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The Enormous Restaurant Industry, the Huge Number of Lawsuits & the Role of OSHA.


OSHA, it is highly important, to say the least

Did you know that OSHA plays a very important role in nearly every restaurant and bar industry lawsuit and insurance claim? Well, it most certainly does, and it doesn’t matter if the person that got injured, harmed, sickened, maimed or killed was an employee or a customer of the subject establishment.

As a practicing attorney trying to make a living doing what you do, do you even realize the incredible size of the restaurant industry, the special circumstances that pertain to restaurants and bars, and the legal opportunities abound?

In this series of articles, we plan to help shine the light on the restaurant industry, the dangers that exist within them, and how nearly every law practice can benefit from taking on restaurant and bar industry law suits.

The restaurant industry is special for so many reasons. The enormous size of its workforce and the age and diversity of the workers makes it highly unique and complex. Restaurants have an extraordinary economic impact in markets across the United States, and the social influence that our industry has on the American way of life rivals all others.


The Enormous Restaurant Industry Workforce

The restaurant industry employs more than 14 million workers with

roughly 2.5 million designated management or supervisory personnel. To put

these numbers into perspective, this alone accounts for more than 10 percent

of the entire US workforce, making the restaurant industry the second largest

employee workforce behind the federal government. Further, it is worth

noting that more than 50 percent of the entire US population has worked in

the restaurant industry at some point during their working lives, and nearly 50

percent cite a restaurant industry job as their very first place of employment.

Beyond that, let’s not lose sight of the extraordinary ancillary employment

impact of the industry. Roughly 150,000 businesses nationwide provide various

products and services to the restaurant industry, and those businesses employ

millions of workers as well.


The Highly Complex World of Restaurants

Most of us have witnessed the wide variety of restaurants doing business

across the country, but what many fail to realize is just how complex these

establishments are to operate. Restaurants range from fast food to fine dining

and from national chains to mom-and-pop operations. The industry’s owners,

operators, managers, executives, support personnel, and hourly employees

have a huge number of differing job functions, titles, roles, and responsibilities;

and with those come a wide range of compensation and levels of training.

Take a moment, if you will, to consider what needs to take place in a

restaurant (any restaurant) to deliver a single meal to a family of four—not to

mention all of the things that must take place to provide foods and beverages

that are safe and fit for human consumption. Now do this several hundred, or

even several thousand, times each and every day, each and every week, month

after month, and year after year.

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