Chez Francois Case Study

Fire Damages Restaurant in Washington, DC Area

Restaurant Rises From the Ashes

For decades, L’Auberge Chez François has been one of the leading restaurants in the metro Washington, D.C., area. Known for its exceptional French cuisine and impressive service, the restaurant is a longtime favorite of Washingtonians celebrating anniversaries, birthdays or other special occasions.

I am a satisfied customer. I have been making calls to other restaurateurs and hoteliers for many years now, recommending the services of Adjusters International because you do such a good job. I didn’t know anything about insurance, and it is so necessary to have an advocate on your side, because the insurance company is not on your side. Adjusters International handled all the details, and I estimate you helped me get 30 to 40 percent more for my claim.

09 Haeringer Jacques L7377
Jacques E. Haeringer
Owner
L’Auberge Chez Francois

Description

An electrical short in a $50 vent fan above the kitchen ignited the two-alarm fire. Smoke and water also damaged the 85-year-old structure. Retaining their first-class employees was the top priority of the owners, who hired Adjusters International to help them rebuild the premises back to its exact pre-loss condition.

Issues

  • As a four-star restaurant, it was extremely important that L’Auberge Chez François retain their world-class chefs and well-trained service personnel. They needed to convince the insurance company to pay these people during the recovery period.
  • The aged building faced many costly codes and ordinance upgrades that had to be addressed with the reconstruction.
  • The furniture and art fixtures throughout the restaurant needed to be restored or replaced.
  • Because the restaurant was so deeply entrenched with tradition, it was extremely important that the reconstruction be exact.

Solutions Applied

Adjusters International negotiated with the insurance company to have the staff paid an agreed-upon sum per week until reopening. They argued that a four-star restaurant needs its perfectly trained service staff. If the staff didn’t return, the owners couldn’t resume normal operations after rebuilding. Revenues would be diminished and the insurance company would have to pay more for the business income loss. The insurance company agreed with the argument.

Adjusters International brought in several mechanical engineers to work with the various contractors to oversee all of the mandated upgrades to the building during the reconstruction.

Adjusters International hired a world-class moving and storage company to care for the extensive collection of artwork, furniture and fixtures. When the building was repaired, all of the items were returned in their pre-loss condition and no further business delays were experienced.

Using photos of the premises, the owners wanted everything rebuilt and repaired exactly as it was, including the placement of each and every fixture. Adjusters International communicated constantly with the contractors to ensure that every detail was exact: reproduced at the right size and in the right place.

Outcome

At the reopening nearly six months after the fire, guests to the restaurant commented that they could not tell that a fire had ever taken place, and the restaurant quickly reestablished its prominence as an elite establishment in the Washington, D.C. area.