Risk Management: The Key to Retail & Hospitality’s Survival

In this week’s edition of DRI’s The Voice, I discussed the importance of risk management and how it is the key to survival of the retail and hospitality industry this year. Here are a few comments from the article, along with a link to the entire article:

While this has been quite a year for everyone, the retail and hospitality industry has been one of the most significantly affected by the events of 2020. From the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement, retail and hospitality companies small and large have their heads spinning on how to adjust and keep up just to stay in business. For these reasons, there has never been a time when retail and hospitality companies needed risk management more than 2020.

If there is one thing this year has taught us, it is that we all play a role in risk management for our clients. We cannot simply defend their lawsuits or monitor their claims. We must also team up with our clients to help them through these challenging times to keep them successful and to mitigate their risks through unchartered waters. These new challenges create opportunities for the industry to change, grow, and come out stronger and more successful on the other side.

Risk Management and the Pandemic
Outside of the normal pandemic challenges, the retail and hospitality industry must update their business model if they want to survive. This includes focusing more on technology, partnering with others to increase delivery capabilities, re-designing the kitchen to focus on delivery and carry-out orders, re-designing the dining room for safe distancing, and hiring outside cleaning companies.

Risk Management and the Black Lives Matter Movement
For an industry that was already in bad shape from the pandemic, the ongoing protests and riots have been an additional challenge. Businesses have needed to board up windows and employees and customers have not been able get to the establishments. Be sure that your clients know the focus must be on the safety of employees and customers, so closures and changes in delivery locations may be needed. They should also check with their insurance carrier to see if such activities are covered for a business interruption claim. The Black Lives Matter movement presents a great opportunity for every retail and hospitality company, large and small, to look at their hiring and advancing practices and ensure that they have a diverse group of employees.

In 2020, the focus of the retail and hospitality lawyer is on counseling, not on litigating. Be there for your clients and they will be there for you in the future.