Courtesy of POST Newspaper

There are plenty of issues that cafes face and that insurance can protect against. Whether it’s a serious injury to a staff member or a broken window, there are many potential risks that need to be taken into account.

However, one of the biggest risks that keeps cafe owners awake at night will be the possibility of fire damage. While preparing food is an essential part of many kitchens, there are still serious risks in this process that can impact the operation of even the most secure business.

While fires within a cafe are a significant risk, there is also the possibility of fires that start in another business. With many cafes operating as part of a shopping mall or within a larger complex, the chance of an accident occurring is just as great in neighbouring properties as it is within your own operations.

This was the situation that Georges Hombert, a Perth cafe owner faced. Fortunately, Mr Hombert was insured by Bruce Insurance, meaning that his claim was processed promptly and put his business back on the right track.

What happened?

On May 16, a fire started in the shopping mall where Mr Hombert owned his cafe. The fire damaged property across three sites in the mall, putting all the shops out of action.

Not only was there extensive smoke and water damage to the property, there was also a significant loss of stock as a result of the fire. Mr Hombert’s cafe lost a sizeable amount of stock, with freezers and other stored goods all damaged by the fire.

“We lost everything – all the stock in the freezer room, in the cool room,” said Mr Hombert. “All of the air conditioning motors on the roof burnt in the fire, so we lost the air conditioning and all the refrigeration motors.”

How was Bruce Insurance able to help?

Following the fire, one of the first steps Mr Hombert took was to get in contact with Bruce Insurance.

“The next day I called [Bruce Insurance] and they sent me an assessor straight away,” said Mr Hombert. “The news was great… everything was right-on.”

Once the claim had been accepted, work quickly progressed with the rebuild of the cafe. Although it took about a month for the electrical work to be fixed, work began immediately after on restoring the cafe. Within six weeks of the fire, Mr Hombert’s cafe was back up and running, opening well before the other properties that were also damaged in the fire.

“We were the only ones open in the shopping centre for maybe three months… the rest of the shopping centre was still in the shape it was in the next day,” stated Mr Hombert.

By working with Bruce Insurance, Mr Hombert was able to achieve a strong outcome. Not only was the cafe rebuilt promptly, it now has seen a renewed burst of business, with revenues exceeding those before the fire.

“This is my fourth or fifth business and I always stick with Bruce insurance,” Mr Hombert concluded.