Last month, NPR reported on the next new kitchen gadget aiming to spice up bistros and bakeries around the country: the 3D printer. 3D printing technology has actually been around since the 1980s, but the devices weren’t commercially available until fairly recently.
Equipment that was once used primarily for prototyping and manufacturing is now available to anyone with a library card – and some in the food industry have already devised a way to use it to their advantage.
Enter the ChefJet, which NPR reports was introduced by 3D Systems, a South Carolina company, in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. The microwave-sized device is the “first restaurant-grade-certified 3D printer” and can produce intricately shaped sugar and chocolate candies.
The CheftJet, which will be available for purchase later this year, will cost your business a cool $5,000 and – undoubtedly – bring lots of foot traffic. An upgraded model, which is capable of printing edible photographs for cake decoration, will cost $10,000.
But if sugary adornments aren’t in your purview, perhaps you’d be more interested in a Foodini. NPR reports that this culinary 3D printer can print pastas, pizzas, and quiches right onto a baking pan – in any shape your mind can cook up.
How a 3D Printer Can Affect Your Restaurant, Café, or Bakery
Are you ready to buy a 3D printer for your restaurant, café, or bakery? The novelty of the device is sure to draw attention to your establishment – and perhaps compensate a bit for the hefty price tag. Once the newness wears off, you’ll still be free to experiment, innovate, and enhance your menu with the new technology.
Just don’t forget to make sure your new purchase is properly insured. Whenever your business offers new services or buys a new piece of equipment (especially an expensive one), you’ll want to update your existing restaurant and bakery insurance policies, including your…
- Commercial Property Insurance. Your original policy was drafted before you bought the 3D printer. An investment of thousands of dollars’ worth of new equipment is sure to poke a few coverage holes in your policy. If a property-damaging event were to happen – like a fire or a tornado – an outdated insurance policy might not be able to help you replace the 3D printer. Additionally, the new technology could potentially increase your risk of theft, which is another event that is typically covered under your (updated!) Commercial Property Insurance policy.
- General Liability Insurance. This update may not be as obvious as the Property Insurance, but it’s still important. The 3D printer allows your business to offer your clientele something different – and that could result in unknown consequences, particularly considering that this iteration of the technology is so new. Remember, General Liability Insurance can protect you if anyone gets hurt at your business and files a claim. Let’s say the 3D printer malfunctions. Or there is some defect in the printer that allows bacteria to grow rapidly and causes customers to get sick. Even if the accident was due to a manufacturing defect, you could still be held vicariously liable. (To learn more about vicarious liability, read “What Is Vicarious Liability?” on our blog.)
When you want to update an insurance policy, all you have to do is call your insureon agent. And you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to renew you policies at the end of the year to do so. Most policies have a clause that allows you to update your policy whenever a “significant event” occurs.
Want to know more about when you should update your small business insurance protection plan? Check out our blog post “Facebook Life Event? Time to Reassess Your Business Insurance.” For more news on industry-related insurance stories, check out our “Protect Your Bar or Café from a Starbucks Lawsuit” blog post.