments.
- Most agree the store closings should be done 4 days prior to the event (hurricane) plan activities commence.
- Flooding was noted to be the number 1 disaster in the restaurants.
- Negotiate contractor costs as part of your plan prior to a disaster. This minimizes the chance of get price gouged after the event.
- Disable or cancel your on-line ordering for each closed location as locals may try to order food and even come to the restaurant to pick it up.
- Building good relationships with your food provider(s), recovery contractors, and local municipal inspectors is a must to minimize downtime and get back open.
Check out our website for future Peer to Peer and Peer to Partner calls and join in. It's a great way to learn, further your education, and protect your Brand.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Dover and out.
Jeff Dover, CRFP
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association
972-805-0905 ext. 3