Serving guests in a restaurant implies a considerable risk of liability for the restaurant operator.
The contractual relation between guests and gastronomes comprises different contractual types relating to performances, in particular purchasing, work, services, supply of materials, order and rent. If the operator does not fulfil any of these contractual duties, a guest may demand cancellation or termination of contract, subsequent improvement, reduction of the price or compensation for damages.
An increased liability risk comes from the fact that running a restaurant implies special duties of care. Business operators, which work with foodstuffs and commodities and deliver these directly to the consumer, in particular those who produce, process, treat or store food, namely shops, restaurants, large-scale catering, canteen kitchen, (and by reference to European Law) casinos, nursing homes, hospitals, and kindergartens (definition, Art. 2 LGV) are responsible for the safe production of food according to Swiss Food Law. If the guest suffers a damage, the gastronome needs to prove that he has complied with the legal regulations and due diligence. Furthermore, the meals and drinks offered are subject to product liability of the business operator.
Restaurant operators and other retailers are well advised to take preventive steps to reduce the liability risk. This includes besides a public liability insurance the systematic organisation of the operating procedures according to the respective food laws and regulations with well trained personnel, sufficient documentation of the self-monitoring as well as adequate contractual agreements with the suppliers supporting the safety requirements.