It’s every restaurant manager’s worst nightmare: walking into the restaurant to find raw sewage at their feet. It’s a situation that can completely disrupt operations—and it’s completely avoidable.

“Too often, restaurateurs focus on day-to-day operations and disregard small steps they can take to prevent something serious from happening to their business,” says Ann Nickolas, senior director of foodservice for Cintas Corp. She offered seven proactive ways to avoid calamity:

1. Don’t neglect drains. Clogged drains can instantly become a headache for a restaurant, causing a wide range of issues, from fruit flies to sewage backups. To prevent a small clog from becoming a headache, implement a drain line maintenance program that flushes drains with beneficial bacteria to keep lines clear and moving.

2. Beware of the puddle. A seemingly innocent puddle of water can quickly turn an enjoyable dining experience into a million-dollar lawsuit after a slip and fall accident occurs. In addition to legal fees, a recent study shows that slip and fall accidents can also result in lost business. As many as one in three patrons would be unlikely to dine at a restaurant where they knew a slip and fall accident occurred. Engaging employees in a well-defined floor maintenance program helps identify potential problem areas and establishes a system for eliminating water puddles before they become an issue.

3. Address plumbing issues. Leaks, clogs, drips and hot water issues can lead to big issues for restaurants, including higher utility bills and violations. Work with an expert to diagnose and resolve issues, saving time and limiting business disruptions.

4. Conduct regular training. Because turnover is high in restaurants, it’s important that restaurant operators engage employees with frequent training. This ensures everyone on staff knows how to respond in the event of an emergency, which reduces the impact of the injury or situation. In addition to critical training on topics such as food safety and bloodborne pathogens, staff members should also know what to do in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest incident or slip and fall. Use different types of training (e.g. classroom, DVD, online) to accommodate all adult learning styles.

5. Secure your data. Restaurants can be a target for identity thieves seeking unsecured points of entry such as old computers or printers, or even old invoices or personnel files. Protect the identities of your guests and employees with a document management program that includes hard drive destruction and document shredding services.

6. Clean beneath the hood. It seems like a no-brainer, but regularly cleaning kitchen exhaust hoods and removing grease and other buildup can substantially reduce the risk of a fire. To ensure systems have been properly cleaned, remove the grease filter and look into the plenum with a flashlight to make sure it is clean.

7. Limit risks for foodborne Illness. Cross-contamination is one of the leading contributors to outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, such as Norovirus. Keep your restaurant out of the headlines by reinforcing steps for proper food handling and disinfection.