Slip and fall accidents are a serious concern, but many restaurant operators overlook just how much these accidents can impact their bottom line beyond the obvious ways. To help these restaurants better understand just how costly these accidents can be, the Cintas Corporation commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a telephone survey of over 1000 American adults to identify how they would react to learning about a slip-and-fall accident at a restaurant they frequented. The survey found that one third of the adults surveyed said that they would be unlikely to return to dine out at a restaurant at which they knew someone had recently experienced a slip-and-fall accident, and that this trend disproportionately affected those restaurants with more family-oriented customer bases than more fine-dining focused establishments.
“We’ve always known that slip-and-fall accidents result in increased costs due to litigation or injury, but this research shows that the cost of an accident might be even greater than initially thought,” said David Collette, Director of Marketing and Strategy, Cintas Foodservice. “Implementing a safe floor program not only mitigates hard costs and gives restaurant operators peace of mind, it can also offset potential long-term costs associated with lost business down the road.”
Every year more than 3 million food service employees (and over 1 million guests) are injured as a result of restaurant slips and falls, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). A recent NSFI study indicates that the industry spends over $2 billion on such injuries each year and that these injuries are increasing at an annual rate of about 10%. A documented, regimented floor safety and cleanliness program helps reduce the opportunity for these accidents by providing restaurant staff with a written list of steps to protect, maintain and deep-clean floor surfaces. And not only that, but keeping your floors clean also helps to reduce other maintenance costs and cleaning tasks.
“As restaurants compete for business, this research shows that a slip and fall accident can derail these efforts and send customers out the door,” added Collette. “A safe floor program not only protects employees and guests, but also a restaurant’s bottom line.”