The Most Common Liability Claims for Coffee Shop Owners

What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself, Your Staff and Your Business

Running a coffee shop is fast-paced, requiring balance between beverage craftsmanship and customer service. Coffee trends are constantly evolving and it can be hard to please coffee lovers across generational and regional interests.

Are your customers looking for ethically sources beans? Have you been pricing out a nitro machine to adapt to the increased popularity of nitro coffee? Research shows nitro coffee and cold brews were basically nonexistent in 2015 however, now 1 in 5 Americans under 40 years old consume at least one of these beverages every week. This is just one example of a possible exposure change in your operations that could present challenges.

The Most Common Liability Claims

A liability claim occurs when a customer is harmed physically or otherwise due to the fault of your coffee shop. What happens if a customer accidentally spills their fresh beverage and someone else slips on it before you get a chance to clean it up? Ouch! It sounds like she may have twisted her ankle.

  • Slips, Trips and Falls – This is one of the most common injuries that occurs in a coffee shop. Remember that slip from earlier?
  • Falling Objects – The new merchandise you ordered has arrived! You think you carefully stack all those new coffee cups and beans nicely for your customers. Crash! The display falls over on top of one of your customers. Are they hurt?
  • Employment Practices – If you have employees, this exposure is ever present. Should a current or former employee accuse you of wrongful termination, discrimination, or workplace harassment and retaliation, it can prove to be very costly.

Business Insurance is Your Friend

If the scenarios we mentioned above made you more than a little concerned about all your potential losses, don’t fret. Everything we listed above was simply meant to outline the most common claims we see in the coffee industry so that you can do your best to prepare yourself for them.  

To learn more about the risks of running a coffee shop, check out the Gild Team’s article “Sip With Confidence: Navigating The World Of Coffee Shop Insurance“. 

Remember, if you need help preparing yourself, your friends at Gild Insurance are never more than a click away. We combine the latest technology with experience to provide business insurance options that fit your business. We help coffee shop owners like you find the insurance coverages they need!


“NCA Releases Atlas of American Coffee.” NCA We Serve Coffee. Accessed 19 Nov 2023.