Voluntary Benefits: The Missing Ingredient In Protecting Your Bottom Line


Your restaurant’s most valuable assets are your employees. And your largest expense? Most likely also your employees. Employers are working hard to manage rising health care costs. Offering voluntary benefit solutions is a win-win strategy for employers and their employees for a number of reasons. A customized voluntary benefits program offers employees the choice they want and helps them close coverage gaps, without impacting your bottom line.

Historically, ancillary benefits have provided companies with a cost-effective and personalized suite of products, but in today’s environment where employees and their families are likely to incur more out-of-pocket expenses, voluntary benefits serve as a means to empower the employee. Some traditional advantages of voluntary benefits seem more obvious, such as the following:

  • Protecting the financial health, wellness and security of your employees;
  • Adding benefits to your employee benefits program without adding to your costs;
  • Helping you address the rising costs of major medical health insurance;
  • Attracting and retain top quality employees.

However, did you know that voluntary benefits also reduce costly workers’ compensation claims for your restaurant?

Risks come in many forms, on and off the job. Employees will often make workers’ compensation claims for injuries incurred outside of work. Voluntary accident insurance reduces inappropriate workers’ compensation claims.

In fact, according to the Aflac Workers’ Compensation Report, 40% of companies successfully reduced workers’ compensation claims with accident insurance, a type of voluntary benefit offering.

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Your employees rely on their paycheck. Often times, they will return to work before they’re fully recovered, which can lead to re-injury. Voluntary disability insurance gives employees the financial support needed to make a full recovery. The Aflac report also concluded that 36% of companies reduced workers’ compensation claims with disability insurance.

Voluntary Benefits also help maintain optimum productivity:

  • Financially stressed employees have difficulty focusing. Financial wellness programs help your employees relieve stress and stay productive. Remember, your restaurant depends on excellent service. Do what you can to reduce unnecessary stress of your employees.
  • 70% of doctors’ visits can be handled over the phone1. Employees are missing work to visit a doctor when there’s a better way to meet their needs for non-urgent care. Telemedicine keeps employees on the job with easy, 24/7 access to medical help.

Most employers, restaurants included, realize the importance of securing the loyalty and retention of existing employees, improving productivity and remaining competitive. A comprehensive voluntary benefits program can help with the above, while also diminishing the financial burden of workers’ compensation claims – at no additional cost to you.

[1] American Medical Association cited in “New Medical Cost Savings Program: Telemedicine Means Great Discounts”, Employee Benefit Adviser

Contact your insurance broker for an assessment of your current benefits strategy and for a customized list of voluntary benefits that can be of great advantage to your restaurant, your employees and your bottom line. 

Robert Fiorito serves as Vice President, HUB International Northeast., where he specializes in providing insurance brokerage services to the restaurant industry. As a 20-year veteran and former restaurateur himself, Bob has worked with a wide array of restaurant and food service businesses, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale, “white tablecloth” dining establishments. For more information, please visit www.hubfiorito.com. For more information on HUB’s Employee Benefits practice, please visit www.hubemployeebenefits.com